At the time of fasting we often eat plant based cheese and other products that do not contain milk, eggs and meat. However, religious reasons are not the only ones which is why we seek for foods without animal components. Vegans also appreciate products of plant origin, which are lately more and more on the market. Now there are almost all analog dairy products, and here we’ll write a little bit more about the analogue or so called imitation cheese.
Imitation cheese is used in the diet as a substitute for natural, dairy cheese. There is a large selection of analog cheeses, from those of type gouda, edam, mozzarella to feta cheese. As such, they closely resemble the real cheese, but they cost much less than real. In fact, just as there is a substitute for butter (margarine), so there is a substitute for cheese (imitation cheese). Vegetable cheese is cheaper than real cheese, some are 2-3 times, and many people eat it without knowing that it is an imitation.
Structure and materials
Cheese of plant origin usually has more pronounced “rubbery” structure comparing to real cheese but in dishes it is less noticeable, especially if it’s grated. Analog feta and mozzarella are almost identical with their taste and feel to real feta and mozzarella.
Plant based cheeses are available on the market from a variety of raw materials such as soy, almond, rice and other crops, and natural vegetable fat. If you read the composition of plant based cheese, one thing immediately strikes the eye: almost every plant cheese contains casein, a protein found in milk. Casein gives the plant based cheese that flexibility, which is important when it melts, such as on pizza.
Besides casein, imitation cheese typically contains about 25-50% fat (hydrogenated vegetable fat), water, starch, flavorings, colorants and other additives. Plant based cheeses are an alternative for people who are lactose intolerant. As the replacement for butter is worse than butter, so is cheese substitute worse than cheese. Imitation cheeses contain trans fats or trans-fatty acid from hydrogenated fat, which is the raw material for cheese making plant. These are the same fats that are responsible for arteriosclerosis, the general recommendation to avoid these products.
If you love cheese, then make sure that you eat real cheese made from milk and not an industrial photocopy that has no nutritional value.
Experts advise to avoid the consumption of dairy imitation products with vegetable fats because they are harmful to our health. With regular use and enough accumulation in your body, that can lead to heart disease, cancer and problems with the gastrointestinal system.
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