Milk is good for you. It strengthens your bones. It keeps you healthy. Dairy products are important for good health. These are all statements which we’ve heard throughout our childhood. Everyone, right from us, to our parents, to our grandparents and many generations before them, have believed for the longest time that dairy products are important for our good health. However, many recent research studies, that’re being conducted all over the world, may surprise you all with their results.
How the Misconception came to be
Dairy products were considered to be important in most Indian households. However, this importance was converted into a necessity and bolstered into our minds by the decade long marketing campaigns run by the Dairy Giants. For decades, we and our family members were informed about the advantages of dairy consumption while the drawbacks of the same were hidden. Also, the lack of any competing products at the time made sure that no comparisons were ever made to healthier alternatives. Internationally, many of these Dairy Giants also created and funded skewed research studies which were biased towards improving the image of dairy products. To achieve this, researchers did either of the following two things -
- Created skewed scenarios which aren’t representative of the real world, hence giving non-dairy products a disadvantage right from the start.
- Provided conclusions to studies which weren’t completely indicative of the actual findings.
The Current Situation
Globally, large chunks of the population have realised the drawbacks of dairy consumption and as such, demand for dairy alternatives has seen a steady increase. However, in India, this movement is still in its infancy. Having said that, people in India have also slowly started to realise the benefits of stopping dairy consumption, thanks to the slow but steady spread of reliable and scientifically credible information. Because of this, the demand for dairy alternatives has seen a steady increase in India as well, even if it may be nowhere near international demand for similar products.
With this increase in the focus on health, people are now searching for alternatives to dairy for all sorts of applications, right from use in daily beverages, to use in exotic foods such pizzas and sandwiches and even for direct consumption.
While finding such alternatives was hard a few years back, supply has slowly been catching up with demand, with more and more vegan products being created and launched in the market each day. These products range from essentials such as vegan milks and vegan ghee, to good to have products such as vegan cheddar cheese and vegan ice creams, and include everything in between.
We’ll list some vegan alternatives to regular dairy products, along with some customer reviews, down below. These products have a wide variety of uses and will surely help you in your transition to a healthier lifestyle.
Bombay Cheddar Cheese : Bombay Cheddar Cheese is a great alternative to regular cheese. Made with Potatoes and Rice Bran Oil, this delicious cheese manages to taste pretty similar to dairy cheese while not having any cholesterol, thanks to the absence of dairy. This cheese is also lactose and dairy free which makes it a viable option for people with lactose intolerance.
The Vegan Co. Jalapeno Cheese Dip: If spicy foods are your jam, then this dip is here to the rescue. This creamy and cheesy dip is great for your favourite nuggets, fries, rolls and can even be used as a spread for burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. It is healthier as well as it has no cholesterol and is lactose free, and as an added bonus, can also be consumed by people on a keto diet.
Liveyum Mozzarella Cheese: Liveyum’s Mozzarella cheese shreds are one of the most convenient ways of consuming a mozzarella cheese that’s better than any regular mozzarella cheese. These shreds stretch, ooze and melt just like their dairy counterparts and can be enjoyed with all of your favourite food items, be it pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, pastas or even rolls. What’s more, these shreds can be sprinkled over any food item with a lot more ease than any cheese spread, making the process of creating delicious foods for oneself a lot easier to begin with and a lot more rewarding till the end.
Katharos Pizza Cheese: Is it possible to enjoy your favourite pizzas without the harmful dairy cheese which makes any pizza what it is? Well, while you can’t enjoy pizzas without cheese, enjoying them without dairy cheese is now possible, thanks to Katharos’ Pizza Cheese. Unlike the dairy cheese that’s usually used in pizzas, Katharos’ cheese contains no oil, preservatives or chemicals and is 100% natural and lactose free. Not only does this make this much healthier, it also makes it consumable for people with lactose intolerance.
Soft Spot’s Parmesan Cheese: The Parmesan Cheese, which is generally grated and used with pastas, soups, salads, is made from cow’s milk. So, if you’re looking to enjoy any of these foods, then you must do so without the cheese, right? Well not if Soft Spot has anything to say about it. Their Parmesan cheese is made from cashew cream and coconut oil and with its tangy flavour and sharp aroma, this cheese offers you everything that the dairy-based parmesan cheese did, just without the harmful dairy. This allows you to stay true to your healthier self, and your foods to stay true to their original, delicious flavours!
Goodmylk Cashew Oat Milk: Switching from Dairy Milk to Vegan Milk can be quite a task, especially when it comes to getting comfortable with the taste. However, this process is made a whole lot easier with Goodmylk’s Cashew Oat Milk. This milk promises to offer the mouthfeel of whole milk without the cholesterol. It’s lactose free nature also makes it a viable option for people with lactose intolerance, while its flavour makes it a good alternative for dairy milk in tea and coffee. It is available in chocolate, regular and no sugar varieties.
So Good Almond Milk: Almond Milk is another viable alternative to dairy milk. So Good’s Almond milk is calcium rich, made from good quality almonds and fortified with vitamins and minerals, which is to say that it is packed to the brim with good health. Its low-calorie count, coupled with its cholesterol and preservative free nature, also makes it a great option for health-conscious individuals. As an added bonus, lactose intolerant people can also switch to this milk without any hesitation. Their Almond Milk is available in a variety of flavours and sizes, allowing you to experiment with the flavours and choose the flavour and size that best suits your needs.
Urban Platter Vegan Sriracha Mayonnaise: If regular mayonnaise just doesn’t cut the proverbial mustard for you, then this Sriracha Mayonnaise is for you. It works perfectly with fries, veggies, nuggets and chips, as a spread in sandwiches and burgers, and can even be used as a salad dressing to really spice up those otherwise healthy but admittedly boring veggies.
Grabenord Mayonnaise: What’s so difficult in making a regular mayonnaise that tastes great, is light and creamy, and also vegan? Well for Grabenord, not much. Their vegan premium mayonnaise is creamy and has a rich taste which goes well with salads, sandwiches, dressings, tacos, fries, nuggets, rolls and even pita chips! It is also trans-fat, palm oil and cruelty free, making it a better option for you, for animals and for the environment.
Vegan Milk Powder
Eat Soya Milk Powder: Eat Soya’s Soya Milk Powder is a great way to consume healthy and nutritious milk, on the go, at one’s convenience. It’s high protein concentration makes it great for people looking to build muscle, while the fact that its cholesterol, sugar and gluten free, makes it an extremely healthy beverage choice, especially when compared to dairy milk. This powder comes in a variety of delicious flavours and also comes in sugar and sugar free variants.
Emkay Vegan Ghee: Indian dishes and breads are often made with ghee to enhance their flavour and make them healthier. However, regular ghee has a lot of cholesterol and saturated fats which actually makes it rather unhealthy for consumption. Emkay aims to address this issue with their vegan ghee. This ghee is 100% plant based and is made from vegetable fats, sunflower oil and sesame oil. It is rich in Vitamins A and D and in unsaturated fatty acids while being low in trans-fats, saturated fats and having no cholesterol, making your food a lot healthier than before while ensuring that it still tastes just as good.
Vegan Paneer Alternative
Soyfit Tofu: Soyfit’s Tofu is made for people looking to indulge in some high protein and low-fat goodness. It's hard texture when raw and soft texture after being cooked allows you to enjoy your meals however you see fit. It is healthier than paneer due to the absence of preservatives, cholesterol and due to the lesser quantity of trans-fats. Its high protein content makes it excellent for anyone looking to build muscle while its lactose free nature makes it an extremely attractive alternative for lactose intolerant customers.
Vegan Ice Creams
Papacream Ice Cream: While it's true that one can’t have absolutely everything in life, the 2 things you one can definitely enjoy simultaneously are the sweet taste of ice cream and the health benefits of no dairy. Papa cream’s Ice creams come in five tantalizing flavours, one of which is the exotic Vegan Chocofudgy. All of their ice creams are 100% vegan and are made from actual fruits for the fruit flavours. Not only are they healthier due to the absence of dairy, they’re also as delicious as their dairy based counterparts, which officially removes the term ‘healthy ice cream’ from the list of oxymorons.