Tips & Fun Facts, Vegan, Vegetarian

Dairy-Free Yogurts: Yay or Nay?

🥛🥄 For many, yogurt and dairy products are often used as snacks. Many vegan options also exists, including soy, cashew, coconut, almond, and other non-dairy alternatives. However, are these alternatives truly equivalent to dairy yogurts?

Nutrition facts

yosobrown-unsweetened

At the bottom of this article, you can see the comparison table of non-dairy and dairy yogurts. Most non-dairy products do not have the equivalent amount of protein as dairy products, and have more fat than dairy yogurts. However you should not worry about these plant fats, since the fats coming from most non-dairy products are mainly unsaturated fats (AKA the good fats), for the exception of coconut products that contain a considerable amount of saturated fats (AKA the bad ones).

plain-soygoIn terms of nutrients, Silk Almond yogurt, Daiya non-dairy yogurt, Silk soy yogurt and Yoso Soygo soy yogurt can be used as good alternatives to traditional dairy yogurt. They have similar amounts of protein and calcium, which are two important nutrients especially for vegan/vegetarians and people over 65 years of age!

00307US-Daiya-Greek-Yogurt-Plain-16-OZ-454-G-v0.01-WEB-500Note that the Daiya non-dairy Greek yogurt does not contain as much protein as a dairy Greek yogurt, but it is comparable to a dairy traditional yogurt. It contains a sufficient amount of protein because of added pea protein isolate (vegan protein powder).

Ingredients

sk_2652_almondygrt_plain_fs-1.pngYou are what you eat. This saying exists because the quality of the foods that you ingest has a effect on your overall health. It is recommended to intake products that are of good quality and as natural as possible (limit additives).  Typically, dairy yogurt only contains two to three ingredients: milk, milk protein and bacterial culture. However, since vegan beverages and ingredients do not possess the same properties as animal milk, more ingredients (starches, gums, pectines, etc.) need to be added in order to obtain a similar consistency. Vegan yogurts typically contain between 8 and 19 ingredients, from which 6 to 9 ingredients are additives. In the products I found, the Daiya Greek yogurt is the one with the most additives (we want to limit additives as much as we can). The dairy-free yogurts that contains the least ingredients and additives are the Silk almond yogurt and the Yoso Soygo soy yogurt.

Recommendation

🌱 I would recommend non-fat dairy yogurts, since they usually have more nutrients and are more natural (fewer ingredients). However, if you are vegan or try to reduce your dairy intake, I would recommend the Yoso Soygo soy yogurt or the Silk Almond yogurt as an alternative. These choices are nutritionally similar to dairy products, and have less additives than other vegan options.

😋 Keep in mind that vegan yogurts do not taste the same as traditional yogurts, so it might take a few tries to find the perfect one for you! Personally, I am not a fan of the strawberry flavoured Daiya nor the blueberry Yoso Soygo yogurts.

For more dairy yogurt choices, check out my past article How to make the best yogurt choice for your needs.

Nutrition facts tables

Non-dairy Vs. Dairy Yogurts

 For 175 g (3/4 cup) of product Almond yogurt Almond-Cashew yogurt Coconut yogurt Soy yogurt Dairy 0% fat yogurt
Energy 210 kcal 127 kcal 163 kcal 115 kcal 60 kcal
Protein 7 g 3 g 1 g 6 g 10 g
Carbohydrates 12 g 14 g 21 g 13 g 5 g
Fats 15 g 8 g 11 g 4 g 0 g

Non-dairy Vs. Dairy Greek Yogurts

For 175 g (3/4 cup) of product) Non-dairy Greek yogurt Dairy 0% fat Greek yogurt
Energy 175 kcal 100 kcal
Protein 7 g 17 g
Carbohydrates 15 g 6 g
Fats 9 g 0 g

*In these tables, plain unsweet yogurts have been compared.


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