Nutritional Profiles of Non-Dairy Plant-Based Cheese Alternatives

Nutrients. 2022 Mar 16;14(6):1247. doi: 10.3390/nu14061247.


With the growing interest in non-dairy products, there has been a surge of interest in consumers seeking plant-based cheese alternatives spurred by a desire to improve individual health and achieve a more sustainable food supply. The aim of this study was to conduct a cross-sectional survey of non-dairy cheese alternatives available in the United States and to evaluate their nutritional content. A total of 245 non-dairy plant-based cheese alternatives were analyzed using their nutritional facts labels. The various cheese alternatives were based upon coconut oil (n = 106), cashews and coconut (n = 61), cashews (n = 35), oats (n = 16), almonds (n = 7), soy (n = 6), palm fruit oil (n = 5), and other blends (n = 9). Only 3% of these cheese alternatives had 5 g or more of protein, while 19%, 14%, and 1% were fortified with calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, respectively. Almost 60% had high levels of saturated fat, while 15% had low sodium levels. The products based on cashews alone more commonly had the highest protein levels and the lowest sodium and saturated fat levels. Those containing coconut oil more commonly had higher saturated fat and sodium levels and were most frequently fortified with vitamin B12. Few of these products could be considered good dietary sources of either protein or calcium.

Keywords: calcium; non-dairy cheese alternatives; plant-based cheese alternatives; protein; saturated fat; sodium; vegan; vitamin B12; vitamin D.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Cheese*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • United States
  • Vitamins


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Vitamins