Navigating the Health Maze of Plant-Based Foods: A Supermarket Audit

Navigating the Health Maze of Plant-Based Foods: A Supermarket Audit

Navigating the world of plant-based foods at the supermarket can be overwhelming. From burgers to milks, cheeses to yoghurts, the options seem endless. But the question arises: how healthy are these alternatives?

A recent nutritional audit of over 700 plant-based foods in Australian supermarkets revealed mixed results. While some products offer nutritious options, others contain concerning levels of salt and saturated fat.

The audit highlighted sodium as a particular concern. Plant-based mince products, for example, can contain up to 2,000mg of sodium per 100g, potentially exceeding the recommended daily intake in a single serving. Worryingly, this trend of increasing sodium content in plant-based meats seems to be ongoing.

Calcium fortification in plant-based milks has improved, with 70% of audited products containing the recommended amount. However, saturated fat content remains a concern, with coconut-based milks containing significantly higher levels than other milk alternatives.

The audit also explored the emerging market for plant-based cheese and yoghurt alternatives. Calcium fortification was inconsistent in yoghurts, with only 20% meeting the recommended intake. Cheese alternatives varied widely in sodium and saturated fat content.