SOME vegetarian “bacon” brands are fattier and have more calories than the real thing, an investigation has found.
Well known veggie brands in the UK were analyzed and compared unfavorably with genuine rashers.
Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s vegetarian smoky bacon, made from soya, contains 309 calories per 100g and nearly 22g of fat.
But the chain’s unsmoked back bacon contains just 233 calories per 100g and 13.8g of fat, a probe by The Sunday Times newspaper found.
And Tesco meat-free bacon-style rashers were found to contain 341 calories per 100g and nearly 23g of fat.
In comparison, Tesco’s finest smoked bacon has 191 calories and about 12g of fat.
It is a similar story with dairy-free alternatives with many containing coconut oil, which is higher in saturated fat than butter or lard.
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From alternative to soft cheese contains 285 calories per 100g and 22.3g of saturated fat.
In contrast, Philadelphia full-fat soft cream cheese contains 235 calories per 100g and 14.5g saturated fat.
Nutritionist Amanda Ursell said “Veganism and vegetarianism can be a very positive thing, but it’s not necessarily a free pass to great health.
“Any processed food can be high in fat, salt and sugar. It is always a case of buyer beware when buying processed foods and reading the labels.”
Many Britons and Americans, particularly young adults, have been moving away from red meat in favor of the vegetarian alternatives for animal welfare, health and environmental reasons.
A report last year found one in five people under the age of 25 in the UK say they do not eat red meat or poultry, with many unhappy about intensive farming, animal living conditions and slaughter.
Livestock farming also produces large amounts of the greenhouse gases linked with climate change.
Supermarkets have been quick to respond to the demand for meat-free and dairy-free products with alternatives to some of their most popular products.