Friday, October 7, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: Daiya Cheese Alternative

We can run as much as we want, but just because we run on a regular basis, does it mean that we automatically have healthy hearts with clean arteries?  Our unhealthy food choices can clog up our arteries and affect our hearts despite all our efforts to run faithfully.  This is why it is important for us to cut corners wherever we can when it comes to food that are high in saturated fat.  Saturated fat, which is found in animal products and coconut, is the culprit that elevates our bad cholesterol.  If our bad cholesterol levels remain elevated, that can possibly lead to heart disease and eventually a heart attack.

I love cheese! It is loaded with saturated fat.  I won't deprive myself of it though.  However, whenever I can at home, I try to use products that are lower in saturated fat, so that when I do go out to eat every now and then, I can enjoy the real deal in moderation.

I first tried, Daiya, a cheese alternative, at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo a couple weeks ago in San Diego.  I was impressed with it from the first bite.  The next week, I bought some at Clark's Natural Food Market.  I placed some on a piece of pita bread topped with my favorite toppings, and I was pleased.  It tasted just as good as it did at the food show.  The Daiya cheese alternative does melt, not exactly like real cheese, but it does melt.  It is not a low fat food item; however, the saturated fat content in Daiya is much lower than regular cheese.  This is a plus!

The only drawback with Daiya is that it is higher in sodium than regular cheese.  If your blood pressure is high, this may not be the best choice for you.  On the other hand, if you do choose to have it, use a small portion of it.  However, for an endurance runner, after a good long run losing electrolytes, this wouldn't be a bad option for you to include in a recovery meal.   

For those who are vegetarian and are allergic to soy, this is a good product to have on board.  For those who are vegan, there is no dairy product added in Daiya cheese alternatives.  Just remember, it is much higher in sodium, but just like everything else, consume on a moderation basis.


If you have tried any Daiya products, what are your thoughts on it?

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