Dairy products and plant alternatives are two food groups that are part of the Spanish population’s diet. Both have a very different nutritional composition – unlike plant products, the high nutritional density of dairy products makes it easier to meet nutrient requirements at different stages of life. Although the environmental impact of dairy production is greater than that of plant-based products, it falls below that of other food groups such as red meat, including pork and beef.
Dairy and plant alternatives meet critical points of the sustainable diet definition, and several food guides from countries around the world are including them within healthy and sustainable eating patterns. For this reason, it is necessary to clarify that both products can be part of a healthy and sustainable diet, although they belong to different food groups, which are not interchangeable and should not be used alternatively.
Guillermo Mena-Sánchez (1,2), Bárbara Mogas (2), Suelen Souza (2)
1- Doctorado en la Unidad de Nutrición Humana. Departamento de Bioquímica y Biotecnología. Facultad de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud. Universidad Rovira i Virgili. Tarragona. 2- Health Affairs. Public Affairs Danone. Barcelona