Is Violife Cheese Healthy? A Vegan Dietitian’s Analysis

The search for a delicious, melty vegan cheese alternative can seem elusive, but brands like Violife have some tasty options beloved by many following a vegan diet. 

As a processed food, however, is Violife cheese healthy? Are there any reasons to avoid it, or can it be included in a balanced plant-based diet?

I’ll discuss my thoughts as a vegan registered dietitian below.

Woman eating a vegan cheeseburger with text overlay reading "is violife cheese healthy?"

An introduction to Violife

Violife is a popular brand of non-dairy cheese alternatives, praised for their great taste. Many vegans prefer the texture of Violife products over some of their dairy-free cheese competitors.

All of their products are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, Kosher, and free from major allergens, making them a great fit for many dietary needs and preferences. 

Violife offers a variety of cheese alternatives, including:

  • Dairy-Free Vegan Cheese Slices
  • Dairy-Free Cheese Shreds
  • Dairy-Free Cream Cheese
  • Dairy-Free Cheese Blocks
  • Dairy-Free Dips, such as Sour Cream and Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Is Violife cheese healthy?

This is a question that deserves a nuanced answer. Violife cheeses are highly processed and made primarily from coconut oil, starches, and flavorings. They aren’t as nutrient-dense as something like cashew cheese made from blended cashews and nutritional yeast, but I don’t think we should villainize them either.

If a slice of vegan cheese is something that helps you stick with a vegan diet that also includes whole fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, and healthy fats, and it isn’t putting you over the recommended daily limit for saturated fat intake, I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying Violife cheese.

To better understand whether Violife cheese fits your needs, let’s look more closely at its nutrition profile and ingredients.

Nutrition profile

As an example, let’s analyze Violife’s Just Like American Sandwich Slices. One slice of this dairy-free cheese contains:

  • 60 calories
  • 180 mg sodium
  • 0 g protein
  • 4 g carbohydrates
  • 4.5 g fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 4g saturated fat (20% of the Daily Value)
  • 0.5 mcg Vitamin B12 (20% of the Daily Value)
  • 0 mg calcium

Compared to a slice of dairy cheese, Violife has fewer calories, is lower in sodium and cholesterol, and has about the same amount of saturated fat. (Source: USDA)

Of note, Violife cheese isn’t a good source of calcium, so vegans will need to focus on plant-based sources of calcium like calcium-set tofu, fortified non-dairy milk, chia seeds, broccoli, and almonds.

It is, however, fortified with vitamin B12, a nutrient that isn’t naturally present in plant-based foods. One slice provides 20% of your daily needs, which, in combination with other fortified foods like nutritional yeast and non-dairy milk, can help you get enough. 

That said, I wouldn’t rely on eating plant-based cheeses every day to meet your daily vitamin B12 needs (I’d choose more nutritious options like fortified soy milk or a supplement), but the fortification is a nice bonus.

A potential disadvantage of these vegan cheese slices is that one slice provides 20% of the daily value for saturated fat. When a serving of food contains 20% or more of the daily value for a nutrient, it’s considered high in that nutrient, meaning Violife is high in saturated fat. 

Some of their cheeses, like the mozzarella shreds, are even higher with 30% of the daily value in a single serving. 


Vegan cheeses have a reputation for being made from oils and “filler” ingredients low in nutritional value. Is this true? Let’s take a look at the ingredients in Violife’s American cheese slices:

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Coconut oil, Food Starch-Modified (Potato & Corn), Potato Starch, Salt (Sea Salt), Dextrose, Flavor (Vegan Sources), Olive Extract, Paprika Extract & Beta Carotene (Color), Vitamin B12.

As you can see, the primary ingredients are water, coconut oil, and food starches. It’s true that these ingredients aren’t very nutrient-dense. Coconut oil provides the creamy mouthfeel required for vegan cheese, but since it’s so high in saturated fat, I don’t recommend using it as your go-to source of vegan fats

As a highly processed food, Violife does contain food starches, dextrose (a type of simple carbohydrate), flavorings, and various plant extracts. These food additives aren’t harmful in any way. With only 4 grams of total carbohydrates in one slice and zero added sugars, there isn’t enough dextrose to warrant concerns over blood sugar control.

Is vegan cheese inflammatory?

A common question I hear frequently is whether vegan cheese causes inflammation, which is usually due to the high saturated fat content from coconut or palm oils and the use of food additives in many vegan cheese products.

Chronic inflammation is a complex biological process, influenced by diet, hormones, the gut microbiome, exposure to environmental obesogens, physical activity, stress, and more. Because of this, no one specific food can always be said to cause inflammation. 

In excess, saturated fat is known to be pro-inflammatory1. If adding vegan cheese to your diet places you over the recommended limit of 10% of your daily calories from saturated fat, it’s possible that it could contribute to inflammation. 

Food additives like modified food starch, xanthan gum, and lecithins, on the other hand, aren’t associated with inflammation and are used in such small amounts that they’re unlikely to cause issues for most people.

The dietary fiber and polyphenols in whole plant foods are known to reduce gut inflammation, so a plant-based diet based on whole foods that includes moderate amounts of vegan cheese will likely be overwhelmingly anti-inflammatory.

Vegan cheese may be more of a concern if your diet contains a lot of other highly processed, nutrient-poor foods and is low in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, or if you have underlying health conditions related to chronic inflammation, such as type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)2, heart disease, or chronic kidney disease.


As a highly processed food made primarily from coconut oil, starches, and plant extracts, Violife vegan cheese won’t do much to increase the nutrient density of your diet. 

That said, it can add pleasant texture and creaminess to plant-based meals and is best when consumed in moderation or as a condiment for whole plant foods. 

Violife cheese is high in saturated fat, so be sure to balance it with other sources of saturated fat in your diet to avoid exceeding the recommended limits. For vegans, these sources usually include vegan meat alternatives, coconut, foods made with palm oil, and chocolate. 

The scientific information in this article was accurate at the time of publishing but may change over time as new research becomes available.


  1. Rogero MM, Calder PC. Obesity, Inflammation, Toll-Like Receptor 4 and Fatty Acids. Nutrients. 2018;10(4):432. Published 2018 Mar 30. doi:10.3390/nu10040432
  2. González F, Considine RV, Abdelhadi OA, Xue J, Acton AJ. Saturated fat ingestion stimulates proatherogenic inflammation in polycystic ovary syndrome. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2021;321(5):E689-E701. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00213.2021

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