Cheetos are a cult-favorite cheesey snack, but are they vegan? Keep reading to find out if Cheetos are good if you want to avoid eating animal products.
Cheetos are a brand of cheese puff made by Frito-Lay, available in 36 countries worldwide. Although most Cheetos are cheese flavored, some countries — such as Japan — have different flavor options on the market, like Strawberry Cheetos.
All of these puff snacks contain dairy, so no: Cheetos are not vegan. Their typical ingredients list contains cheese seasoning (usually cheddar cheese), milk and whey protein — to name just a few animal-based ingredients. Furthermore, some Cheetos contain rennet, an enzyme produced in animals’ stomachs.
Animal products are present in these Cheetos products and flavors:
- Cheetos Crunchy
- Cheetos Puffs
- Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese
- Cheetos Popcorn
- Cheetos Flamin’ Hot
- Cheetos Fantastix
- Cheetos Simply Range
- Cheetos Baked
While it’s good that Cheetos do contain some “real” ingredients, they’re also packed full of artificial flavorings, sodium and oils, so best to avoid eating them frequently.
Vegan Alternatives to Cheetos
Although vegans and vegetarians might want to steer clear of Cheetos, there are many brands that offer vegan alternatives. These brands make cheese puffs with diary-free cheese and milk, and don’t use animal products like whey protein and rennet.
Vegan alternatives to Cheetos include:
- Vegan Rob’s Cheddar Puffs
- Hippeas’ Vegan White Cheddar
- Ka-Pop! Popped Puffs
- Earth Balance’s Vegan Aged White Cheddar Flavor Puffs
- The Best Homemade Vegan Cheese Substitutes
- Making Homemade Nutella: Vegan Nutella Recipe
- Vegan Spreads: DIY Veggie Spreads with Only 2 Ingredients
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