Are You Missing Nutritional Yeast In Your Diet?

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

2958-4471625763_d4a50757ab_m.jpgWhen I recently heard about nutritional yeast, I was curious to know what this product could do for my health.

It certainly sounded like a strange foreign food, but I was willing to give it a try for all the supposed nutrition benefits.

What is Nutritional Yeast?

This type of yeast is inactive and is not the same as Brewer’s yeast.

This yeast is related to mushrooms, but is also the same type of yeast used in beer and wine-making.

It is not Vegemite or Marmite (a paste made from Brewer’s yeast). It tastes a little nutty and is similar in taste to parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast can be found in supplement sections of health food stores and some grocery stores in flake form.

Powerful Nutrition from a Fungus

If you are vegan, vegetarian, or maybe flexitarian, nutritional yeast is a food you should consider in your diet.

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  • Complete Protein: If you sprinkle a little nutritional yeast on your foods, you will get all the amino acids you need to maintain and build proteins.
  • Source of Protein: 2 Tbsp. contains about 9 grams of protein. Add it to carbohydrate sources like popcorn or kale chips to make a more balanced snack or meal.
  • Natural Source of Vitamins and Minerals: Nutritional yeast is often fortified and naturally contains B vitamins. Check nutrition label to make sure your nutritional yeast contains B12 if you are vegan.
  • Sugar-free, Gluten-free, and Very Low Sodium

How to Eat

  • Add on top of scrambled eggs
  • Top popcorn with it or other baked chips
  • Stir it into quinoa, brown rice dishes, or stir-fry
  • Add to mashed potatoes
  • Create healthy whole grain garlic bread and top with yeast
  • Mix in with sauces, condiments, and soups

Will You Eat Nutritional Yeast?

If you normally eat meat everyday, there is no real need for yeast.

I don’t eat a lot of meat, so I find nutritional yeast an excellent way for me to consume complete proteins and get all the vitamins I need without having to take a multivitamin.

Will you give nutritional yeast a try? If you already use it, what is your favorite way of eating it?

11 Comments

  1. Benjamin Raucher

    I used to eat it and then for some reason stopped. This article serves as a great reminder for me

    BENJAMIN RAUCHER

    Reply
  2. Lana

    I grabbed nutritional yeast the other day while at the grocery store. It tastes sooo good. I had never tried it before but after reading this I decided to try it. To me it just tasted so delicious. Maybe I am short on b12 or something because it was honestly the best tasting thing I have ever recalled having. I have been putting it on everything now. Yesterday I mixed it into my mashed carrots and turnips. I sprinkled it on top of popcorn, and on top of my salad. I wanna go eat some more right now actually….lol!
    On a side note the nutritional information for the yeast I bought is different then the ones you posted. I bought “Nutritional Yeast Flakes” from “Purely Bulk”. There is only 3 grams of protein per 2 tbsp of their product, with only 20 calories and 2 grams fiber. Are there different qualities of nutritional yeast?

    Reply
  3. JKO

    Jody,

    how does your nutritional yeast sauce taste like? is it anything even close to the cheese sauce for macaroni chesse?
    Just curious because I know this yeast doesn’t taste very good but it is good for you for sure.

    Reply
  4. Jim

    Worth noting that nutritional yeast has a lot less sodium than things like vegemite or marmite.

    Reply
  5. Jim

    How does it taste?

    Reply
  6. Jody Perrecone

    I enjoy making a “cheez” sauce with nutritional yeast. Great on vegetables or when making macaroni and “cheez”. It is made similar to the regular cheese sauce, but substituting nutritional yeast for the cheese.

    Reply
  7. JKO

    I bought this nutritional yeat by mistake, I was looking to buy the Brewer’s yeat and I thought this was the same thing. I used to use Brewer’s yeast on the popcorn (the kids loved it) and I used it in my orange juice. I’m not sure what the difference is between this nutritional yeast and the Brewer’s yeast. I have used this nutritional yeast in my smoothies in the morning. But it doesn’t taste very good so, it makes your smoothie not very appealing. I ended up using a lot more bananas and some sweetener to make it ok to drink. I think this is one of those things that if it doesn’t taste good, it must be good for you 🙂 I have not tried it in soups or other sauces yet because I’m afraid it may change the taste of food a little. Thanks

    Reply
  8. HealthcareTiger

    Its really great to read the blog. I will soon purchase nutritional yeast. eating meat everyday is a bad option according to me…i don’t know what others will say!!

    Reply
  9. Roger Manning

    I have been eating Nutritional Yeast for over 40 yrs. I mix it in orange juice every day. The GTF factor keeps my blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. I love the fact that it is loaded with all the essential amino acids as well as trace minerals. I don’t think I could live without it – literally.

    Reply
  10. Dan

    I have purchased Nutritional Yeast at Whole Foods. I am not that crazy about the taste, although I can tolerate it. It also didn’t have nearly as much B12 as in the nutrition label you show in this article. However, I think this brand supplied about 70%. This is important for Vegans and Vegetarians. I get a lot of my B12 from fortified Soymilk.

    Reply
  11. Spectra

    Wow, I had no idea that nutritional yeast had so many benefits. I have never seen it in the grocery store, so I’d probably have to order it. I’ve heard it tastes really good, so I’m curious to see what it tastes like.

    Reply