Nutritional Yeast Is Not Just for Vegans

Nutritional Yeast on Popcorn for Cheesy Flavor

If you follow a vegan menu plan, you probably already know about nutritional yeast. Since some cheeses like parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) or gorgonzola are made using animal rennet, many people have converted to nutritional yeast as tangy kitchen seasoning and table condiment. Like mushrooms, yeast is a eukaryotic microorganism classified as a fungus and is a vegan-friendly substitute that does not contain dairy or animal products. Moreover, nutritional yeast contains zero gluten. Often called "nooch", it is inactive yeast (non-leavening) grown on purified sugar cane and beet molasses under controlled conditions.

A very impressive positive for this savory plant food is that it contains over 70% protein by weight and is a good source of dietary fiber. Both are important for individuals who trying to lose weight. There is an added weight-loss benefit of substituting nutritional yeast flakes for cheese in that it does not contain the higher amounts of fats and carbs.  As a very versatile seasoning, nutritional yeast provides a cheesy, nutty and creamy flavor to many foods, such as popcorn, pasta, salads, sauces, scrambled eggs, hummus, vegan queso dip, hamburgers, potato-based dishes, vegan pesto, cooked or raw vegetables, salsa and as a meat stock substitute in gravy.

A tablespoon of yeast flakes contains about 20 calories but provides a broad array of important nutrients. In fact, this superfood contains a full spectrum of B vitamins and is an excellent source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate and Pyridoxine HCL. Although some information sources suggest nutritional yeast naturally contains Vitamin B12, it is not true. Unlike other microorganisms, yeast cannot produce B12 but nutritional yeast is usually fortified with pyridoxine hydrochloride. Since these important B vitamins are often depleted by everyday stress, using yeast flakes as a seasoning (or to cook with) can help you avoid any deficiency that might cause fatigue or lead to a lowered immune response.

Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring. To learn more about using seasonings to add zest and variety to your menu plan, visit the Recipes section of the Metabolic Research Center website. If you are ready to lose weight and keep it off, we offer a unique approach with real choices for the real you.


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