What is nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast, meaning the yeast cells are killed while being processed and the inactive yeast is the final product. It is generally available in powdered form or as flakes. It has a nutty and cheesy flavor making it a popular vegan cheese (non-dairy cheese) substitute. It is a valuable part of many diets. Nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamins, minerals and complete proteins like those found in animal products. For this reason, it is ideal for vegans, vegetarians and anyone who wants to cut back on meat consumption. Complete proteins help in tissue repair, nutrient absorption and prevention of muscle loss. It is low in calories and high in fiber, making it ideal to maintain healthy digestion and a healthy body weight.
The benefits of nutritional yeast outweigh the side effects. Nutritional yeast is safe for most people and negative side effects are extremely rare. It can cause issues for those who are sensitive to yeast products or those who are on certain medications. Therefore, while taking any kind of medication, it is advised to consult with a doctor to ensure there are no negative reactions between the medications and nutritional yeast. In general, the negative side effects of consuming nutritional yeast are not common and rarely occur if consumed in large amounts. If side effects do occur, they are usually not serious and can be resolved.
Possible side effects of nutritional yeast
- Digestive problems: Nutritional yeast contains a high amount of fiber. Too much nutritional yeast added too quickly to one’s diet can cause problems with digestion, such as abdominal cramps and diarrhea. A high-fiber diet is good for digestive health. However, the fiber should be added gradually and the amount of yeast should be increased slowly, enabling the body to comfortably adapt to higher fiber consumption. Two tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains approximately 5 grams of dietary fiber, which is about 20 percent of the recommended daily intake.
- Yeast intolerance and inflammatory bowel disease: Though rare, some people may not be able to digest nutritional yeast. This is usually seen in those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease. Nutritional yeast can trigger or worsen symptoms associated with IBD.
- Trigger headaches or migraine attacks: Nutritional yeast may trigger migraine attacks in some individuals with migraine susceptibility because of the presence of tyramine (derived from the amino acid, tyrosine).
- Facial flushing: Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of niacin (Vitamin B3), which is essential for body functioning. Consuming large amounts of niacin (usually over 500 mg) may cause facial flushing. Consuming such high doses of niacin can usually happen when it is taken as a supplement.
How can nutritional yeast be used?
Nutritional yeast should be stored in a cool, dark place to preserve its nutritional value and in an airtight container. If safely stored and kept away from moisture, it can last up to 2 years.
Nutritional yeast may be used in the following ways
- Sprinkled over popcorn, salads or pasta similar to cheese
- Stirred into soups
- An alternative to cheese flavoring in vegan or vegetarian sauces, such as pasta sauce, salad dressing or dips
- As a thickener for soups, gravies and sauces
- It can also be used in pet food to provide extra nutrients because it’s safe for animals to consume
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Huntington College of Health Sciences
Top Side Effects of Nutritional Yeast Related Articles
Best Diet For Gout: What To Eat, What To AvoidGout is a type of arthritis causing pain and swelling in the joints. The disease happens when the body has high levels of a substance called uric acid or urate. Foods that may help keep gout in check are fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, eggs, oils, flaxseeds, potatoes, rice and nuts.
Nutrition QuizEven if you think you're getting enough fruits and vegetables per day, how can you be sure? Take the Diet & Nutrition Quiz to learn more about eating right.
Best Diet Tips SlideshowLearn to lose weight in a realistic way that works. Find healthy weight loss by eating right, sleeping more, understanding portion sizes. Learn how to set reasonable diet standards.
Diflucan (fluconazole)Diflucan (fluconazole) is a drug prescribed to treat fungal infections caused by Candida, for example, vaginal, oral, esophageal, urinary tract, pneumonia, and peritonitis. Side effects include nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, rash, indigestion, and abdominal pain. Drug interactions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
The 10 Best Diet Plans For Weight LossDiet means a reduction in calorie intake. For the optimal management of overweight and obese patients, a combination of diet, exercise, and behavioral modifications may be helpful. Weight loss is directly related to the difference between the individual’s energy intake and energy expenditure.
What Is the Fastest Way To Get Rid of a Yeast Infection?Learn what medical treatments can help ease your yeast infection symptoms and speed up your recovery.
Vegetarian Diet: Benefits, Meat Substitutions, and Meal PlansVegetarian diet plans have benefits like weight loss and reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Vegetarian diet recipes contain protein from beans, legumes, nuts, eggs, and dairy. Vegetarian diets confer health benefits if you eat this way even once or twice per week.
What Is the Number One Diet?As per recent survey and analysis, research has confirmed that Mediterranean diet is the number one diet. As per research, people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and are at low risk of cancer or cardiovascular ailments than other people.