May 26, 2011

Is Nutritional Yeast Safe?

I recently got this email about nutritional yeast from one of my awesome readers, Natalie, and thought it was important to share with all of you. Read it and (don't) weep.

Hey Ensley,
I would also love more info on nutritional yeast. Right now I am working through a jar I got from Kroger, in the natural foods section, Braggs brand. I really like it on my veggies and popcorn. There are so many brands to choose from on Amazon. Do you go for cost or quality? I read somewhere that the ones with b12 are not necessarily vegan friendly. I also read that adults should not eat more than 3 tbsp per day because of uric acid production and possible kidney problems. I would love to hear your thoughts on that.


Thanks for the email Natalie! Since I had never considered this before, I did some digging. I mean, I sing the praises of nutritional yeast at every chance I get, so the fact that I may have been recommending too much of it was a little, uh, unnerving. It was pretty hard to find anything that said something negative about nutritional yeast, no matter how many times I Googled. 

My first stop? My friend Katie, of Sweet Tater Blog, who is enrolled in the Master's of Human Nutrition program at Winthrop. Our conversation went a little something like this: I pester her with incessent questions at our Charlotte Food Blogger picnic, she kindly answers. I asked her Natalie's question and she basically said to remember that it is a supplement, (in many health food stores you can find it in the supplement aisle) and that you can have too much of a good thing. (We tend to think that if a little is good, more must be better. Not always so.) Considering 3 Tbsp contains about 800% of many B vitamins, but according to this article and this one from Nutrition Diva, it's pretty hard to obtain toxic levels of B vitamins. 

Also, nutritional yeast is known as one of the vegan sources of B12. I buy mine on Amazon or at Berrybrook Farm in Charlotte. My Kal brand nutritional yeast specifically says it's vegan, so check and make sure whatever brand you're buying is. 

The verdict? Stir a half of cup into a batch of biscuits, sprinkle it on popcorn or my awesome vegan pizza, and call it a day. I wouldn't worry about the vitamin levels as much as I would the high fiber content. Most people don't get nearly the amount of fiber they need, but if you're eating like a good Preppy Vegan, then more than a serving (3 Tbsp) of nutritional yeast (plus all of the other yummy veggies you're eating) might be a littttle much. 

Hope this helps! Keep the questions coming!


  1. I have got to get some of this! I for real am going to Whole Foods this weekend, which just opened up behind my house!!

  2. Nutritional yeasts are very beneficial for the human body, if we are eating them in our dishes regularly they increases the immune system also.

    vegan blog


I'd love to hear your thoughts !


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