The Truth About Nutritional Yeast

Nut yeast flakes in a bowl

One of our most popular products actually earns its accolades for what it doesn’t contain, and that makes us smile.

Customers love our non-fortified nutritional yeast for its natural nutrition and lack of synthetic additives—but unfortunately, due to some scary misinformation, nutritional yeast itself is sometimes unfairly maligned. Because we so passionately believe in this superfood, we thought it was important to properly introduce you to nutritional yeast, and to explain why these misconceptions are largely unfounded.

Nutritional Yeast Basics

The origin of yeast can be dated as far back as the ancient Egyptians. It’s most commonly known in its active form for its use in leavening bread, but it actually comes in many different forms—and nutritional yeast is the inactive counterpart. 

There are two main types of nutritional yeast: brewers yeast and pure nutritional yeast. Brewers yeast gets its name from its association with brewing beer. It’s a by-product of the alcohol making process with some nutritional value, however pure nutritional yeast is far superior, and doesn’t have that well-known bitter brewers yeast taste. 

Pure nutritional yeast comes from the saccharomyces cerevisiae strain, an inactive yeast made from sugarcane and beet molasses. Enjoyed as a low-sodium, salty-tasting condiment, it’s also a staple in vegan cooking, a popular cheese substitute, and a sauce thickener.

As a single celled microorganism that feeds on sugar, yeast needs the same vitamins and amino acids as humans, yet because it is grown on sugary foods lacking in certain nutrients, nutritional yeast is forced to make its own amino acids and vitamins through biochemical reactions.

Because of this process, nutritional yeast has earned the right to be called a superfood! It contains protein (a complete, bioavailable, and vegan source), fiber, and a multitude of  minerals (including iron, selenium, and zinc), plus a natural vitamin B-complex and beta-glucans.

Less Is More: Fortified vs. Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast

Despite the fact that nutritional yeast is often consumed for its nutritional value, most of the nutrients in fortified nutritional yeast are not naturally occurring at all—they’re man made and synthetically added. 

This can come as a shock when think you're buying nature’s wholesome goodness only to discover you’re getting all those added chemicals instead. But why would anyone do this? 

It turns out most nutritional yeast products are fortified with excessive amounts of synthetic vitamins in order to increase the “nutritional values'” on the product label so the products appear more “nutritious.” At Sari Foods, we couldn’t disagree more strongly with this practice. We believe that these man-made vitamins are not only unnecessary, they can be harmful and toxic—leaving our bodies struggling to make sense of what they’ve taken in.

This goes against everything we stand for, so we decided to change things. Our non-fortified nutritional yeast is a 100% whole food with no synthetics—just as nature intended! Because our nutritional yeast is grown in pristine conditions, it’s naturally nutritious. It’s a great low-carb, low-fat, plant-based protein option that also contains several B vitamins—making it a popular choice in vegan and vegetarian communities.

Stubborn Myths Persist

Despite all its natural goodness, some damaging myths about nutritional yeast still persist. One common myth  is that people with a yeast overgrowth such as Candida albicans must avoid this food, and this is simply not true. Pure nutritional yeast is not at all related to Candida albicans and is perfectly safe for those with yeast issues to consume! 

Another misconception we’re often asked about is the belief that nutritional yeast contains MSG-like compounds. MSG, a synthetic flavor enhancer, is an excitotoxin, which literally overexcites your cells and is known to cause several adverse effects—something we definitely don’t want in our food! Since Sari Foods Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast is a naturally grown and is a 100% yeast product with no fortification and no synthetic additives, you can rest assured that it doesn’t contain any MSG.

But what about compounds that are chemically similar to MSG that might be in nutritional yeast? Is there anything to worry about? Not at all, and here’s why. Concerns over MSG-like compounds stem from a misunderstanding about glutamic acid, an amino acid that occurs naturally in nutritional yeast. MSG is made by chemically altering glutamic acid to create the synthetic flavor enhancer we want to avoid. However, in its original bound form, this amino acid is not harmful at all—in fact our bodies are designed to easily break it down into its free form so that it can enter the bloodstream, be released by the liver, and used by the brain. 

With these unfortunate myths busted, it’s clear that non-fortified nutritional yeast truly is a superfood that’s right for just about anyone. Here at Sari Foods, we make sure that our products offer all of the natural goodness you want in superfoods, with none of the stuff you don’t want. . Our non-fortified nutritional yeast is pure, non-GMO, and is grown naturally on molasses. It’s then harvested, washed, and dried at a low temperature to kill or “deactivate” it. As a final important safeguard, we regularly test our nutritional yeast to ensure that it’s free of toxic metals, contaminants, and other organisms, so you can feel confident that you’re giving your body the very best that nature has to offer. 

Wishing you peace, love, and zesty natural goodness!

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