Updated: Aug 11, 2019
QUESTION: I discovered nutritional yeast as a flavoring substitute for my beloved cheese in many dishes a few days into going vegan. Now I bet I have gone through a pound of the stuff in one week. I am wondering if there is a negative impact from eating too much of it? Also I have read that nutritional yeast has B-12 in it, does that mean I don't need to take a B-12 supplement if I am eating the yeast?
ANSWER: Nutritional yeast is often used by vegans and vegetarians because it is thought to be a good source of B vitamins and protein and some think of it as a good source of B12. As you mentioned, it is also often used as a cheese substitute in some recipes. Some people even use it in a shaker as a Parmesan cheese substitute. However, I am not a fan of nutritional yeast, I don’t use it myself and don’t recommend it. It’s calorie density is 1700 cal/lb, virtually the same as sugar. If you find it useful in some recipes, use it sparingly as a condiment as you would sugar. The following links will take you to a discussion on each of the topics you mentioned.
Nutritional Yeast and B12
Nutritional Yeast, Protein and IGF
Negative impact from eating too much nutritional yeast?
Brewers Yeast vs Nutritional Yeast