Is Nutritional Yeast Keto Friendly? While nutritional yeast is often gluten-free and can be used with a ketogenic diet, it’s not always keto-friendly.
By their very nature, some types of yeast contain carbohydrates that are not allowed on the ketogenic diet. Certain types of nutritional yeast, such as brewer’s yeast, can contain up to 18% carbohydrate content.
The good news is that most types of nutritional yeast will be low in carbs and offer a wide range of benefits.
In addition to being low in carbs and keto-friendly, nutritional yeast is also a good source of protein. It offers an additional boost of B vitamins and niacin, and riboflavin.
It is also a good source of selenium, and although it’s not the most concentrated source on the planet, the amount can make a difference to some individuals.
Is Nutritional Yeast Keto Friendly?
Technically, yes. Some companies have varying opinions on whether the nutritional yeast they sell should not be used on their ketogenic diet customer’s diets. However, most will agree that it shouldn’t pose a problem.
Almost all nutritional yeast brands are low in carbohydrates and come in various flavors, so you’ll be able to find one that works for you.
Nutritional yeast is often used by vegans and vegetarians for various reasons. It’s low in fat, a good source of protein, contains more than double the amount of vitamin B12 that most people consume, and can be used as a stand-in for cheese in many dishes.
Even though it is often fortified with certain vitamins and minerals, it’s an incomplete protein source. While nutritional yeast is a good source of essential amino acids, it doesn’t contain large amounts of lysine.
Because of this, it is often combined with legumes and certain grains to create a well-balanced protein source. It’s commonly used in vegan diets to help increase their protein intake, and for the most part, it can be used with keto diets.
There are a variety of nutritional yeast brands available, but the vast majority of nutritional yeast products have a carbohydrate content somewhere between 0 and 0.5 grams per serving.
Many people do not count that amount of carbs in their daily allowance, and they are actually allowed to eat up to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. The packaging will usually list the carbohydrate content for each serving as well.
So, what are these numbers mean? Each serving size usually contains around 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast or one heaping teaspoon.
Most nutritional yeast brands provide a variety of flavors, and the serving sizes will vary depending on the flavor of your choice.
Health Benefits Of Nutritional Yeast
For those who don’t know, nutritional yeast is a minimally processed, unseasoned, and unfermented food made from yeast grown on molasses or sugar beet molasses.
It is often used to replace cheese in dishes such as pizzas or tacos to provide a cheese-like flavor.
1. Yeast improves your immune system
Many people use yeast as a dietary staple to improve their immune systems. Specifically, nutritional yeast is used for this purpose.
This is because nutritional yeast has the same nutrients as brewer’s yeast but can be consumed by those with celiac disease or gluten-sensitive. Is nutritional yeast keto?
If you eat keto, you should avoid some exceptions like rice, fruit, and dairy products.
2. Yeast reduces inflammation
Yeast is a fungus that grows when there is sugar and water available. Yeast reduces inflammation and may protect against inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes.
Called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, yeast has been extensively studied for its nutritional and health benefits, including increased immune system function, lowered cholesterol levels, and reduced blood pressure.
Nutritional yeast is a good source of B-vitamins, protein, and minerals such as selenium.
3. Yeast strengthens your gut lining
Many people have switched to a ketogenic diet for weight loss or managing diabetes.
However, a common side effect of going keto is that your microbiome will experience a shift, and the bacteria in your gut will change enough to cause digestive issues.
One solution is to avoid foods high in carbohydrates and sugars, but another way to help the digestive system is by adding probiotics—particularly those with the yeast Saccharomyces boulardi.
4. Yeast can help you sleep better
Yeast is an organism that naturally occurs in the environment. It is commonly used for cooking and baking.
But many people are now using it as a dietary supplement because of its purported health benefits.
Yeast also contains vitamin B12, which is vital for healthy brain function and can help promote sleep.
5. Yeast is great for your brain health
Nutritional yeast is a great source of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, selenium, folate, zinc.
Eating or supplementing with it can help with brain health. The evidence is primarily observational.
But given the popularity of this food item in the vegan community and its long-term use in traditional Chinese medicine, there seems to be some truth here.
6. Yeast can improve your mood
Yeast is a common ingredient in many different dishes. The yeast also can improve your mood and make you feel less stressed.
Yeast can help your body produce serotonin, which stimulates the endocrine system to produce more dopamine and relaxes blood vessels in the brain.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, behavior, and emotions. It’s also responsible for feelings of pleasure and enjoyment.
The Bottom Line
Nutritional yeast is a supplement that can be used by those on a keto diet or anyone who wants to enhance their diet with more protein and other nutrients.
The main issue with nutritional yeast is low carb and calorie content. While this does not pose much of a problem for most people, some individuals may choose to avoid it due to the carbs found in this supplement.
Dr. Aditya Gupta is a highly accomplished Indian doctor with extensive experience in the field of neurology. Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Dr. Gupta completed his medical degree from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), followed by his postgraduate studies in neurology from the same institution.