If you have been eating a vegetarian or vegan diet for long at all, nutritional yeast is probably nothing new to you. It is a yeast that is grown on molasses or sugar cane, usually. It is used to add a buttery, cheesy flavor to all kind of dishes.
I basically thought nothing of using it (if anything I only felt it was healthful) until a week or so ago when I received an email from a reader. She informed me that nutritional yeast contains glutamic acid. You see the yeast breaks down into the amino acids that formed it at the end of the process, one being the glutamic acid. I guess this means it is in a free form, and in this condition is it very much like (maybe even the same thing as) msg. BUT, apparently this is also in fruits, veggies, and meats as well. I have read of it being released as meats cook, but I don't have the research to back that up.
I like using nutritional yeast. I think it adds a nice flavor. But is it a neurotoxin? Apparently high temperature nutritional yeast products contain higher levels of glutamic acid, so if you continue to use it, I think it would be wise to use one that implemented a lower temperature in manufacturing. Two products that are supposedly the lowest in glutamic acid are Frontier brand nutritional yeast and Lewis Labs Brewer (Nutritional) yeast.
I plan to be very attentive to signs of msg the next time I eat nutritional yeast. I am hoping that it will be one of those things ok to eat in moderation, when you choose the right kind. What do you think? Let's talk about this in the comment section below.
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