Yeast is a fungus that is completely safe to consume. Both brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast can be found in health food stores, although they have the following differences:
1. Nutritional yeast is powdery yeast which is enjoyed as a supplement by vegetarians and vegans, it is in the form of saccharomyces cerevisiae, that has been harvested then pasteurized and dried so that it can be deactivated and it’s nutritional properties enhanced. Whereas Brewer’s yeast looks similar to nutritional yeast and is also from saccharomyces cerevisiae that has been harvested and pasteurized, although it is produced as a byproduct during beer-making.
2. Nutritional yeast has large amounts of folic acid, niacin, zinc, thiamine and selenium but lacks chromium. It is usually fortified by the manufacturers with vitamin B-12. This is an essential addition for vegans because of their susceptibility to vitamin B-12 deficiency. Nutritional yeast also has essential amino acids. Whereas Brewer’s yeast has an array of the B-complex vitamins, protein and selenium. It is rich in chromium which is a trace mineral important for regulating blood sugar levels. Brewer’s yeast lacks vitamin B-12, and is therefore not recommended for vegans.
3. In terms of taste, Brewer’s yeast has a bitter taste and at times a beer-like aftertaste and can be sold as a pill or liquid. Nutritional yeast on the other hand has a taste that is nutty and cheesy with no bitterness. It can therefore be sprinkled straight over popcorn or pasta and is sold as a yellow powder or in the form of flakes.
4. Nutritional yeast is specifically produced for the purposes of becoming a nutritional supplement whereas brewer’s yeast is a byproduct of the brewing process.
5. Brewer’s yeast has certain interactions with medications for depression because it contains tyramine which can cause high blood pressure in large amounts and certain depression medications will stop the body from breaking it down tyramine. Whereas these interactions have not been found in nutritional yeast.
6. Brewer’s yeast in tablet and powder form should be taken in doses of up to 3,000mg per day. Whereas two tablespoons of nutritional yeast on average provides 60 calories with 5 g of carbohydrates out of which 4g is fiber. A serving can also provide 9 g of protein.
7. Nutritional yeast is safe to eat and it has no risk of toxicity or nutrient overdose from eating too much. Whereas Brewer’s yeast has a certain daily recommended amount.
8. Brewer’s yeast is consumed by everybody from vegetarians to vegans as well as non vegetarians. Whereas nutritional yeast is consumed mostly by vegetarians and vegans because of its high nutritional value.
9. Diabetic patients usually consume brewer’s yeast due to its high chromium content whereas the amount of chromium in nutritional yeast is less.
10. Brewer’s yeast lacks some of the essential amino acids whereas nutritional yeast has all the essential amino acids making it a good supplement for muscle growth.
11. Brewer’s yeast is consumed in order to improve health conditions whereas nutritional yeast though it has health benefits can also be used for culinary purposes.