Is Yeast Vegan?

How to know for sure

What is yeast?

Yeast is a single-celled eukaryotic organism, belonging to the species of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is a fungus. More than 1,500 species of yeast exist.

Types of yeast

There are many types of yeast available. Yeast is generally not consumed raw as it can cause bloating, and it's mostly used in food and beverage production. 




Brewer’s yeast

Baker’s yeast

Nutritional yeast

Types of Yeast



Torula yeast

Yeast extract 

Does yeast provide nutritional benefits?

Yeast is naturally abundant in B vitamins, which is often lacking in the vegan diet, and it is sometimes fortified with additional nutrients.

Why are some vegans concerned about yeast?

Strict vegans may question the presence of yeast in their diet, as some may argue that yeast is a living organism.

The answer

Just because yeast is 'alive' doesn't make it an animal. Yeast is a fungus and similarly, mushrooms are also classified as fungi and are referred to as vegetables.

Vegan alternative

For strict vegans who believe that yeast is a living organism, the alternative option is nutritional yeast, made from the same species as baker’s and brewer’s yeast.

Using nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is sold in health food stores in the form of flakes, granules and powder. It should be stored in a cool, dry place away from moisture and light. 




Pumpkin mac and cheese

Cashew mozzarella

Almond parmesan

nutritional yeast recipes



Vegan pizza

Vegan cheese fondue



Vegan eggs

Vegan butter

Is nutritional yeast healthy for vegans?

Nutritional yeast contains free glutamic acid. Foods with unnatural i.e., ‘processed free glutamic acid’ are considered unhealthy.

Why avoid nutritional yeast?

Most brands are genetically modified and the presence of MSG can cause neurological disorders, headache, dizziness, light-headedness and loss of balance.


It is unlikely that nutritional yeast is your only source of MSG, as the negative occur at excessive doses. Moderate consumption of MSG from all foods in your diet is important. 

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