Nutritional Yeast Amino Acid Profile

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It is surprisingly difficult to find the amino acid profile of nutritional yeast.

I had to dig around for a while, but eventually I found a study that had it (1).

The table below shows the data from that study, plus the amount needed to be considered a complete protein by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Essential Amino Acid Profile of Nutritional Yeast

Note that amino acid profiles always fluctuate a bit depending on the manufacturer (for all foods, not just yeast), but this gives us a good idea of what to expect.

Essential Amino AcidYeast mg/g proteinComplete protein mg/g (2)
Threonine4623
Valine4939
Isoleucine3730
Leucine6459
Phenylalanine3330
Lysine6545
Methionine1416
Tryptophan106

It’s a very balanced profile and overall healthy food, and it’s really hard to eat too much nutritional yeast in a day.

Is Nutritional Yeast a Complete Protein?

I think it’s safe to say that nutritional yeast is a complete protein, or extremely close to it.

Even though it falls a tiny bit short on methionine, that’s not really a fair comparison. The 16 mg/g from WHO is for methionine plus cysteine. The data for cysteine wasn’t available for nutritional yeast in the study, but it’s a safe bet that it’s over 2.

Regardless, here’s a list of the best plant-based methionine food sources if you’re interested.

In addition to being well balanced, it has a significant amount of protein as well.

In one quarter cup of nutritional yeast, there’s:

  • 60 calories
  • 8 grams of protein (32 calories)
  • 0.5 grams of fat
  • 5 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber)

Over half the calories come from protein. It’s no surprise that nutritional yeast is included in many vegan high protein recipes.

Additionally, there are a ton of B vitamins, which people on a plant-based diet sometimes lack (and avoids any concerns of vegan brain shrinkage).

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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