Those avoiding traditional milk, whether for dietary, allergy or moral reasons, will also be avoiding traditional cheeses. These consumers will benefit from vegan cheeses to fill the void that will be left by not being able to consume ordinary cheese.
Vegan and non-dairy cheeses are usually made from soy protein, solidified vegetable oil, nutritional yeast, tapioca flour, and nuts and seeds.
Nutritional yeast is “de-activated yeast”, meaning that the yeast cells are killed in processing. Nutritional yeast is usually in the form of a powder or flakes and has a savory, nutty and cheesy flavor.
Some people may complain of some side effects from nutritional yeast:
- Digestive effects: this is because of the high fiber content of nutritional yeast
- Migraines: the high content of tyramine may cause migraines in those susceptible
- Facial flushing: When consumed in large doses, niacin (vitamin B3) can cause facial flushing 10 or 20 minutes after being consumed. One tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains double the daily value of niacin, and while not necessarily dangerous, it is something to be aware of when consuming nutritional yeast
- Irritable bowel disease: consuming nutritional yeast may cause a reaction in people with irritable bowel disease who have a sensitivity to yeast.