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'Nutritional yeast flakes' isn't a phrase that rolls easily off the tongue, which is perhaps why fans of the vegan (opens in new tab) flavouring call it 'nooch'. It may not sound appetising, but nutritionists are suggesting that sprinkling nooch on your food could aid weight loss.
But what is it? Nooch is a powdered, deactivated yeast that is rich in protein. Its cheesy flavour is a favourite among vegans as a substitute for Parmesan, sprinkled on pasta (opens in new tab) or soup (opens in new tab).
There are a number of ways in which nooch might be able to help weight loss - although there is no concrete evidence that it directly makes you shed pounds.
One of the main health benefits of nutritional yeast is that it is high in vitamin B-12, which is found naturally in shellfish and red meat.
Vitamin B-12 is thought to help aid weight loss by assisting the body to break down fats and protein into energy.
High protein foods are great for those trying to lose weight because they keep you feeling full and prevent you from needing to snack or overeat. Reassuring news for those wanting to give nooch a try, particularly if you are on a meat-free diet, because it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 amino acids.
This cheesy flavouring can indirectly help dieters in other ways, too. Substituting nooch for several spoonfuls of parmesan will reduce your intake of the higher cholesterol, fat, and calories found in cheese. And there are lots of ways that the yeast can be incorporated into meals - whether in powder or flake form. If you are trying out a vegan diet, the flakes can be made into a white sauce with almond milk, cornflour and a good spoonful of mustard. They can be a great addition to a vegetarian Bolognese as well - adding a depth of flavour to Quorn mince.
While the jury is still out on whether nooch may directly make you drop pounds, it certainly sounds like it could help you on your way. Pass the yeast sprinkles!
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