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Is Vegemite good for you, and does it have any health benefits?

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Last Updated Jul 28, 2020

Let's be honest - you either love Vegemite or you loathe it - simple as that.

The earthy, yeasty, slightly salty spread is not for everyone - and certainly divides opinions, but it is as Australian as a koala. So much so that is also called black velvet by true aficionados.

Whether or not to include this savoury spread in your meals depends on your taste buds and dietary needs. You'd be well served to get advice from a naturopath about what you should and shouldn't be including in your diet. Vively Healthcare makes accessing a naturopath for advice easy and simple. You can learn more or start their online assessment here to get yours for only $49, and then perhaps a teaspoon of Vegemite won't hurt.

So if you haven't tried it, get yourself a bottle to work out if you are a yay or nay. Marmite - for anyone who has tasted Vegemites British cousin, is pretty close in terms of taste and texture - though different enough to not get any lawyers involved.

For those fans who happily slather the black spread on their morning toast with glee, have you ever wondered what the health benefits – and possible risks – of Vegemite are? Let's take a look what is in the black,red and yellow tubs - and if this yeast extract has any health benefits.

What is Vegemite?

Vegemite is a quintessential Australian food, much loved by generations of Aussies. The thick near-black paste is often spread on bread and can even be added to cooking like stews and soups for an extra flavour punch.

What's In Vegemite?

You may be surprised to learn that Vegemite is made from brewer's yeast, which is commonly added to beer. Unfortunately there are no other ingredients listed on the Vegemite bottle, though the manufacturers do say it is free from flavours, colours and added sugars.

Is Vegemite Healthy?

Let's open the bright yellow lid and take a look inside.

Vegemite Health Benefits

The paste is packed with B vitamins, containing a great big dollop of niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. It also has 50 percent of the recommended daily intake for folate. You'll also get a good dose of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium. These vitamins are known to help keep the skin and eyes healthy, improve cell health, boost the digestive system and keep your nerves in check.

So while Vegemite is considered a healthy spread, it's what you eat it in conjunction with that could get you into trouble - especially if these are also high in sodium. Be wary of the bread you choose – white being the least nutritious – and avoid the butter if you can or choose an alternative like coconut spread or avocado.

That being said, Vegemite is incredibly salty. It's so salty. A 5g serving of Vegemite contains as much as 173mg of sodium, which is nearly half a gram of salt. The Heart Foundation recommends that adults consume less than 5g of salt a day - so you should really go easy on the Vegemite and spread it thinly to avoid falling foul of this guidance. If you only eat it occasionally there should be no problem with enjoying Vegemite, though you do need to monitor your diet holistically. To counter the high salt content the makers of Vegemite have also introduced a low-salt version, which is said to have 25% less sodium than the original recipe.

So go easy on the spread and you'll be one happy little Vegemite indeed!

Is vegemite healthy?

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Originally published on Mar 03, 2018

FAQs About Vegemite

Is Vegemite vegan?

Vegemite was certified vegan by Vegan Australia in 2019. This Australian spread, which has a dark brownish colour and velvety texture, is made from brewer's yeast.

A single serving of Vegemite contains several vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and selenium. However, it was also found to contain 173mg of sodium, which is almost half of the recommended daily salt intake, so it would be best to enjoy it in moderation.

What is Vegemite made from?

Vegemite is a popular brand of spread in Australia which is made from brewer's yeast extract. It also contains various vitamins and minerals.

Can dogs eat Vegemite?

Vegemite is safe for human consumption, but you will want to think twice before mixing it in your dog's food as it contains high amounts of sodium. A dog can only have a maximum of 25g of salt a day, otherwise they could suffer from sodium poisoning if they couldn't wash it off by drinking plenty of water.

Is Vegemite gluten-free?

No. According to the FAQs section of Vegemite's website, their spread contains malt extract derived from barley. It also has yeast extract grown on barley and wheat. Gluten is found in both wheat and barley.

How should you eat Vegemite?

Vegemite is best served on toast or crackers. Other big fans of this Australian spread, which is a combination of salty and malty, add it to their casserole to make it more flavourful.

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