Q & A Thursday: is vegemite healthy?
Posted by kathryn in Miscellanea
I’m going to tread carefully here – commenting on the nutritional value of an Australian icon.
Despina has asked – is vegemite healthy?
The short answer is – it’s not too bad. There are better foods and there are worse foods.
Vegemite is a dark brown paste made from yeast extract, that was first invented in the 1920s. For those living in the UK and New Zealand, it’s similar to marmite.
Vegemite is a concentrated source of some of the B vitamins. One teaspoon contains 50 percent of your daily requirement of B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B9 (folate). Unlike Marmite, it isn’t fortified with vitamin B12.
Vegemite is practically fat free and is also low in kilojoules. Which are all positives.
The main problem with Vegemite is it’s high in sodium. One teaspoon contains 150mg of sodium. This is 16 percent of the daily Adequate Intake (AI) level and 7 percent of the recommended Upper Level (UL) of intake.
This is a lot for one teaspoon of a condiment.
It depends how you use Vegemite
As I’ve blogged before the health value of a food is rarely black and white. It usually depends on how you use it.
And this is my main concern with Vegemite. It’s not the product itself which is potentially unhealthy, but what it replaces. The occasional scraping of Vegemite on toast in the morning, or as an afternoon snack is okay, but it’s not an adequate filling for a lunch-time sandwich.
If you’re having a vegemite sandwich for lunch then you’re missing out on protein, antioxidants and the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
As with most foods Vegemite is healthy if enjoyed in moderation.
What is Q & A Thursday?
This post is part of Q & A Thursday – a monthly burst of blogging, where you get to dictate the subject matter. Q & A Thursday is all about simple, practical answers to food and diet dilemmas sent in by readers.