Should We All Be Putting Marmite or Vegemite On Toast? Dietitians Weigh In

Photo: Stocksy/Gillian Vann
Toast plus a spreadable is one of the easiest breakfasts you can make. But the jar you stick your knife into definitely matters if you want to ensure that piece of toast fills you up for longer than 15 minutes. Nut butter, for example, is full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats making it truly satiating. Jam on the other hand, while delicious, doesn't pack the same nutrient-rich punch.

Outside of the U.S., Marmite and Vegemite are two popular spreadables often slathered on toast. Marmite is popular in both the UK and South Africa while Vegemite is a go-to in Australia. "Marmite, like Vegemite, is a savory spread made from yeast extract. It is a by-product of beer brewing and is supplemented with B vitamins," explains Skye Swaney, RD, a registered dietitian based in Sydney, Australia.

Experts In This Article
  • Kate Wengier, RD, Kate Wengier, RD, is a registered dietitian based in Australia and the founder of Foost.
  • Skye Swaney, RD, Skye Swaney, RD, is a registered dietitian and recipe developer based in Sydney, Australia.

Taste-wise, both spreads have a salty, umami-rich flavor profile a little reminiscent of soy sauce. Vegemite's flavor is a bit stronger and slightly bitter while Marmite is a little milder with a hint of sweetness. Both can be a tad polarizing; either you like 'em or you don't. But is Vegemite or Marmite on toast a nutritious breakfast? Swaney and Kate Wengier, RD, another Australia-based dietitian and the founder of Foost, both have some thoughts.

There's one nutrient the dietitians say both Vegemite and Marmite deliver on: B vitamins. Vegemite and Marmite have four types of them: niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin and vitamin B12. One eight-gram serving of Marmite has 20 percent of the daily recommended amount. "Vitamin B12 is a micronutrient important for healthy blood and nerves," Wengier explains. "Insufficient B12 intake can cause tiredness." For this reason, incorporating Marmite or Vegemite into your breakfast can help provide a bit of energy to power through your morning.

As for those other B vitamins? Niacin helps support the digestive system, helping to convert food to energy. Thiamin is important for brain health and riboflavin helps the body use other B vitamins, converts food into fuel, and assists with red blood cell production and growth. "[All of these] vitamins play an important role in many of the body’s functions, from releasing energy from carbohydrates to assisting with normal cell division," Swaney says.

Besides B vitamins, both spreadables have small amounts of potassium and protein, two additional nutritional benefits. But there *is* something both RDs say eaters should be mindful of: the sodium. One teaspoon of Marmite has 400 milligrams of sodium. (In general, you want to keep your intake under 2,300 milligrams a day.) "These spreads have a high salt content so the quantity consumed should be kept fairly small, but this is generally not an issue as we tend to eat only very small amounts of the spread anyway due to its strong flavor," Swaney says. In other words, if you're just consuming a little Vegemite or Marmite a day, it's nothing to worry about. But if you're literally obsessed and going through tons of it, well, that could become an issue. "If Vegemite is your spread of choice, it’s a good idea to go for the salt-reduced version which has 40 percent less salt compared to the original," Swaney adds.

Also, since neither spread has very much protein, fiber, or healthy fats, it's important to add something to your meal that does have these nutrients. Otherwise, you're bound to be hungry pretty soon after polishing off your toast. One way to accomplish this is adding avocado and nuts to your toast or a side of scrambled eggs. Wengier says there are delicious ways to incorporate Vegemite or Marmite into other meals too. "My mother-in-law uses it in bolognese sauce and in fried rice," she says.

If you're looking for some more ideas to use them—upping your intake of B vitamins in the process—check out these 3 creative ideas:

marmite cashew cheese
Photo: Nest and Glow

1. Marmite cashew cheese

Unlike Marmite on its own, a cashew cheese that incorporates it will make sure your protein, fiber, and healthy fats bases are all covered. This recipe also includes turmeric, cayenne pepper, and garlic which are all good for preventing inflammation, too.

Get the recipe: Marmite cashew cheese

vegemite muffins
Photo: Hungry Enough To Eat Six

2. Vegemite and cheddar muffins

Vegemite is added right into this muffin mix to give the savory baked good another layer of flavor. (Marmite works just as well too.) They're also made with eggs, giving this breakfast good protein and healthy fats.

Get the recipe: Vegemite and cheddar muffins

vegemite pasta
Photo: Foreign Fork

3. Vegemite pasta

Want to cook something up for dinner with your Vegemite? This chicken and pasta dish is the perfect way to do it. It pairs perfectly with balsamic vinegar, giving the noodles a completely different flavor than tomato or pesto sauce.

Get the recipe: Vegemite pasta

So, are Vegemite and Marmite healthy? Thanks to all the B vitamins you'll find in 'em, they sure are. Just be mindful of your sodium intake and be sure to pair it with other ingredients that are higher in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. But as far as condiments go, this one gets the dietitian seal of approval.

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