5 Common Myths About Tofu

Are you wondering what are the common myths about tofu? For many people, especially vegans and vegetarians, tofu has been a great source of protein. Tofu is made by thickening soy milk in order to create curds.

Tofu is naturally gluten-free and very low in calories. It is very low in cholesterol and is also a very great source of iron and calcium.

Due to its nutritional value, this staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years has more recently become popular in Western vegetarian countries.

Is Tofu Healthy?

Tofu contains the essential amino acids that our body needs. It provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Its versatility has led it to become one of the staple ingredients in Asian cuisines.

According to USDA the nutrients indicated per 100-gram serving are the following:

  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Carbs: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Manganese: 31% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 20% of the RDI
  • Selenium: 14% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 12% of the RDI
  • Copper: 11% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 9% of the RDI
  • Iron: 9% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 6% of the RDI

Tofu only comes with about 70 calories in total, which makes it a nutrient-dense food.

Did you know there are several myths about Tofu?

1.) Eating tofu might cause hormonal imbalance

Soy is rich in isoflavones which act like the hormone estrogen for women. So, others say when you consume too much soy, the thyroid interprets these as estrogen and the body’s hormones will lose their balance. So it will lead to breast cancer, fertility issues, and impact puberty and menopause.

Fact: Isoflavones may have both estrogen-agonist and estrogen-antagonist properties and this helps protect against cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. All soy-based products contain isoflavones which are known to have various health benefits.

2.) Tofu is bad for the environment

Any large-scale farming has an impact on the environment, so not only does it convert rainforests into farmlands, but it also uses fertilizers and other pesticides that can affect the environment.

Fact: Always buy from locally produced sellers. The fresher the product, the less it required transportation, so it means a low carbon footprint and an environmentally friendlier product.

3.) Tofu is genetically modified

Genetically modified soy can be found not only in vegan or vegetarian foods because it is most commonly used in livestock feed.

Fact: It is important to check labels! Soy products that are organically cultivated should not contain any genetically-modified organisms.

4.) Tofu can cause cancer

Some people think too much consumption of tofu may increase the risk of certain cancers because of its content. But, studies show that a lifelong diet that involves soy-based food may actually avoid breast cancer.

Few more studies also say that products from soy may decrease the risk of prostate and ovarian cancers.

5.) Tofu can cause bloating

Bloating can only happen to people who are allergic to soybeans. In general, stomach pains that are caused by tofu and soy products are most likely related to an allergy.

Research shows that tofu is naturally low in  FODMAPs, which can be useful in easing bloating or those on restricted diets for IBS.

Conclusion:

It is best to consume tofu and other soy foods that have undergone little processing amounts. Other products made from tofu may contain sodium and additives that make it a little less healthful. Always check the nutrition label when buying processed foods.

Tofu is rich in many healthy nutrients and can protect you against many health conditions!

If you want to know where vegans get calcium, click here.

Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278340#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-tofu#isoflavones

https://www.kitchenstories.com/en/stories/the-4-most-common-tofu-myths-exposed

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by | Jul 20, 2021

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<a href="https://strongwithplants.com/author/inga/" target="_self">Inga K</a>

Inga K

Inga became vegan in March 2018. After a series of documentaries that hit hard, she and her husband switched to a plant-based diet within a week and vegan soon after. Inga has a UK Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Diet and Nutrition.

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Strongwithplants.com is a blog for anyone who strives for a healthy and happy life. We share healthy plant-based (and often oil-free) recipes and give you the best tips on finding vegan local food whilst travelling, promoting a plant-based lifestyle focusing on good health and spiritual wellbeing.

A plant-based lifestyle is not about giving up. It’s about embracing all that’s good. Eat food that doesn’t harm your body, animals, or the planet. Use a little as possible and recycle everything. Eat local and unprocessed food to minimise your carbon footprint. Avoid buying anything that contributes to animal suffering.

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15 Comments

  1. Jeannie

    I do look for non gmo tofu, I remember my mom used to buy tofu in the local market. This is a good article for those who are new to eating tofu.

    Reply
  2. Faith

    Omg why am I just seeing this
    I’ve always avoided tofu because of the bloating issue but now that I’ve seen this, I’d like to try one

    Reply
    • Phuong

      Super informative post, thank you for this. I didn’t know tofu could actually help with bloating.

      Reply
  3. Brava S Reitumetse

    I don’t eat much tofu, but this was good to know. I also do agree that over-farming in any product can impact the environment. Buying local is definitely the way!

    Reply
  4. Amanda

    Great information! I love that you included the nutritional information as well. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Evie

    We have been wary of adding much tofu into our diet but thanks to your facts, I feel just a little more confident and know what to look for when buying. So much of this is true for any farm based foods. We always try to buy local with as little processing as possible, just never thought to apply to tofu before.

    Reply
  6. Greg - Year of the dad

    Some really good facts. I didn’t realize tofu contained that many benefits

    Reply
  7. Headphonesthoughts

    I had Tofu once when I was younger, I personally am not a big fan of tofu but I was not award of these myths about Tofu. I am glad I am now aware of the truth.

    Reply
  8. Ashok

    Oh this is really helpful. I actually was unaware of these myths, and it’s good to know about them as I look for more and more crispy tofu and bring others along. I’m addicted and I can’t say it’s a bad thing.

    Reply
  9. Naomi

    Thank you for such an informative post. I am moving away from a meat based diet slowly, this is a great reminder of all of the alternatives out there that are healthy too. What I love about cooking with Tofu is that it absorbs some of the flavours that your use with it and I find it quite light (no bloating here!)

    Reply
  10. Destiny Oropeza

    This is some great info! I love eating tofu, I’ll be on the look out for a more local seller. (:

    Reply
  11. Lani

    Wow! I didn’t know this much about tofu. Definitely adding it to my grocery list. Thanks for the info.

    Reply
  12. Kelly

    I have definitely heard the one about soy-based foods possibly leading to breast cancer. Maybe I’ll get back to drinking more soy milk! 😁

    Reply
  13. Natascha

    I get honestly a little irritated when a non-vegetarian person is making comments that soy or tofu is bad for you… I mean, it’s much better than eating meat by far. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  14. Ronald

    Hi,

    Great informative article about Tofu and how to debunk these myths. As a vegetarian, I consume a lot of Tofu and it’s true that I have heard many times these myths at the very beginning of my vegetarian journey and people around saying them over and over me made me doubt a little. This article would have been super useful in those awkward family dinners 😉 I’ll use it next time, great resource!

    Reply

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