Is tofu good for you? Is tofu good for the environment? Does it cause cancer? Are you wondering about 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 has no cholesterol and is also a very great source of iron and calcium.
Due to its nutritional value, this staple of Asian cuisine for nearly 2000 years has recently become popular in the West.
Table of Contents
Tofu myths examined
Myth 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, and fertility issues, and impact puberty and menopause.
Isoflavones may have both estrogen-agonist and estrogen-antagonist properties and this helps protect against cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. Studies show that soy-based products contain isoflavones which are known to have various health benefits.
Myth 2.) Eating tofu is bad for the environment and causes more deforestation
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.
Buying local and seasonal is the best. Growing your own food is better.
Having said that….
To get the same amount of protein from beef as you would from soy requires 32 times more land. If everyone were to swap meat for soy, agricultural deforestation would reduce by an estimated 94%.Ethical debates: Is soy bad for the environment? CW
https://commercialwaste.trade › ethical-debates-soy-bad…
So, what’s going on?
The majority of soy production is used for cattle and other commercially farmed animal feed. If humans swapped meat for tofu, then we would need a lot less soy and a lot less deforestation.
Myth 3.) Tofu is genetically modified
Genetically modified soy is most commonly used in livestock feed.
It is important to check labels! Soy products that are organically cultivated should not contain any genetically-modified organisms.
Myth 4.) Tofu can cause cancer or is tofu good for fighting cancer?
Some people think too much consumption of tofu may increase the risk of certain cancers.
But studies show that a lifelong diet that involves soy-based food may actually help avoid breast cancer.
A few more studies also say that products from soy may decrease the risk of prostate and ovarian cancers.
Myth 5.) Tofu can cause bloating
For most, this may only be true if you eat too much.
In general, stomach pains that are caused by tofu and soy products are most likely related to an allergy or intolerance.
Research shows that tofu is naturally low in FODMAPs, which can be useful in easing bloating for those on restricted diets for IBS.
While generally, tofu is good for the gut, eating too much can have side effects such as IBS and bloating.
Is tofu good for your health?
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.
Nutritional values of Tofu
According to USDA the nutrients indicated per 100-gram serving are the following:
Protein: 8 grams
Carbs: 2 grams
Fibre: 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. This makes it a great food for weight loss. Low carbs and low sugar mean that it’s great for Keto Diets as well.
How is tofu made?
Tofu, also known as bean curd is a soft, relatively flavourless food made from dried soybeans that are soaked in water, crushed, and boiled.
It is believed to date from the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), in China
Whom does all the soy myths and misinformation help?
As strange as this may seem, soy farmers (mega-corporations that run these farms) benefit the most.
If consumers replaced meat protein with soy protein, then the demand for soy would go down by a huge factor as farm animals are the biggest consumers of soy that’s produced. The others are more obvious, such as everyone involved in the entire chain of animal agriculture. So, it’s in their best interest to spread unfounded theories about tofu health risks.
How to make sure fofu is healthy?
Make sure to make it delicious so that you’d want to eat often. Don’t just eat raw tofu (unless you like it). Try air frying them or try many of the other recipes for tofu.
Your questions about tofu
What are the benefits of tofu?
Tofu is a low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein and keto-friendly food which has many nutritional benefits. Studies seem to indicate that tofu can help memory, has anti-cancer properties, and helps build muscle mass without adding saturated fat to your diet.
Is it good to eat tofu every day?
Tofu is gluten-free and low in calories. There appear to be no adverse effects in having 3-5 servings of Tofu every day. In fact, it may have health benefits.
Is tofu good for weight loss?
Tofu is a cholesterol-free, low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein, keto-friendly food that’s also rich in calcium and manganese. When cooked properly, it’s a delicious meat replacement that keeps you full using fewer calories.
Is tofu healthier than meat?
Tofu is good for health and is healthier than meat as it provides lots of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals without the downsides of meat such as cholesterol and saturated fat. Tofu is good for building muscle mass too.
Is tofu good for men?
Soy can help men by providing high-quality keto-friendly protein and healthy fat to increase muscle mass. Non-GM Soy does not raise or lower a man’s testosterone levels. Studies are linked at the bottom of the article.
Is tofu good for your brain?
It looks like Tofu is good for the brain. Studies indicate that soy foods like tofu might prevent memory loss as you get older. Studies are linked at the bottom of the article.
Is tofu good for gut health?
As a high-fibre food, tofu can help keep your colon healthy. Studies suggest that soy-rich diets may reduce the risk of gut cancers and colon cancers. Sources at the bottom of the article.
Conclusion – The truth about tofu and is tofu good for you?
It is best to consume tofu and other soy foods that have undergone the least amount of processing. Other products made from tofu may contain sodium and additives that make it a little less healthy. Always check the nutrition label when buying processed foods.
Tofu is rich in many healthy nutrients and can protect you against many health conditions.
People have been eating soy for nearly 5,000 years and tofu for 2000+ years.
As with any other food, highly processed versions should be approached with caution. e.g., products that contain soy isolates, and soy lecithin.
If all humans replaced meat with soy for protein, then agricultural deforestation would reduce by an estimated 94% (source)
Tofu is good for you and tofu is good for the environment. It’s best to use it as an ingrdients in cooking or at least air fry it to make it tase awsome.
Sources & Resources
Everything you need to know about tofu – medicalnewstoday.comhttps://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278340#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
What Is Tofu, and Is It Healthy? – healthline..comhttps://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-tofu#isoflavones
Soy and Gut Microbiota: Interaction and Implication for Human Health – National Library of Medicinehttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27798832/
Ethical debates: Is soy bad for the environment?https://commercialwaste.trade/ethical-debates-soy-bad-environment-commercial-waste/
Food and Climate Change: Healthy diets for a healthier planethttps://www.un.org/en/climatechange/science/climate-issues/food
Meta-analysis of Soy Consumption and Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk – National Library of Medicinehttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28642459/
Soy isoflavone consumption and colorectal cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis – National Library of Medicinehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4864327/
Soy and isoflavone consumption and risk of gastrointestinal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis – National Library of Medicinehttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25547973/
Neither soy nor isoflavone intake affects male reproductive hormones: An expanded and updated meta-analysis of clinical studieshttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33383165/
Effect of soy protein on testosterone levelshttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18086792/
Effects of soy isoflavones on cognitive function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trialshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7808187/