Is Tofu Good For You And The Earth? 5 Common Myths Examined

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.

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.

Image showing chemical bond chain for the title: is tofu good for you - eating tofu might cause hormonal imbalance


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….

Photo of forest deforestation from large-scale farming for the title: the truth about tofu being bad for the environment
Forest deforestation from large-scale farming

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 › 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.

If everyone were to swap meat for soy, agricultural deforestation would reduce by an estimated 94%

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.

Examining sample with microscope lzg3qw5 scaled

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.

Woman holding pink breast cancer ribbon ygcqve7 1 scaled

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.

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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.

Soy bean curd tofu on cutting board with bowl of b e7q3rmu 1
Soy bean curd tofu

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.

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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.

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Tofu steak with snow peas and rocket salad 2021 08 26 16 15 59 utc

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.

Related topics

Find out where vegans get calcium

B12 Vitamin

The Importance of Vitamin D and How to Get It

Sources & Resources

Everything you need to know about tofu –

What Is Tofu, and Is It Healthy? –

Soy and Gut Microbiota: Interaction and Implication for Human Health – National Library of Medicine

Ethical debates: Is soy bad for the environment?

Food and Climate Change: Healthy diets for a healthier planet

Meta-analysis of Soy Consumption and Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk – National Library of Medicine

Soy isoflavone consumption and colorectal cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis – National Library of Medicine

Soy and isoflavone consumption and risk of gastrointestinal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis – National Library of Medicine

Neither soy nor isoflavone intake affects male reproductive hormones: An expanded and updated meta-analysis of clinical studies

Effect of soy protein on testosterone levels

Effects of soy isoflavones on cognitive function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials


About the Author

<a href="" 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. is a blog for anyone who strives for a healthy and happy life. We share 100% plant-based (and often healthy and oil-free) recipes and give you the best tips on finding vegan local food whilst travelling and living a plant-based lifestyle focusing on good health and spiritual wellbeing.

We like to consume food, products and services that don’t harm our bodies, animals, or the planet. Use as little as possible and recycle everything.

Each individual’s dietary needs are unique. Please seek advice from a professional nutritionist or your doctor.

Please see the full disclaimer here.



  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.

  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

    • Phuong

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

  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!

  4. Amanda

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

  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.

  6. Greg - Year of the dad

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

  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.

  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.

  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!)

  10. Destiny Oropeza

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

  11. Lani

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

  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! ?

  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!

  14. Ronald


    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!


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