What is the Nutritional Value of Tofu?


Sliced Block of Tofu

Tofu is made from coagulated soy milk that is shaped into curds and eventually pressed into blocks. There are various types of tofu; it can be soft, firm or extra firm depending on how it is made. Some types of tofu can be eaten raw while other types of tofu are fried, grilled, baked or boiled and used as a protein for a dish. While Tofu is a staple of many Asian cultures, it has only become popular in North America in recent years.

Tofu vs. Other Sources of Protein

Tofu is commonly used as a protein substitute by vegetarians and vegans. While this particular food is certainly rich in protein (up to 10.7% of tofu's weight can be protein), it also contains a multitude of other nutrients. A half cup of firm tofu contains 227 mg of calcium (over 20% of the recommended daily allowance), nearly 2 mg of iron and is also rich in magnesium.

What is more, a half cup of tofu contains only 1.5 to 5 grams of fat, making it ideal for anyone who wants to lose weight. When tofu is compared with other foods, it is clear to see that it comes out as the winner. While a half cup serving of raw firm tofu contains only 94 calories, a 4 oz. pack of ground beef contains 331 calories, 4 oz. of cheese contains 320 calories and a 4 oz. package of chicken contains 219 calories.

Tofu can be easily found in the produce section of the grocery store. Be sure to read the nutrition label before buying it, as nutritional information can vary depending on what type of tofu you purchase. Those who are concerned about GMOs will want to choose tofu that is labeled as "organic".

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