Is Tofu Actually Good For You?

If you've been thinking about going vegetarian, you've probably seen a lot of tofu recipes in your research. Tofu got a bad rap during the early years of vegetarianism in the United States as a bland and flavorless block of sponge, but those who know how to cook tofu know better. Tofu has been a staple in Asian food for thousands of years, and if you know how to cook it properly, it can be an incredibly versatile food that provides you with most of the nutrients you need if you don't eat meat (via Healthline).

Despite this, people still argue over the actual health benefits of tofu. If you've been considering making the switch to vegetarianism, or if you just want to try introducing something new into your diet, we'll tell you more about what the health benefits of tofu are and whether or not it's actually good for you.

What are the health benefits of eating tofu?

Instead of the processed, fake-meat alternatives that come in the frozen section of the grocery store, you may turn to tofu as one of your main sources of protein. Tofu is a complete protein, which contains all nine essential amino acids, so in some aspects, it's better than eating meat (via Eating Well). Chicken and beef are also complete proteins, but they don't always contain all of the amino acids we need to maintain a healthy diet (via The University of North Dakota).

In addition to being a plant-based, high-protein food, tofu also contains many other nutrients that we need in our diets. Tofu is one of the most nutrient-rich plant-based foods out there, not to mention it is also very low in calories and carbs, so it can be a great option if you're trying to cut down on either of those things (via Healthline). There haven't been many studies examining the long-term effects of tofu on your health, but of the ones that have been conducted, researchers also found that tofu can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Is tofu safe to eat?

Tofu is generally considered to be a "health food," but some people have concerns about the effects that tofu may have on your long-term health. As with many other foods that are sold in grocery stores, tofu can undergo a lot of processing before it makes it to the shelf. Processed foods, especially tofu, can be harmful to your health if consumed in excess, so it's best to choose a non-GMO product that hasn't been overprocessed in order to reduce the potential health risks (via Medical News Today). 

You may have also heard about the risks of breast cancer if you consume too many soy products. Studies that have looked into this indicate that while there is a link between soy and breast cancer, they do not have enough evidence to prove this definitively. Unlike eating a lot of red meat, eating a lot of tofu generally doesn't seem to have any severely negative long-term effects on your health, which makes it an even more attractive option for those looking to improve their diets and start eating healthier.