Tofu is one of those controversial foods (like milk or wheat). Some people say it’s a health food, while others say to avoid it at all costs. Which attitude is correct? Should you eat it? Find out.
What is Tofu?
Tofu is a soybean product … it’s made from the curds of soymilk (so it’s kind of similar to cheese, just using soy milk as a base rather than milk). Those curds are pressed into blocks and can be made into different textures — soft, firm and extra-firm. It has a neutral flavor, making it a versatile ingredient in a variety of cuisines.
Tofu has a lot to recommend it. It’s a good source of lean plant-based protein. A half-cup of tofu delivers 10 grams of protein for only 88 calories (that’s about half as much protein, but 45 fewer calories than the same amount of roasted, skinless chicken). In addition to protein, tofu gives you iron (11% DV) and zinc (7%) — both needed for cell growth and immunity, bone-building calcium (25% DV — make sure you look for calcium-set tofu, the kind packed in liquid), selenium and potassium (5% DV), among other nutrients. Eating soy foods has also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.