Surely you have heard about Tofu and wonder what it is. Tofu is a highly protein vegetarian cheese. It is highly recommended for people looking to eat healthy.

How is Tofu prepared? It is made with soy milk. It was born in oriental cuisine but now it has already spread in western countries. It represents a choice for well-being, as a healthy alternative. We will see why.

Types of Tofu

There is a great variety of this type of vegetable cheese, but they can be synthesized in two types of Tofu:

• Fresh tofu: made with soy milk and characterized by a high amount of liquids.

• Canned tofu, derived from secondary processes produced by fresh tofu, such as freezing, preservation in brine, flavoring with different spices, etc.

The Tofu recipe is very simple, with a procedure similar to that used to enhance any fresh cheese, which is similar in appearance and consistency. Then additives are added, which in case of doing it at home you can use lemon juice although you can also use magnesium chloride (nigari). This ingredient is typical of Japanese preparations and the tofu is smooth and consistent). Calcium sulfate that according to Chinese tradition this mineral enriches tofu.

Calories and nutritional properties of Tofu

Tofu or vegetable cheese is similar in appearance to fresh cheese, but with a more delicate flavor so that it combines perfectly with both sweet and salty.

The nutritional properties of 100 grs. of tofu:

Carbohydrates 10.1%

Protein 37%

Fat 52.9%

Soy is a legume and therefore it should come as no surprise that it is rich in protein. In addition, being a vegetable, the fats present are harmless for the body. Tofu is also rich in Potassium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Magnesium, Vitamin A, B9 (folic acid) and C.

Although they are proteins, they are vegetable proteins, therefore it is a choice for vegetarians and vegans, for celiacs (because it does not contain gluten) and for people who have intolerances to cow’s milk.

Can Tofu be substituted for protein food of animal origin?

Despite being rich in proteins, they are vegetable proteins and cannot replace a protein meal of animal origin. In addition, Tofu lacks important vitamins such as vitamin B 12, essential for the formation of red blood cells (its lack causes anemia) and vitamin D (essential for bone mineralization). Therefore we cannot say that a piece of Tofi is equivalent to, for example, a sirloin steak! In a healthy diet, white and red meats should not be lacking. Tofu can replace traditional fat-rich cheeses in a low-calorie diet.

Benefits of consuming Tofu

We can say that tofu is low calorie, natural and healthy that has different properties:

• Hypocholesterolemic property: Soy, and therefore the Tofu that is a derivative of it, contain an important compound, lecithin. This substance can help the body capture cholesterol from part of the tissues, especially from the liver. In this way, it frees cholesterol from circulation.

• Estrogenic action: Soy contains isoflavoids, vegetable antioxidants and has an estrogenic action reducing problems in menopause.

Does Tofu make you fat?

That Tofu makes you fat is a myth. Many times it can be thought that isaflavoids make you fat, but this is not the case. Therefore it has nothing to do with the fact that if you eat Tofu you get fat!

Soy and its derivatives have long been accused of interfering with thyroid hormone production. These accusations were denied by recent investigations carried out by the Clinical and Experimental Department of Medicine and Pharmacology of the University of Messina. They clarified that the presence of Tofu does not interfere with the synthesis of thyroid hormones. If the absorption of synthetic thyroid hormones at the intestinal level (levo-thyroxine) can be compromised and therefore it is advisable to take the drug away from meals.

Tofu is contraindicated for subjects allergic to soy. In addition, it is advisable not to abuse products that contain soy because it has been shown to be a powerful allergen.

How to eat Tofu?

Tofu can be consumed on bread or crackers, flavor salads or cooked vegetables for its delicate flavor. Tofu is very versatile and can be eaten in a soup, in crepes, made with it omellette, different fillings, even integrating desserts and combined with fruits such as strawberries or red fruits.

Tofu can be found in vegetarian and vegan food stores and in places that sell oriental foods.

How To Make Homemade Tofu

Another option is to make your own homemade Tofu, of which hundreds of recipes and videos circulate on the internet that explain how to do it. Here we leave you some options!

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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