Is tofu healthy?- This is what I discovered

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When I started the vegan diet I knew nothing about this food called tofu and I did not know anything about what benefits it could give tofu healthy?

Now the question many people usually ask when deciding to eat this vegan food is the following ” is tofu healthy?”

Tofu is soy and it has high amount of protein to help vegans increase the protein content ,however are there any other potential risks in consuming tofu?

There has been a lot of debates and talks about this amongst my group of vegan friends.

We will find this out in this article as I will be unloading everything about tofu for you.

What is Tofu

is tofu healthy?

So is tofu healthy in its entirety?

To answer this question I will need to first talk about what tofu is and how it came about.

Tofu is basically food that is made by the solidification of soy milk, much like the process of making cheese from milk.

According to HealthLine tofu was discovered by accident when a Chinese cook was cooking 2000 years ago.

The good side of tofu

Tofu has all the good benefits due to it being a plant based food. The following are benefits you will derive from eating tofu.

  • High Protein and full nutrientsis tofu healthy?

What I have always loved about tofu is that not only does it have high amount of protein which our bodies need as vegans but it is one of the most nutrient-dense vegan foods you can have.

With an average protein content of 8 grams you can surely be able to go workout after having a meal of tofu.

As I have said over and over again on my website that if you are a vegan you need to make sure you are on the look out for making sure you get enough vitamins in your body. So having tofu can help put your mind at ease on many of your meals.

The key is obviously not to over do it at all.

The nutrients you derive from tofu are as follows:

  • Copper
  • magnisuim
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Selenium
  • Phosphorus
  • Maganese
  • Calcuim
  • Zinc
  • Iron

That is quite a lot hey.

  • Reduction of heart disease

Again as I have been saying on my posts that the reason of me becoming a vegan was to cure my heart related tofu healthy?

Ever since I became vegan I believe soy  has taken away my chest pains for good.

Tofu, being soy has been said to reduce heart related conditions. Although the studies for this have been very few the studies that have been done do give a great link between soy and reduced heart disease just like the study published at the US National Library of Medicine Institute of Health.

The other research also backed this up that a compound found in tofu called saponins is linked to the reducing of bad cholesterol levels in the body.

  • Can help reduce Diabetes

Tofu was also linked to the reduction of insulin sensitivity and reducing fats in the blood vessels which reduced heart disease as per the study done by the same Health Institution.

  • Reduction of cancer

On my previous post I did talk about the linkage of cancer reduction with soy or plant based foods when I compared a vegan and a meat eater.

There I highlighted why meat eaters are more at risk of cancer compared to vegans.

  • Weight loss

Tofu, as a plant based food, is without a doubt the best food for helping you lose weight. In fact, I would recommend it in your diet if you are looking to lose weight on a vegan diet since it will also help give you protein unlike other vegan foods.


  • Bone health

The soy isoflavones in soy can with improving bone health and that is the other reason it can be used as food for increasing calcium in your body.

The bad side of tofu

As much as this plant based food is deemed to have all the positive health benefits but there are also some negatives you need to keep in mind.

The main problem with tofu is that it is an unfermented soy which leaves it  with many risk factors.

  • Breast canceris tofu healthy?

Tofu is said to have a compound called phytoestrogen which is said to block the normal production of estrogen for women which affects their breast cells.

The more a woman uses tofu, the more their risk is elevated.

I would just warm women who have a history of cancer or any cancer related illness to ensure that they try to avoid tofu and focus on other foods.

This is also confirmed by a study I read a week ago published at web MD

  • Kidney and liver damage

Since most tofu is genetically Modified it has been linked with easily killing the healthy bacteria in your gut system which in turn effects your main organs like your kidneys and livers.

  • Dementia

Tofu is linked to cognitive problems like dementia. This was as per a study done in Asia which linked the consumption of tofu for two serving per week and more with the increase of brain aging.

  • Antinutrients

Tofu has many antinutrients like oxalates which is linked to causing kidney stones and phytates which blocks nutrients absorption.

  • Lacks other vitamins

Tofu lacks many vitamins when compared to meat which makes it an incomplete food.

Tofu is lacks vitamin B12 and vitamin D for instance.

Ways to prepare it

is tofu healthy?

Learning how to prepare tofu can make a huge difference in whether it is healthy or not and also whether it gives you the nutrition you need.

It is better to go with pickled tofu as it is the healthiest due to fermentation processes.

The other thing you can do is to prepare tofu with no other unprocessed vegan foods (like vegan sausages) as these will act as a catalyst to cause tofu produce more negative effects which I have mentioned above.

In my case I only eat tofu once a week as a maximum consumption.

Below is a video of expect doctors talking about tofu

Take home message

Most people do not know that whether tofu is healthy or not as a vegan food because tofu is the widely eaten food amongsts vegans.

What makes this the case is because of the high protein since most vegans are always worried that they will not have enough protein in their diet.

So to answer this question: “is tofu healthy?” I would say tofu is very healthy but if you eat it too much for example 4-5 times a week due to the other negative risks which could erupt like break cancer.

I hope this article was helpful in answering your question about tofu. If you have questions or any comments then you can comment below and I would be more than happy to help you out or engage you.

Reader Comments

  1. Tina

    Thank you for sharing this helpful information about tofu. I love tofu, but I didn’t know the wrong side of tofu. Especially tofu can improve breast cancer; this is scarious for me. I will eat tofu once a week like you sad.
    Thanks and keep the great work.

    • Thabo Khoza

      Yes Tina most people are also not aware of some potential dangers of tofu. Yeah that is a better option. If you will be lowering tofu intake make sure you increase your protein consumption as you may find you may lack protein with no tofu

  2. Lyn Matshushita

    This is a very informative article regarding healthy foods particularly on protein sources like tofu.

    I living here in Japan for almost 25 years and this is my first time to hear about the disadvantages of eating tofu about breast cancer. I eat tofu every day for a healthy diet.

    Thank you for this information.

    • Thabo Khoza

      Hey Lyn

      Thanx for the comment. Glad to hear you eat tofu…bare in mind some people may not react the same to a food’s problems due to many reasons..this is information discovered through research for the general public.
      But still we are still to becareful and also how you prepare it makes a huge difference.

  3. Jason

    Never cared for tofu but after reading about the bad side of tofu, I’m glad i don’t eat it. I loved your vegan lunch recipe. Would love to see more recipes.


  4. Heku

    Hey Thabo! Actually I work in Food and Beverage industry for over 3 years now and have heard very little about Tofu, even though I work in the Middle East. I loved to read about it, and your article was a very good source to do so, as I got to know everything I was interested in. Thank you for this awesome article!


  5. Dino

    Hi Thabo,

    It’s only a year since I firstly tasted Tofu. I can definitely say that I love it and I’m trying to included in my family diet as often as possible.

    I really enjoyed reading your post as it is very balanced in its approach to this amazing food item, which helps me understand that I also need to have a balanced approach when it comes to using it in my nutrition.

    Loved the advice about the pickled tofu!

    Thanks for sharing,

  6. Ajiri

    I consider this to be a really quick meal and have not really thought about the negative effects it might have on the body. I have known about some of the positive effects but the negative effects can be pretty bad.
    I guess the best way to avoid these like was suggested in this post would be to eat it in moderation and not over do it.

  7. Andrea

    Hi Thabo,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge about tofu. It’s very well explained, and I like the fact that you also added the negative effects it may have, not only the good ones. I’ve had in mind several times to become a vegetarian, so this may be a starting point.


  8. Todd P Matthews

    I think in a way tofu can be just like any other food, in that it’s a healthy asset to one’s nutritional program if they eat it in moderation but if they go overboard with it, negative side effects can erupt later on in life. I would definitely add it to my nutritional regimen, but like with any other food I consume, no more than 3x/week will suit me well.

  9. Scott

    I never thought much about tofu, usually a pack of grapes through each week would do me fine. But it’s hard to ignore the benefits of Tofu, it just has to be taken in moderation. I might give it a go, good article.

  10. Christen

    Very insightful post that you have here. I agree that there are both pros and cons to almost anything you eat, and tofu is not an exception. I enjoy tofu from time to time, but do try to avoid eating it too frequently (as I do with most other foods). Appreciate your tips!

  11. Lerakinz

    I am not a Vegan, But I have learnt a lot about tofu, I love exploring the food world, learning new things and I have found Tofu a very interesting food. Information is never useless. Thank you so much.

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