Tofu vs. Meat: Which is Better for Your Body?

You may have noticed more soy products on the shelves during your recent trips to the grocery store. This is because soy is an increasingly popular, and healthier alternative to meat. For vegans and vegetarians, soy, and in particular tofu, can be made in a variety of ways that provide a tasty option for their diets. But with so many people opting for tofu in their curries, salads, burgers and other dishes, critics have raised alarms about whether or not they are getting enough protein. Now, many are asking which is better: Tofu or meat?



Tofu is the popular meat substitute used by vegetarians and vegans, and is also common in Asian dishes. In fact, it was invented in China. It's made fresh soya milk that has been curdled and pressed into a block and cooled. Both tofu and meat have protein and iron, but meat is generally higher in protein, while soya, which comes from soy beans, is higher in iron and fiber.

The protein argument

Protein is essential for our bodies because it contains essential amino acids which help to build and repair muscle and tissue. It also produces anti-bodies, which help us to fight infections. This nutritional value of protein has led to a sense of caution when it comes to plant-based diets. While meat may contain high levels of protein, it also brings unwanted qualities such as fat, cholesterol, and risks of diabetes and cancer if consumed in excess. Most health experts agree that women should have at least 46g of protein a day, and men should have 56g. However, in common meat-based diets, most people are over consuming protein without realizing it.

As a useful comparison, if you eat 3oz of tofu, you will get 18% protein, and the same amount of skinless roasted chicken contains 46% of protein. But remember, this comes with added calories and fats. With varied protein content, there are many ways a vegan diet can be nutritious and enjoyable when compared to meat.

Health benefits of tofu

Research shows that tofu has numerous health benefits. All the essential amino acids can be found in tofu, so if combined with other plant-based proteins, you can meet your daily protein requirements. This natural superfood is also known to have properties that can prevent cancer, and is high in iron, calcium, and fiber. With significantly less calories than meat, and healthy fats, tofu is the clear winner for weight loss benefits. It can also help to reduce cholesterol levels, and is gluten-free.

Why is tofu bad for you?

While the health benefits of tofu are clear, it does have allergenic properties, so people who are allergic to soy products, should avoid it. It can also increase uric acid levels if consumed in excess. Due to its estrogen content, tofu should be avoided by women with breast tumors. If not cooked correctly, and if its mostly fried in oil, tofu can cause weight gain even though the food on its own has relatively low calorie content. But with all things, it should be consumed in moderation, and if consumed correctly, this form of soy protein can be more beneficial than harmful.

The best way to enjoy your tofu

If you've been considering adding tofu to your meals, but have been disappointed with the watery texture, the problem may be that you've been preparing it incorrectly. Some people may be put off tofu and eliminate it from their diets because they don't know how to cook it. Tofu must be drained properly in order for it to absorb the flavors in your recipe.

This is one of the other wonders of tofu. It comes in different types such as silken tofu, firm, or smoked, and can be cooked in so many different ways to add variety and nutrition to your diet. Tofu can be fried, baked, blended into a dip or pesto, used in soups, or even made into vegan ice-cream! An important part of the preparation is "pressing", which is a method of removing the moisture from tofu, without losing the shape or its unique taste. For more information on how to press your tofu for maximum enjoyment, visit

By cooking the tofu correctly, you will notice a world of difference and may even enjoy it more. In addition, to enjoy tofu and your time in the kitchen you need to begin with a clean kitchen.


It's pretty clear that in the tofu vs. meat debate, tofu is the clear winner as a healthier option for your body, seeing that it has protein, iron, fiber, and calcium, but without any of the unwanted cholesterol or calories. If eaten in moderation, and combined with a balanced diet, tofu can be a healthy substitute for meat, and enjoyed by vegans, vegetarians, or even meat eaters if they wish to try it.

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