Tofu Nutrition Facts

Calories in Tofu and Health Benefits

tofu nutrition facts
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Tofu is a popular Asian food that is also known as bean curd. Many healthy eaters use tofu as a meat substitute because it is high in protein but low in fat and sodium. If you've never tried the plant-based food, find out how to buy it, and store it and then use a few creative tofu recipes to incorporate it into your meal plan.

Calories in Tofu and Nutrition Information

Firm Tofu Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup (124 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 94 
Calories from Fat 36 
Total Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 0.9g4%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.3g 
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 9mg1%
Potassium 150mg4%
Carbohydrates 2.3g0%
Dietary Fiber 0.4g1%
Protein 10g 
Vitamin A 2% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 43% · Iron 36%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Tofu is a plant-based protein food made from soybeans. The beans are soaked, cooked and crushed into a liquid. With the help of a coagulant, the liquid thickens to become tofu. Tofu is low-carb, dairy-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and vegan, so it is popular with people who have specialized diets.

There are different types of tofu. The calories in tofu vary based on the type you choose.

  • Extra-firm tofu or dry tofu is very firm. It can be fried, grilled or used as a meat substitute in a stir fry. Extra firm tofu can also be marinated for extra flavor. A 100-gram serving provides 98 calories, 5 grams of fat, less than one gram of saturated fat, 3.1 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.4 grams of monounsaturated fat, 2.6 grams of carbohydrate and 10 grams of protein.
  • Firm tofu comes packaged in water. It can be barbecued, mashed, or crumbled and added to salads. Firm tofu can also be scrambled. A 100-gram serving provides 80 calories, 4.2 grams of fat, less than one gram of saturated fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 2.3 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein.
  • Soft tofu is used in foods that are blended like salad dressings, dips, and soups. A 100-gram serving provides 61 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, less than one gram of polyunsaturated fat, less than one gram of monounsaturated fat, 2 grams of carbohydrate and 7 grams of protein.
  • Silken tofu is undrained, unpressed Japanese-style tofu. It has the highest water content of all tofu types. It is also used in foods that are blended, like smoothies and pudding. A 100-gram serving provides 47 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, less than one gram of saturated fat, 1.3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.6 grams of monounsaturated fat, 1.4 grams of carbohydrate and 4.8 grams of protein.

    Tofu is extremely versatile. It doesn't have a lot of flavor on its own; it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. So be sure to calculate the calories in tofu marinade, sauce or topping when calculating your complete tofu calories.

    Health Benefits of Tofu 

    Because tofu is easy to use, it can make a good meat substitute for people who are trying to cut back on higher fat meals that include beef or other meats. Tofu is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus and is low in sodium.

    Soy foods, like tofu, have been linked to certain health benefits including:

    • relief from menopause symptoms
    • prevention of certain cancers including breast and prostate cancer
    • reduced risk of heart disease
    • osteoporosis prevention.

    A large review of clinical studies found that there is some evidence to support most of these claims except for osteoporosis prevention. But there have also been studies indicating that soy consumption can cause health problems including headaches and more serious concerns.

    The National Institutes of Health suggests that soy is safe for most people when used as a food or taken for a short time as a dietary supplement. They recommend that women who are at risk for breast cancer or other hormone-sensitive conditions should discuss soy products with their health care providers before consuming.

    Common Questions About Tofu

    Where do I find tofu in the grocery store?
    You'll find most kinds of tofu in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. Many times it is kept near cheese. Silken tofu, however, is usually found in the aisles near other vegetarian foods.

    Should I refrigerate tofu?
    Tofu can be stored in the refrigerator at home although some silken varieties can be kept in the pantry until opening. Once opened, however, you should refrigerate the product and use within 2-3 days of opening. Unopened, you should use the product by the "best by" date on the package. Tofu will have a foul odor when spoiled.

    Can you freeze tofu?
    Yes, some people freeze tofu to give it a thicker meat like texture. However, manufacturers suggest that you avoid eating tofu that has been frozen for more than 60 days.

    Tofu Recipes

    Ready to try tofu at home? Before you use tofu, open the package and drain the product. You can also press it between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Then, give any of these recipes a try.

    Sources:

    D’Adamo C, Sahin A. Soy foods and supplementation: A review of commonly perceived health benefits and risks. Alternative therapies in health and medicine. 2014;20:39–51. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24473985.

    National Institutes of Health. Soy. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/soy/ataglance.htm.

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