With several new meat alternatives coming to market in recent years, tofu has taken a backseat. However, tofu remains a good source of protein and, unlike more processed meatless products, it typically contains few additives and is low in sodium.
Tofu also contains more isoflavones, plant compounds with potentially protective properties. Research shows eating tofu may lower the risk of heart disease and could help protect against breast cancer.
The amount shown to be beneficial ranges from eating it at least once a week to consuming a serving (1/5 of a block of tofu) at least 3 to 4 times per week.
Not sure how to incorporate tofu into your diet?
Bhagwhat S, Haytowitz DB, and JM Holden. USDA database for the isoflavone content of selected foods: release 2.0. USDA Nutrient Database Laboratory Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center. 2008; 1-69.
Ma L. et al. Isoflavone intake and the risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: results from 3 prospective cohort studies. Circulation. 2020; 141(14):1127-1137.
Messina V. Tofu’s many faces. Today’s Dietitian. 2015;17(4):22-26.
Nechuta SJ. et al. Soy food intake after diagnosis of breast cancer and survival: an in-depth analysis of combined evidence from cohort studies of US and Chinese women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012; 96(4):123-132.
Wu AH, Lee E, and C Vigen. Soy isoflavones and breast cancer. American Society of Clinical Oncology Education Book. 2013; 13: 102-106.
By Meredith Berman, MGH Dietetic Intern