Try tofu

Tofu is a low-cal, high protein, easy-to-digest alternative to paneer

tofuTofu is made by coagulation of soy milk, using acid, salt or enzyme as a coagulating agent. It is available in three different forms—silken/soft, firm and dried and in many flavours like pickled, salty and sweet.

Have tofu because.

  • Tofu is a low-calorie food. 100g of tofu has 76kcal of energy in contrast to paneer, which provides around 250kcal of energy. Hence, it is considered healthy for the weight-conscious and diabetics.
  • It is rich in high-quality protein that is vital for the building and repair of body tissues. 100g tofu provides about 8.1g of protein.
  • Tofu is easily digestible and is good for people with stomach problems. It can also be had by lactose intolerant people.
  • It supplies adequate amount of vitamin B6 that is crucial for carbohydrates and fat metabolism. It also helps protein-to-energy conversion.
  • Tofu is rich in iron, which is needed to form haemoglobin.
  • Tofu also contains minerals like copper and selenium required for the proper utilisation of iron in the body. Copper is also useful in fighting against the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It is enriched with calcium—100g of tofu almost serves 10 – 15 per cent of the daily calcium requirement. It addresses issues like bone loss, thus lowering the risk of osteoporosis, and is recommended for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Tofu has isoflavones that are considered powerful cholesterol fighters. Isoflavones help women battle against menopausal problems, breast cancer, and men against the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Tofu is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that increase good cholesterol and lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol in our body.

Eat it regularly

Tofu almost has no flavour of its own and takes the flavour of the food with which it is cooked. Hence, you can include it in your diet in various forms—saute it with other veggies, add chunks in soup, mash it with mayonnaise to use it as a sandwich spread, or grill it to make tofu steak.

Keep it fresh

When shopping for tofu, don’t buy if it smells sour. Tofu is usually available as water-packed or vacuum-packed. If you get the water-packed variety, rinse it thoroughly before cooking. Also change the water daily to keep it fresh. Whichever variety you buy, once you open it, refrigerate it and finish it off within 3 – 4 days or before the expiry date.

Make it at home

You can even make tofu at home by coagulating soy milk with calcium sulphate. Boil two litres of soy milk and let it cool. Dissolve two teaspoons of calcium sulphate in water and add it to the soy milk while stirring continuously. Allow the mixture to stand for around 15 – 20 minutes.

Transfer this coagulated mixture into a mould lined with cotton cloth and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes. As all the liquid gets strained, store the firm tofu in the refrigerator and use when required.

Tip: Tofu may cause allergy in some people. Consume tofu in moderation.

Sonal Rastogi is passionate about nutrition and has a diploma in dietetics and Public Health Nutrition from Delhi University. She has also worked for the Sitaram Bhatia Institute of Science and Research, New Delhi as a diabetes educator.


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