Marinated, sautéed, puréed, baked, or scrambled, tofu has become one of my favorite foods to eat. Once I learned how to prepare it in delicious ways, I not only loved how it tastes, but as a plant-based eater, it's become an easy and quick source of protein. But is tofu good for weight loss? We asked registered dietitians to shed some light.
Is Tofu Good For Weight Loss?
"People who eat plant-based diets tend to have lower BMIs (weight for height) and less risk of obesity," said registered dietitian nutritionist and NASM-certified personal trainer Whitney English Tabaie, MS, RDN. And tofu can be a great option in your plant-based diet.
"Tofu is an excellent food for managing weight as it's high in belly filling plant protein, which can help you stay fuller longer," Whitney said. It's also low in calories and carbs (which makes it a great option if you're vegan keto), and has no saturated fat, added registered dietitian Rachel Stahl, MS, CDN, CDE, of Rachel Stahl Nutrition. A three-ounce serving of Trader Joe's High-Protein Organic Tofu (my personal fave) offers a whopping 14 grams of protein for just 130 calories and three grams of carbs.
What Serving Size of Tofu Should a Person Eat For Weight Loss?
A typical serving of firm tofu is about one-fifth of a package or about three ounces, but Whitney said, "I encourage clients to just listen to their body and eat an amount that feels satisfying." Rachel agreed and said some people may have one serving as part of their meal, while others may have three.
How Much Tofu Should a Person Eat Per Week?
"I recommend one to two servings of soy foods, including tofu, per day," Whitney said. For example, you can have soy milk for breakfast and tofu for lunch. If you're plant-based, you may rely on soy foods for protein. As with anything, moderation is key, Rachel said, and tofu should be eaten as part of a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and lean protein.
Note that not all tofu offers the same nutrition profile. Firmer tofu offers more protein for more calories, while softer tofu, such as silken, will be lower in calories and lower in protein (40 calories and four grams of protein).
What's the Best Way to Eat Tofu?
"Tofu is easy to incorporate into meals and snacks," Rachel said. Cut it up into cubes and add it to a stir-fry, add marinated tofu to salads or wraps, blend silken tofu into a soup or smoothie (this one tastes like a vanilla milkshake, or use it to make dessert such as pudding or chocolate mousse.