A very small fraction of the population seems to eat tofu. Yet, tofu has so much to offer! This underappreciated food deserves all the attention in the world because of its multiple health benefits. Maybe its exotic name scares people away? Yeah… the term tofu in Japanese stands for the curd made from the milky liquid extracted from soybeans.
That is why tofu is considered a protein food in Canada’s Food Guide. The new version of the guide promotes plant-based protein, which you would benefit from including in your diet. However, they are low in saturated fats (0.9 g / 100 g) of plant origin. This characteristic is one of tofu’s main advantages!
Tofu doesn’t have cholesterol, but rather plant sterols (phytosterols), the plant equivalent of cholesterol. Phytosterols are one of the most used products nowadays in the bio-food industry. Indeed, many foods are enriched with them. Companies loudly proclaim that “by consuming 2 g of phytosterols everyday, you can lower your bad cholesterol level by 10%”.
Plant sterols are found in many products, such as corn oil, fruits and vegetables, and other plant-based foods. However, the 2 g a day threshold value is hardly reachable via diet alone. You must therefore consume functional foods or, in other words, food that has been enriched with phytosterols for more cholesterol-lowering agents.
The latter can replace molecules of cholesterol in the formation of fatty acids because of their similar molecular structure. This way, phytosterols can block cholesterol absorption.
Tofu’s texture sometimes causes problems. However, many consistencies are available in supermarkets. Tofu can be firm, extra-firm, silken, soft, or have the shape of various other foods. The texture is often compared with that of a firm pudding.
There are many products on the market made from tofu. You will be surprised of the variety of soybean by-products. Among them :
However, some of these products contain a lot of sodium. Desserts made from flavoured tofu are also available in supermarkets. They are perfect for morning smoothies and bring a little twist to these breakfast classics with their velvety texture.
Recently, tofu strings have found their way to supermarket shelves, and they look a lot like spaghetti noodles. These can easily be added to soups or be used as a substitute to pastas. With so many possibilities, there is something for every taste!
Plus, if you don’t reveal the ingredients of your favourite tofu recipes, children and adults will be oblivious and dazzled!
There is an infinite number of possibilities to use tofu. Learn how to cook tofu well to fully appreciate it! Tofu burgers, General Tao Asian stir-fry, tofu and vegetables gratin, grilled tofu skewers, protein smoothies, or even marinated tofu cubes... Yum! So many tempting and appetizing ideas!
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