Does Tofu Have As Much Protein As Meat? How Tofu Stacks Up Against Animal Protein!
One of the top sources of plant-based protein is tofu.
A food that can be added to almost any dish, tofu takes on the flavor of whatever you’re cooking it with!
“But tofu and plant-protein sucks! It’s Not As Good As Animal Protein!”
Tofu is all a ‘complete protein.” Meaning it contains an abundance of all 9 essential amino acids!
Turns out plant-protein is a fantastic source to meet ones daily needs.
And it also does all the same functions that any protein would:
- Builds muscle
- Provides structure
- Increases immunity
- Balances fluids
- Transports and stores nutrients
But how does tofu stack up against other animal proteins like chicken, steak, pork, and fish?
Is it as good? Let’s take a look and find out!
How Much Protein Does Tofu Have?
Before comparing tofu to other sources of animal protein, we need to look at tofu itself!
So how much protein is there?
Well… it depends.
The amount of protein will change on the brand and firmness of the tofu.
More firm = more protein
Less firm = less protein
With all that said, let’s take a look at the different brands and firmness of tofu out there on the market.
Wildwood Super Firm Tofu which can be purchased at Whole Foods has roughly 75 grams of protein and 455 calories per block! Each block weighs in at 16oz (1 pound).
Trader Joe’s also has their own brand of Organic Super Firm Tofu. Each block has 650 calories and 70 grams of protein.
You also have firm tofu brands like Nasoya Organic Tofu which has 36g of protein and 315 calories per block. Other less firm brands will have roughly the same macronutrients.
What About Meat? How Much Protein?
When you look at sources of meat, the brand will also have an impact on the macronutrients.
But for arguments sake, we’ll be look at generally known macronutrient data.
For chicken, there’s about 62g of protein per 8oz. Per pound, that comes out to 124g!
8 ounces of steak has around 56g of protein and 112g per pound.
Salmon has roughly 46g of protein per 8oz or 92g of protein per pound.
When you look at meat, there’s no question that it’s abundant in protein and a complete source of amino acids.
So How Do Tofu And Meat Stack Up?
While tofu might be a fantastic source of plant-based protein, it still doesn’t nearly have as much protein as other animal based sources…
1 pound of chicken has 124g of protein. Compare that to 1 pound of super firm tofu which only has 75g of protein. That means chicken has almost double that amount of protein!
Don’t get me wrong, I love tofu just as much as any other vegan, but you’re going to have to eat a lot more tofu to get the same protein value compared to meat.
Certainly possible, but no many people are going to eat 2 blocks of tofu every day…
So what can we do?
You can add more protein in your diet by combing other plant-based sources like
- Nuts and Seeds
Are There Plant-Based Foods That Have As Much Protein As Meat?
In fact, there’s one plant-based protein source that has even higher concentrations of protein than meat…
If you’re vegan, you probably already know what seitan is… and if you don’t you better get on that right now, especially if you want to make some plant-based gains.
Seitan is made from ‘vital wheat gluten’ – a type of flour made from the protein of wheat.
Start by mixing vital wheat gluten with spices and then combing it with water or vegetable broth. Then you finish by cooking it, you’re left with what looks, feels, and almost tastes like a steak (but vegan of course).
Here’s a fantastic recipe you can use to make your own seitan, super quick and easy!
The best part is, seitan is stacked with protein… just 1/4 cup of vital wheat gluten has 23g of protein!
Or if you’re not interested in making your own seitan, go to your nearest Whole Foods and buy ‘Sweet Earth Chipotle Style Seitan.’
It’s already prepared and ready-to-eat from the package. But I recommend cooking it in a hot pan for better texture and taste.
Each serving size (4oz) of Sweet Earth Seitan has 30 grams of protein. It’s not too high in calories either!
While tofu does not have as much protein as meat, it’s still a fantastic source of plant-based protein all vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters a like should work into their diet.
Tofu is abundant in amino acids and studies show it has many health benefits like:
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Lower risk of breast cancer
- Lower risk of prostate cancer
- Reduce risk of diabetes
- Improve bone health
- Promote brain health
But if you’re looking for another fantastic source of plant-based protein that is not tofu, take a look into making homemade seitan!