Advertisement

Is Tofu healthy?

Discussion in 'Health' started by maw, May 1, 2016.

  1. maw

    maw New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Other
    Evening All,

    I've recently converted to a vegan diet, one thing I'm really confused about is whether Tofu is actually healthy or not? There seems to be an incredible amount of Youtube videos out there claiming it to be unhealthy and to be avoided and then others suggesting the health benefits.

    Before I start consuming Tofu I just wanted to get some opinions of people who may have been eating it for a while and whether you'd noticed it help you feel healthy or noticed any health benefits from eating it. Are there actually any studies proving Soy to be unhealthy and to be avoided like some of the Youtube videos suggest.

    What are peoples thoughts?

    Thanks

    M
     
  2. winter.frost

    winter.frost Guest

    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Hi maw,

    Well, I'm actually soy intolerant so I don't consume a great amount of soy. Many vegans are soy intolerant - primarily due to the fact that, for most, their diet before going vegan contained a very small amount of soy and suddenly it's in all their dairy and meat replacers - so much so that the body can't handle it.

    There is also the matter of phyto-oestrogens (plant oestrogens are not the same as mammalian oestrogens, and not all plant oestrogens are equal). Phyto-oestrogens are also found in flax, clover, and chickpeas amongst other plants. It's even found in the coffee bean, yet the public doesn't seem to be so worried about that. Chickpeas are also very high in B vitamins so they can be very useful for regulating a woman's oestrogen levels, as can clover. This has also been shown to lower the risk of brain-related illnesses in women for their later stage of life. They have very little to no effect on men, although various studies have researched whether phyto-oestrogens affect sperm count (some suggest they lower sperm count although there is no community consensus on that score and since many Asiatic cultures are still procreating healthily many would consider it a moot point anyhow).

    The health benefits and pitfalls of phyto-oestrogens, however, are woefully under-researched. There is some evidence to suggest that above-average consumption of phyto-oestrogens can be harmful to thyroid function when combined with an iodine deficiency - something that vegans certainly need to watch out for.

    Other studies measured phyto-oestrogens against mammalian oestrogens in the case of cancer incidents and found that the consumption of phyto-oestrogens, in proportion to mammalian oestrogens, correlated with lower incidents of cancer.

    This is just an overview, but I really recommend you read this short article below which explores phyto-oestrogens in greater depth and has a little more to say about the impact on males:
    http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/phytoestrogens.html
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. fzjohnson

    fzjohnson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Messages:
    79
    Ratings:
    +25 / 0 / -0
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan
    Are most vegans soy intolerant? I didn't know that. To me a better question is whether tofu is edible. Tongue in cheek, here ... I've just never managed to cook it so I enjoy my own tofu dish. When I'm eating out I've been served some amazingly good tofu dishes and been jolly grateful too. My soy block preference is for tempeh. To me it seems less processed and has a texture I can manage without fixating on images of washing up sponges. I suspect as a fermented food it might be better for us (actually more a fungally infected than fermented, but good all the same).
    Regarding tolerance ... I've just come back onto regular tea and food having had the flu where all my body wanted was herbal tea or rooibus. I usually take a small amount of soy milk in my regular tea. Tonight, I baulked at the first sip. Sadly I've just thrown it down the sink (a perfectly good cup of tea!) and am drinking mine black. So there must be something about soy that takes a fully healthy body to digest it or find it palatable.
    Organic soy milk in your tea/coffee and the odd meal with tofu once a week can't be too bad, unless you are intolerant. Just think of what you used to eat instead - you are probably streets ahead - and if you feel like it, decrease the tofu even further. It is usually eaten with lots of veg anyway. I've not heard of side effects from my asian friends and they eat it with meat!
     
  4. winter.frost

    winter.frost Guest

    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Sorry fzjohnson, I said 'many' not 'most'. :) I have no idea about statistical proportions of soy-intolerant vegans.
     
  5. My Vegan Supermarket

    My Vegan Supermarket Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +9 / 0 / -0
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan
    Anecdotally, I eat tofu a few times a week, as do my family, and have never noticed any problems, although it's always good to do your own research. I've Googled around and concluded that like most things, it should be fine in moderation.

    If you're interested in recipes, I have two on my site that are really easy and taste nice if you're not familiar with tofu yet.

    Tacos with tofu filling: http://myvegansupermarket.co.uk/2016/02/07/easy-lazy-vegan-tacos-uk-ingredients/
    Spicy tofu strips wrap: http://myvegansupermarket.co.uk/2016/04/19/easy-spicy-tofu-wraps-with-garlic-mayo-vegan/

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. bill northup
    Artistic

    bill northup Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan
    i often eat tofu. usually when you go out to eat in the us they force you add a "meat component" with your order. now though, more and more, tofu is available a s a choice. this allows you to order without causing a fuss.... and the restaurants have gotten better at preparing the tofu.
     
  7. Simon

    Simon Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    12
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan Newbie
    Further to my post on this Health Forum.

    I'm a 7 month in vegan, recently had some unrelated blood tests done, everything was fine except Thyroid function, diagnosed with Hypothyroidism(underactive).
    Placed on Levothyroxine for the rest of my life, I'm 50 this year, Male.
    Asked Doc if my new diet could have anything to do with the problem, he said no, and has referred me to an Endocronologist in April and I was sent for a second blood test, which came back showing raised antibody levels.

    Done a bit of research myself regarding Thyroid problems and particularly something called Hashimotos disease which is an auto immune issue for the thyroid. Suggestions are that Soy and Gluten and iodine intake could have something to do with it.

    It seems strange that I was a seemingly healthy person on a meat heavy diet and 6 short months in I have developed what's considered a lifelong chronic illness. Tbh it's all really disappointing, having done my research prior to going vegan and also having to give up one of my forms of income because it didn't align with veganism, I now find myself unhealthier than when I started. Of course this could all be an unfortunate coincidence.

    I have decided this week to stop taking the thyroid hormone replacement, cut out all soy products, (I went, when a meateater never knowingly consuming soy to eating and drinking lots of the stuff) and taking an iodine supplement. I realise I might be doing the wrong thing, but am really uncomfortable at having to take a prescribed drug everyday for the rest of my life. I guess I will have more blood work done come April so will see how my experiment goes.

    Obviously this is a personal opinion, there seems to be no definitive answer to your question, this is simply my experience over the last 7 months of being vegan. As disappointing as this is, I won't return to meat eating, I simply wont be complicit in what's going on anymore. But the information given by promoters of veganism hasn't lived up to expectations and I certainly wont, mention health benefits anymore.
     
  8. liv
    Busy

    liv Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +4 / 0 / -0
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan Newbie
    I'm not an expert, I love tofu, however I've heard that it's important not to consume too much in the way of soy products: for example in the transition to veganism it's important to avoid switching in soy products for every time you would have eaten meat, looking instead for alternatives which will provide similar quantities of protein etc. I have friends who have tried going vegan for a few weeks and eaten masses of tofu since they have no idea of other meat alternatives like beans and pulses. Looks like - as with most things - it's great in moderation.
     
  9. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    489
    Ratings:
    +150 / 0 / -2
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan
    Tofu made with 100% of the organic soybeans is healthy. It's not as healthy as eating whole organic soybeans, mainly because it is basically a water down version of them that is coagulated.

    I'm beginning to see tofu products on the market that use extracts of soybeans. What this means might be up to the supplier of such products, but if it only contains soybean "extract", water and coagulant, but doesn't have any fiber or natural fat, then no, it's not healthy. Healthier than animal foods, yes. Healthy in general, no. With very few exceptions, extracts of plants are a way for people to make money by selling you something less than what nature provides.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice