You’ve heard it a million times before – lean protein is part of a healthy diet.
Two of the most popular low-protein foods are chicken and the vegetarian tofu. But is one healthier than the other? Below we will analyze the differences between the two and finally answer the question – which is healthier: chicken or tofu?
One serving of chicken breast has about 21 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of total fat. Chicken also contains iron, zinc and magnesium and is a rich source of B vitamins. B vitamins help the brain function and fight fatigue.
Tofu is a staple in many Asian cuisines and is made from soybeans. Whether you just enjoy it steamed or add it to various recipes, one thing we can all agree on is that it is a smart choice when avoiding meat. A serving of tofu contains about 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat, as well as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium – a metal that acts as an electrolyte, helping muscle function and fluid balance in the body. It also has fiber, which helps in smooth digestion and proper regulation of blood sugar.
Thanks to the taste, tofu can be incorporated into recipes that chicken can not. For example, it can be a great way to add extra protein and calcium to a smoothie. Alternatively, you can change your morning egg routine and make tofu with vegetables and potatoes.
Which is healthier: Chicken or tofu?
Both contain plenty of nutrients, making them equally excellent choices. Chicken and tofu are each good sources of lean protein and provide a number of other important vitamins and minerals that are vital to the body.
What matters most is adding a variety of foods to your diet. And since both of these foods contain significant amounts of nutrients, they will contribute to overall health and well-being. So, if you are not a vegetarian (or vegan), the answer may be to simply add both to your menu.
If you are looking for something more specific, however, each food has its own advantages. Chicken has a significantly higher protein content than tofu. And while chicken breast is slightly lower in fat, tofu tops this category because it contains all the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, also known as the “good” type of fat, while chicken also contains saturated fat, which tofu does not contain.
Chicken wins when it comes to B vitamins and potassium, but tofu is higher in zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium – as well as fiber.
The most important thing when cooking either chicken or tofu is to choose a healthy method of preparation. This means preferring to grill or boil over frying and use plenty of fresh herbs and spices instead of salt.