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Tofu vs. Chicken: Which One’s Healthier For Your Body?

If you’ve been reading health magazines or following fitness gurus, you might have heard about the benefits of lean protein. Some of you might even consume chicken or tofu to get this protein. But have you ever tried to find out which one is healthier for your body?

If not, let’s do it together today!


Anh Nguyen/Unsplash | Have you ever wondered which is healthier – chicken or tofu?

First, let’s look at the nutritional value of both proteins

According to Laura Iu, renowned dietitian and nutritionist and certified intuitive eating counselor in New York City, a 3-oz chicken breast contains 21g of protein and 3.5g of fats. It supplies blood-building iron, immune-supporting magnesium and zinc, and lots of B vitamins to the body. These vitamins help in brain functioning and support good muscle mass.

In contrast, Tofu, which is found in numerous Asian cuisines, especially vegetarian ones, is a byproduct of soybean. It’s bland in taste and can be added to any dish to balance it out. Every 3-oz serving of tofu has around 8g of protein and 4g of fat. It also has bone health-promoting calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and potassium. As per Jessica Stamm, California-based recognized dietitian and nutritionist, tofu is the best vegetarian alternative to protein. It’s rich in fiber, gut-friendly, and great for blood sugar regulation.


Andrew Haimerl/Unsplash | Tofu is the best vegetarian alternative to protein. It’s rich in fiber, gut-friendly, and great for blood sugar regulation

Is tofu healthier or chicken?

Both tofu and chicken are filled with so many nutrients that it’s hard to say which one is better. On average, they provide somewhat similar benefits to the body, so we can conclude it’s a draw between the two. However, Iu believes adding variety to the diet can refresh your palate and provide necessary vitamins and minerals to your body. She suggests if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, you should include both items in your menu. 

Also, if you don’t have any specific requirements, you should eat both proteins. For instance, if you’re looking for more protein, then chicken should be your first pick. On the other hand, if fat is what you want, you should probably stick with tofu. Similarly, if your body lacks B vitamins and potassium, you should again go after chicken. But if you need to add more calcium, zinc, magnesium, and iron to your diet, tofu is a must for you. 


JK Sloan/Unsplash | If you’re looking for more protein and you’re not a vegan or a vegetarian, then chicken should be your first pick

Another important factor that you should keep in mind is how you are preparing these two items. Stamm says that if you don’t follow a healthy preparation technique, you will not be able to get the most from these foods. She recommends people bake, grill, or cook the items with herbs instead of putting in a lot of salt and spices. Iu states that pounding chicken with a mallet can break it into even pieces and help it absorb herbs in a better way. She believes that way chicken cooks evenly.

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