8. Potential Heart Issues
While tofu is often marketed as a heart-healthy alternative to animal meats, there have been studies that definitely debunk this claim. One such study was done with animal subjects, and the results were highly interesting.
Researchers specifically looked at the effect of a soy-rich diet on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick and makes it hard for the heart to pump blood. The study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that mice fed a soy diet exhibited significantly worse HCM than mice fed a soy-free (milk protein) diet. These study results provide evidence that a soy-rich diet can have a profound negative effect on heart health. (14)
Better Alternatives to Tofu
If you’re looking for a healthier go-to meatless protein source, here are some great alternatives to tofu:
Natto — Natto is a fermented soy superfood that’s been shown in scientific studies to have great health benefits, including lowering blood pressure. (15) Natto is as an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the good bacteria Bacillus subtilis in natto creates an enzyme called nattokinase, which produces vitamin K2.
Tempeh — Tempeh is also made from fermented soybeans. Its fermentation process as well as its use of the whole soybean gives it a higher content of protein, vitamins and minerals. Tempeh is is known to reduce cholesterol, increase bone density, reduce menopausal symptoms and promote muscle recovery. In addition to these amazing benefits, tempeh has the same protein quality as meat and contains high levels of vitamins B5, B6, B3 and B2.
These are both made from soy, yes, but, they’re fermented foods, which is the key differentiator. Next time you come across some tasty-sounding tofu recipes, remember these alternatives that you can substitute for tofu.