October 24, 2022 – Although tofu’s history is a bit complicated, a nutrition expert from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says that it’s healthy for most people.
“It’s a very nutritious food,” said Qi Sun, associate professor in the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, in an October 10 American Heart Association News article.
Tofu—a product containing soybeans, water, and a coagulant such as calcium sulfate, that is pressed into a block—is a great source of protein and nutrients, said Sun. But tofu and other soy products, which are a primary source of isoflavones, “do not have a consistent positive image in the United States,” he acknowledged. That’s because isoflavones function like a weak form of the hormone estrogen, and concerns have arisen that soy can cause infertility or other problems in men. But Sun said there’s no scientific basis for the concerns.
Sun was senior author of a 2020 study that found, out of 210,000 U.S. health care professionals, those who ate tofu at least once a week had an 18% lower risk of heart disease compared to their colleagues who rarely ate tofu.
“For the vast majority of people, it should be reasonable to incorporate tofu in their daily diet without any issues,” Sun said. He noted that his own family eats tofu around three times per week. He added that as long as people avoid preparing tofu with a lot of sugar, salt, or saturated fat, tofu can be “a very healthy food, almost universally.”
Read the American Heart Association News Article: Clearing up questions on whether tofu is healthy
Tofu consumption linked with decreased risk of heart disease (Harvard Chan School news)