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On a Diet? Counting Calories? Tofu Can Help

Jul 3, 2008
If you're counting calories these days and need to knock off some inches around the waist, you may want to take a look at soy foods.

A typical 8-ounce serving of tofu contains only 147 calories. That's 3 times less than an equal weight of eggs and about 5 times less than an equal weight of beef. Tofu is also low in saturated fats and entirely free of cholesterol.

Calorie to Protein Ratio

One of the important factors that we need to look at when choosing foods for healthy dieting is the ratio of calories to protein. Except for soybean sprouts, tofu has the lowest ratio of any other known plant food. There are only 12 calories for each gram of usable protein in tofu.

If you prefer eating meat, the only animal foods with a lower ratio are certain fish and sea foods.

Counting Carbs

Are you counting carbs? Tofu is also great for the starch-restricted diet. That 8-ounce serving contains only 5 grams of carbohydrate. That's less than 7.5% of the daily recommended amount for adults. At the same time, that serving will provide you with 27% of your daily protein requirements.

After comparing the numbers, you may want to start watching for some simple soy recipes.

Here's a simple way to beef up some dressing and turn a boring diet lunch salad into something more substantial.

Salad with Tofu Dressing Recipe

* Block of Tofu
* Salad Dressing
* Lettuce leaves (the darker green, the higher in calcium)
* Tomatoes
* Cucumbers
* Sunflower Seeds

Mash up a small block of tofu in a bowl. (If you're new to this and haven't starting making your own yet, you can buy a block in most health food stores. Use only part of it, unless you want to make a large batch of dressing. It'll keep in the frig for a week. We dieters eat lots of salads.)

Combine with the tofu some of that low-fat Caesar or Bleu Cheese dressing that you can find in any store; mix it well. Note: Let this mixture chill for a while in the frig and the tofu will take on the flavor of the dressing.

Build a salad with lettuce leaves of your choice, some tomato wedges and cucumber slices, and then top it with your new tofu-dressing mixture. For some added protein crunch, sprinkle raw sunflower seeds on top.

Now you have a low calorie, low carb, high protein, and vitamin packed salad for lunch. Enjoy.
About the Author
Dee Overly is a mother and artist who discovered the health benefits of soy milk and now sells a
Soymilk Maker at www.SoymilkCrossroads.com. Stop by for a free recipe book and check out the blog.
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