Bulgur vs Tofu: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between bulgur and tofu, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the bulgur vs tofu comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on February 26, 2023.

Although bulgur and tofu belong to different food groups, while bulgur belong is a grain, and tofu belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares bulgur and tofu, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how bulgur and tofu compare specifically.

Bulgur

Bulgur (Triticum aestivum) is a type of whole wheat that is made by steaming, drying, and then coarsely grinding wheat berries.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Bulgur is a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, often used in dishes such as tabbouleh and kibbeh. It can also be used in soups, stews, and as a stuffing. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Bulgur is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Bulgur is an excellent source of Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Tofu

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a popular plant-based alternative to dairy products that is made from soybeans.

Tofu is native to China and has been used as a dietary staple for thousands of years. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, such as soups, stews, and stir-fries.

One of the main health benefits of tofu is its high protein content. Tofu is made from soybeans, which are a good source of plant-based protein, making it a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Tofu is also low in calories and fat, making it a good choice for those looking to manage their weight.

It is also rich in nutrients important for vegans such as iron, calcium, and manganese, and it contains many plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

In terms of health benefits, tofu has been shown to have a number of positive effects on the body.

It is a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help balance the gut microbiome.

Tofu may also help to reduce the risk of certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, due to its high content of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Tofu is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it also contains Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) in a small amount.

Bulgur vs Tofu Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing bulgur vs tofu.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of bulgur and tofu and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

BulgurTofu
Energy342 kcal76 kcal
Carbs75.9 g1.87 g
Sugar0.41 g0.62 g
Fiber12.5 g0.3 g
Protein12.3 g8.08 g
Fat1.33 g4.78 g
Saturated Fat0.232 g0.691 g

Bulgur vs Tofu Calories

Most calories in raw grains and legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing tofu vs bulgur for weight loss, tofu is slightly lower in calories, with 76 calories per 100 grams, compared to 342 calories per 100 grams of bulgur.

However, both bulgur and tofu can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Bulgur vs Tofu Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including bulgur and tofu, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Bulgur offers around 34% more protein than tofu.

Bulgur has 12.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while tofu has 8.1 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Bulgur vs Tofu Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in bulgur and tofu.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 97% higher in bulgur than in tofu. It have 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 1.9 grams in tofu.

There’s less sugar in bulgur than in tofu, 50% precisely.

One handful of bulgur (28 grams) contains 0.1 grams of sugar, while the same amount of tofu contains 0.2 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in bulgur and tofu.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 3.5 grams of fiber per portion, bulgur is a better source of fiber than tofu which bulgur offers 0.1 grams per portion.

Bulgur vs Tofu Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, bulgur and tofu are low in fat.

Fats in bulgur and tofu are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in bulgur and tofu:

  • Bulgur: 1.3 grams per 100 grams
  • Tofu: 4.8 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, bulgur is 71% lower in saturated fats.

Bulgur and tofu contain 0.2 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Bulgur vs Tofu Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of bulgur and tofu.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Bulgur has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

However, tofu has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.

Bulgur and tofu contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins bulgur and tofu contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

BulgurTofu
Vitamin A9 IU85 IU
Vitamin C00.1 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.232 mg0.081 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.115 mg0.052 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)5.11 mg0.195 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.04 mg0.068 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.342 mg0.047 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)27 µg15 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.06 mg0.01 mg
Vitamin K1.9 µg2.4 µg

Bulgur vs Tofu Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the bulgur and tofu comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Bulgur is a better source of calcium, iron, and selenium than tofu.

On the other hand, tofu is a higher amount of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Bulgur and tofu contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how bulgur and tofu compare when it comes to mineral content.

BulgurTofu
Calcium35 mg350 mg
Copper0.335 mg0.193 mg
Fluoride00
Iron2.46 mg5.36 mg
Magnesium164 mg30 mg
Manganese3.05 mg0.605 mg
Phosphorus300 mg97 mg
Potassium410 mg121 mg
Selenium2.3 µg8.9 µg
Sodium17 mg7 mg
Zinc1.93 mg0.8 mg

The Final Word

Bulgur and tofu are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both bulgur and tofu are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in grains and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes and grains are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.

Sources

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