Firm Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate: What’s The Difference?
Firm Tofu and soy protein isolate belong to the legumes and legume products food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.
Legumes and most legume products are an affordable source of plant protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.
This article will thoroughly compare firm tofu and soy protein isolate and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.
It is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the curds into blocks, with the addition of weight or pressure to remove excess moisture.
Firm tofu has a pale, beige color and a slightly nutty flavor, and is a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes.
It can be used in a variety of dishes, including stir-fries, soups, and sandwiches, and can also be grilled, fried, or baked.
In addition to being a tasty and versatile food, firm tofu is a good source of protein, fiber, and several important nutrients, including iron, potassium, and B vitamins.
It has been shown to have a number of potential health benefits, including lower cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar control.
Firm Tofu is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.
However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and some Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).
Soy Protein Isolate
Soy protein isolate is a highly purified form of protein derived from soybeans.
It is made by removing most of the fats and carbohydrates from soybeans, leaving mostly protein behind. It is a popular ingredient in many processed foods, such as protein bars and powders, as well as in meat and dairy alternatives.
Soy protein is also used as a binder and emulsifier in various foods.
Soy protein isolate is a good source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. It is also low in fat and cholesterol-free, making it a heart-healthy option.
Additionally, it may help to lower cholesterol levels, improve bone health and support weight management. It can also be a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Soy Protein Isolate is an excellent source of Vitamin B9 (Folate).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
Firm Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate Nutrition
Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing firm tofu vs soy protein isolate.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of firm tofu and soy protein isolate and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Soy Protein Isolate
Firm Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate Calories
Most calories in raw 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 firm tofu vs soy protein isolate for weight loss, firm tofu is slightly lower in calories, with 144 calories per 100 grams, compared to 335 calories per 100 grams of soy protein isolate.
However, both firm tofu and soy protein isolate can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.
Firm Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate Protein
Legumes and most legume products, including firm tofu and soy protein isolate, are important sources of plant-based protein.
Soy Protein Isolate offers around 80% more protein than firm tofu.
Soy Protein Isolate has 88.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while firm tofu has 17.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Firm Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate 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 firm tofu and soy protein isolate.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 100% higher in firm tofu than in soy protein isolate. It have 2.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 0 grams in soy protein isolate.
There’s less sugar in soy protein isolate than in firm tofu, 100% precisely.
One handful of soy protein isolate (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of firm tofu contains 0.2 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in firm tofu and soy protein isolate.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 0.6 grams of fiber per portion, firm tofu is a better source of fiber than soy protein isolate which firm tofu offers 0 grams per portion.
Firm Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate Fats
Like most other legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, firm tofu and soy protein isolate are low in fat.
Fats in firm tofu and soy protein isolate are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in firm tofu and soy protein isolate:
- Firm Tofu: 8.7 grams per 100 grams
- Soy Protein Isolate: 3.4 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, soy protein isolate is 69% lower in saturated fats.
Soy Protein Isolate and firm tofu contain 0.4 grams and 1.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Firm Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of firm tofu and soy protein isolate.
Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.
Firm Tofu has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).
However, soy protein isolate has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Firm Tofu and soy protein isolate contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins firm tofu and soy protein isolate contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Soy Protein Isolate
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Firm Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate 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 firm tofu and soy protein isolate comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Firm Tofu is a better source of copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc than soy protein isolate.
On the other hand, soy protein isolate is a higher amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and selenium.
Firm Tofu and soy protein isolate contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how firm tofu and soy protein isolate compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Soy Protein Isolate
The Final Word
Firm Tofu and soy protein isolate are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.
Both firm tofu and soy protein isolate are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.
Antioxidants found in beans 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 are 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.
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