Soft Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate: How Do They Compare?
Soft 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 soft tofu and soy protein isolate and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.
Soft tofu, also known as silken tofu or Japanese-style tofu, is a type of tofu with a softer, more delicate texture than regular tofu.
In comparison to regular tofu, which has a firmer, more dense texture and a pale, beige color, soft tofu has a high moisture content and a creamy, smooth texture, and a pale white or yellow color.
It also has a milder, slightly sweeter taste than regular tofu.
Soft tofu is often used as a substitute for dairy products in recipes such as smoothies, dips, and sauces, and can also be used in soups and stir-fries.
In terms of nutritional value, both soft and regular tofu are good sources 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.
Soft Tofu is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.
However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine).
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).
Soft 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 soft tofu vs soy protein isolate.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of soft tofu and soy protein isolate and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Soft Tofu||Soy Protein Isolate|
|Energy||61 kcal||335 kcal|
|Carbs||1.18 g||0 g|
|Sugar||0.7 g||0 g|
|Fiber||0.2 g||0 g|
|Protein||7.17 g||88.32 g|
|Fat||3.69 g||3.39 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.533 g||0.422 g|
Soft 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 soft tofu vs soy protein isolate for weight loss, soft tofu is slightly lower in calories, with 61 calories per 100 grams, compared to 335 calories per 100 grams of soy protein isolate.
However, both soft 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.
Soft Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate Protein
Legumes and most legume products, including soft tofu and soy protein isolate, are important sources of plant-based protein.
Soy Protein Isolate offers around 92% more protein than soft tofu.
Soy Protein Isolate has 88.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while soft tofu has 7.2 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Soft 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 soft tofu and soy protein isolate.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 100% higher in soft tofu than in soy protein isolate. It have 1.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 0 grams in soy protein isolate.
There’s less sugar in soy protein isolate than in soft tofu, 100% precisely.
One handful of soy protein isolate (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of soft tofu contains 0.2 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in soft tofu and soy protein isolate.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 0.1 grams of fiber per portion, soft tofu is a better source of fiber than soy protein isolate which soft tofu offers 0 grams per portion.
Soft Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate Fats
Like most other legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, soft tofu and soy protein isolate are low in fat.
Fats in soft tofu and soy protein isolate are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in soft tofu and soy protein isolate:
- Soft Tofu: 3.7 grams per 100 grams
- Soy Protein Isolate: 3.4 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, soy protein isolate is 20% lower in saturated fats.
Soy Protein Isolate and soft tofu contain 0.4 grams and 0.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Soft Tofu vs Soy Protein Isolate Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of soft 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.
Soft Tofu has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).
However, soy protein isolate has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Soft 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 soft tofu and soy protein isolate contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Soft Tofu||Soy Protein Isolate|
|Vitamin A||7 IU||0|
|Vitamin C||0.2 mg||0|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.047 mg||0.176 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.037 mg||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.535 mg||1.438 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.051 mg||0.06 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.052 mg||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||44 µg||176 µg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||0.01 mg||0|
|Vitamin K||2 µg||0|
Soft 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 soft tofu and soy protein isolate comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Soft Tofu is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc than soy protein isolate.
On the other hand, soy protein isolate is a higher amount of potassium, and selenium.
Soft Tofu and soy protein isolate contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how soft tofu and soy protein isolate compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Soft Tofu||Soy Protein Isolate|
|Calcium||111 mg||178 mg|
|Copper||0.157 mg||1.599 mg|
|Iron||1.11 mg||14.5 mg|
|Magnesium||27 mg||39 mg|
|Manganese||0.389 mg||1.493 mg|
|Phosphorus||92 mg||776 mg|
|Potassium||120 mg||81 mg|
|Selenium||8.9 µg||0.8 µg|
|Sodium||8 mg||1005 mg|
|Zinc||0.64 mg||4.03 mg|
The Final Word
Soft Tofu and soy protein isolate are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.
Both soft 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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