Tofu vs Paneer – Which is Healthier

Tofu vs Paneer

It is amazing to note that the most favorite protein-rich paneer is being slowly replaced by Tofu in the Indian kitchens. While paneer is popularly known for its various health benefits, Tofu made from curdled soya milk and resembling paneer, is considered to be one of the healthiest foods from around the world. So, let us see what this whole fuss is all about and decide on which of them serves for a healthier diet and is a winner of Tofu vs Paneer! Go ahead and read along!


Tofu, also known as soybean curd is made from curdled fresh soya milk. It looks very much similar to Paneer and is rich in many nutrients. Additionally, it is a high source of protein and has considerably low fat, cholesterol and calorie content when compared to Paneer. The only roadblock when it comes to Tofu is that, unlike the former, it involves a highly complex preparation process, thus making it highly difficult to get your hands on.


Well, who doesn’t know Paneer! Traditionally made from cow’s milk, Paneer or cottage cheese is the protein equivalent for all the vegetarians. Also, it can be easily prepared at home by adding a dash of lime to curdled milk. There are whole loads of dishes that are made from Paneer, the most common amongst them being Matar Paneer and Palak Paneer respectively. Conclusively speaking, Paneer is the most common ingredient that is found in most Indian kitchens.


Given that Paneer is already the most famous ingredient that acts as a rich source of protein in the various foods, what is it that makes Tofu different? Listed below is the comparison between the two in terms of its various features.


Paneer is widely popular for being a rich source of protein. If one were to consider, a decent 100 grams of paneer contains around 18.3 grams of protein. Tofu, on the other hand, contains only 6.9 grams of protein owing to it being made from soy milk. So, for those who are under weight gain training regime, Paneer definitely serves the purpose to utmost efficiency.


Tofu, unlike Paneer, is greatly preferred owing to its low calorie content. Compared to a whopping 265 calories in Paneer per 100 grams serving, Tofu only has 62 calories. Thus, it serves for an excellent diet for people who are on a strict weight loss training strategy.


Paneer, no doubt, keeps your stomach full for a long period of time. However, it is important to note that it has a high fat content around 20.8 grams per 100 gm serving compared to Tofu which has only 2.7 grams.


Iron content in food is essential to maintain the haemoglobin levels in the blood to an optimum extent. It is interesting to note that unlike Paneer which reduces the availability of iron in the body, Tofu serves for excellent levels of iron.


Paneer incorporates a lower carbohydrate content compared to Tofu, nearly half as that of the latter. This is specifically the reason why Paneer is the most recommended diet between the two, especially for the diabetic people.


Tofu fails to beat Paneer in this case. While the former only has around 130mg of calcium per 100 gm serving, the latter leaves us with around 208gms of calcium on the whole. Hence, Paneer is extremely useful to uphold the strength of bones and teeth.


While Paneer can be easily prepared at home, Tofu does not follow the conventional methods of its preparation. In fact, the process for making Tofu is quite complex, making it all the more rich in protein and various other nutrients. However, with the increasing demand for Tofu, it has already hit the various local supermarkets and is now readily available for consumption purposes though!

WHICH IS HEALTHIER – Paneer or Tofu?

Talking in terms of nutritional value, Tofu definitely has an upper hand compared to Paneer. Of course, this does not imply that one should completely shun paneer in their diet. Paneer, obviously, has a lot of benefits, especially in its high calcium and protein content. For those who are on a strict weight loss plan, shifting to Tofu can definitely help. In fact, Tofu is also beneficial for those people who are lactose intolerant. The only drawback is Tofu is comparatively less tasty than Paneer. However, for those who are suffering from diabetic conditions, eating Tofu should be refrained from due to its extremely high carbohydrate content. Therefore, we would highly recommend that you consult your doctor before making the switch.


Well, since Tofu is still on its way into the various recipes of the Indian kitchen, here are some ways in which you can use it in your diet.

· One can grill Tofu with diced vegetables or go for a regular stir fry instead.

· Make a tasty dip out of this tofu by garnishing it with some garlic and lemon juice

· Prepare a delightful tofu burji by crumbling some soft tofu along with tomatoes, onions and coriander. Alternatively, the burji can be served in the form of a tortilla accompanied with a salsa dip or a simple roll as a matter of fact.

· Add Tofu cubes to your regular fruit salad and mix it with a little honey to spice up the flavors

· Rub some oil onto the Tofu cubes and heat them up until they are light brown in color. Once done, mix these cubes with some salt and pepper to be enjoy with a soup of your choice.

· Also, if one happens to become quite comfortable with eating Tofu, it can be easily replaced in the various curries that we prepare like Matar Paneer, Palak Paneer, Shahi Paneer, etc.

· Use diced Tofu and throw them in with some vegetables to prepare various kinds of soups, stews and casseroles respectively.

Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.

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