Tofu, also called bean curd, has gained popularity over the years, especially as an approved vegetarian and vegan source of protein. However, in this article, we will see eight reasons why tofu is unhealthy.
Tofu seems to have a good reputation with consumers, but what exactly is tofu? The truth is that tofu is prepared from soy, and most of the time, soy is not a good choice for our diet.
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Is all soy bad?
Soybeans are one of the most genetically modified foods, and tofu is made from soybeans, water, and a coagulant, or curdling agent. But, according to Dr Kaayla Daniel, author of “The Whole Soy Story,” soy is not healthy Food; it doesn’t prevent disease and hasn’t even been proven safe.
In addition, numerous scientific studies link soy to digestive problems, malnutrition, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, and heart disease and cancer.
But is all soy bad?
The important thing is to know that soy products are divided into two groups:
2. not fermented
Non-fermented soy products include tofu, edamame, and soy milk, while miso, natto, tempeh, and tamari are fermented soy products.
All soybeans (even organic, non-GMO) naturally contain antinutrients, toxins, and plant hormones. However, fermentation is what makes soy products health-promoting.
What is tofu?
People often wonder what is tofu. Tofu is often referred to as bean curd, as it is caused by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curd into smooth, white blocks.
The manufacturing process for tofu is relatively similar to how cheese is ready from milk.
Per serving, tofu is low in fat and calories but high in protein, amino acids, iron, and calcium.
Why is tofu not healthy Food?
1. Genetic Modification
Today, at least 90 per cent of all soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified. It is such an alarmingly high amount that it’s no wonder it’s so hard to find non-GMO soy products.
Genetically modified foods are linked to many health problems because they kill the good bacteria in the gut and harm the digestive system’s functioning.
In a 2011 review published in Environmental Sciences Europe, 19 studies of mammals fed GM soy and corn calculate. 90-day trials indicate liver and kidney problems due to consuming GM foods.
The kidneys were explicitly affected by 43.5 per cent of all altered parameters in male subjects, while the liver was affected by 30.8 per cent in females.
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2. Phytoestrogens and breast cancer
Tofu contains phytoestrogens – or plant estrogens. These compounds have an estrogen-like effect on the body, blocking average estrogen production and linked to breast cancer.
Some scientific research finds that soy could “feed” certain breast cancers to behave like estrogen. It may depend on the amount of soy consumed and a woman’s general health.
But if you currently have breast cancer, are a cancer survivor, or have a family history of breast cancer, definitely avoid soy: Tofu and other non-fermented soy products.
3. Thyroid disorder
Tofu is made from soybeans, containing goitrogenic compounds, specifically the soy isoflavone genistein. These goitrogens are thyroid hormone blockers that can interfere with the production of thyroid hormones and cause hypothyroidism.
Many parents think they are making a healthy choice when opting for soy formula for their babies. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
A study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood shows how the intake of soy products can negatively affect us from a very young age, especially for people born with congenital hypothyroidism. In addition, as this 2004 study shows, infants fed soy formula have a prolonged increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone compared to infants fed non-soy formula.
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Tofu contains phytate, which science has shown contributes to tofu’s firm texture. Phytate is essentially phytic acid bound to a mineral. Phytate and phytic acid are known antinutrients and are not the only tofu.
Cooking doesn’t seem to reduce phytates and other antinutrients for tofu. Instead, what reduces these antinutrients is fermentation.
5. Cognitive problems
Soy tofu has a link to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, two cognitive health problems that negatively affect the brain and basic daily functioning.
An ongoing study of Japanese Americans residing in Hawaii found a statistically significant relationship between two or more servings of tofu per week and ” accelerated brain ageing .” Additionally, study subjects who ate tofu during mid-life had lower cognitive function later in their lives. They also had an increased occurrence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to a study published in Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, consuming high amounts of tofu was linked to more impaired memory. Conversely, eating high pieces of tempeh was shown to improve memory.
Vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiencies
Soybeans contain an analogue of B12, which means that tofu contains compounds that resemble vitamin B12.
However, these B12 analogues cannot use by your body in the same way that real B12 would be used. That’s why soy foods like tofu can contribute to vitamin B12 deficiency, especially among people who avoid animal proteins like vegetarians and vegans.
You probably already knew how widespread vitamin D deficiency is in this country, but you probably didn’t realize that unfermented soy foods are part of the problem.
Soy foods like tofu also increase your body’s requirements for vitamin D, which means that eating tofu can make vitamin D deficiency even worse.
7. Digestive difficulty
Unfermented soy products such as tofu contain potent enzyme inhibitors, which block the pancreatic enzyme trypsin’s action and other proteolytic enzymes necessary for protein digestion. Not only does this disrupt a healthy digestive process, but it can also cause problems with the pancreas.
Most people lack the enzymes needed to digest this unfermented soy food, similar to how many people are lactose intolerant when it comes to tofu. As a result, it causes indigestion, gas, bloating, and a host of gastrointestinal problems.
Many people also have soy sensitivities or even full-scale allergies due not only to genetic modification of soy but also due to overexposure, as soy lurks in far more products than we realize.
8. Potential heart problems
Studies have debunked this claim while tofu is market as a heart-healthy alternative to animal meats. One of these studies was done with animal subjects, and the results were exciting.