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Tofu vs Chicken

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Adding a nutritious source of protein is important to have in a balanced healthy diet. Deciding between plant-based or meat protein sources depends on personal preference, but both tofu and chicken will serve the purpose. 

What are the difference between tofu and chicken? Chicken is an animal product, while tofu is a plant based protein source that both vegans and vegetarians are able to eat.

Overall, chicken and tofu have similar nutritional composition with variable protein content. Chicken has four times as much protein in a 100 gram serving when compared to tofu. 

The carbs and fats in tofu is higher than chicken, but chicken has more calories due to the large amount of protein. Besides the protein and calories, chicken has lot more micronutrients including niacin, vitamin B6, selenium, and niacin.

When it comes to comparing the benefits of chicken and tofu, it can be difficult to determine because they are quite similar in nutritional value. They are both rich in protein and great source to substitute for red meat. 

To find out which one is better for healthy lifestyle, read no further. This article answers frequently asked questions about the difference between chicken and tofu to decide which is actually better to consume. 

What are chicken and tofu?

Tofu is a vegan protein source made from coagulated soy milk that has been curdled and pressed to form solid blocks. The pressing of the curds will determine the texture of the tofu, which varies from silken, soft and firm depending on the length of pressing. 

On the other side, chicken is a white meat derived from chicken parts including breast, wings and legs. However, the tenderness of the meat will depend on the type of the bird, gender, age and cooking method.

How are they processed?

There exist many method, procedures and recipes to prepare both tofu and chicken. There are many ways to prepare both proteins by barbecuing grilling, roasting, baking, and frying.

For instance, tofu is processed by varying the pressing of curds to control the water content, which gives rise to variability in firmness. Silken has the highest moisture content, and firm tofu has the densest texture, making it more compact. 

Chicken is an animal product that is able to be prepared served whole or cut it into pieces.

Chicken and tofu are nutritious foods to add in a balanced diet. They both are processed and prepared differently to increase taste and nutritional value to maximize wholesome benefits.

Can you replace chicken with tofu?

Yes, you can replace chicken with tofu unless you are committed to a vegetarian or vegan diet. As a result, tofu is a good substitute for chicken when a plant based protein is needed.

When using tofu as a chicken substitute, select extra firm textured tofu as opposed to regular tofu since it has lower water content and texture is more like chicken meat. 

Tofu has a basic source of nutrients with low calorie and protein. Furthermore, the beancurd is a versatile ingredient that absorbs marinades and spices very well.

Chicken or tofu

What is healthier, tofu or chicken?

Some people prefer chicken and others tofu, but that will depend on dietary restrictions and personal choices. Bottom line when comparing their nutritional values, chicken meat scores higher than tofu because it is much more nutritionally dense compared to tofu.

Chicken meat is 23 times richer in vitamin B3, eight times in vitamin B5, almost 5 times richer in B6, and also in B2 when compared to tofu. The only vitamins tofu score over chicken meat are vitamin B9 and B1. 

When it comes to protein, chicken meat wins outright. Yes, both contain vital amino acids, but chicken meat has a high percentage, though values will depend on the chicken part. Breast are more protein dense, and wings have the lowest protein content.

Tofu vs chicken nutrition comparison

Generally, chicken meat has a higher percentage of nutrients compared to tofu.

  • Calories: A 3-oz serving of chicken meat is approximately 1.7 times more calories than the same portion of tofu. A 100g serving of chicken meat has 239 calories, but tofu only has 144 calories. However, this varies based on the chicken part and tofu firmness. 
  • Protein: Chicken meat has more protein percentage than tofu though the protein distribution depends on the part of the chicken. The breast has the highest percentage, and the wings have the lowest. A 3 oz serving of chicken breast contains 21g, while the same amount of tofu only has 8g of protein.
  • Fat: Chicken meat has 1.5 times more fat compared to tofu, while both tofu and chicken meat have zero carbohydrates.
  • Vitamins: Tofu has 2.5 times vitamin B9 and is 5.8 times richer in vitamin B1 compared to chicken meat. However, when it comes to vitamins B3, B5, B2 and B6, chicken meat scores over tofu. Tofu lacks vitamin K, and chicken meat lacks vitamin C, and both lack vitamin D.
  • Minerals: Tofu is rich in calcium sulfate, manganese, copper, magnesium and iron compared to chicken meat. However, when it comes to zinc and selenium, chicken meat scores better. Both foods have the same amount of phosphorous and potassium.

Tofu vs chicken protein

Both foods are rich sources of proteins, tofu is plant based and chicken is animal based. Protein amounts vary based on chicken part and tofu firmness, but chicken leads in percentage levels

A 100g serving of tofu consists of 8g of protein, which is relatively low compared to roasted chicken that contains approximately 21g of protein in a 3-oz portion.

What’s better for weight loss, chicken or tofu?

Tofu is a great option for weight loss when comparing with chicken because of its low amounts of calories and fats. 

Furthermore, chicken meat has one and half times the fat content than tofu. A 100g serving of chicken meat has 13.5g of fats, which is higher than tofu when comparing the same amount because a serving of tofu only has 8.5g.

Regarding cholesterols levels, a 100g serving of chicken meat has 88mg of cholesterols, yet the same amount of tofu has zero cholesterol.

Differences between tofu and chicken

There are many similarities when it comes to tofu and chicken. They both are versatile ingredients to serve in recipes and make a great substitute for red meat. 

Depend on the personal diet choice, there are differences to consider between tofu and chicken: 

  • Chicken meat has 1.7 times more calories compared to tofu.
  • Can only serve chicken meat after being cooked, but tofu can be served raw or cooked.
  • Chicken meat has cholesterol, but tofu has no cholesterol.
  • Chicken meat has a higher amount of protein per serving compared to tofu.
  • Tofu is a plant-based protein source, but chicken meat is animal-based protein.
  • Chicken meat is rich in B6, B2, B5, B3, but tofu is rich in vitamin B1 and B9.
  • Chicken meat lacks vitamin C, and tofu lacks vitamin K.
  • Tofu pH is 7.2 neutral, but chicken meat is slightly acid with a pH of 5.8.
  • Tofu has many minerals compared to chicken meat.
Tofu vs chicken

Chicken and Tofu: Conclusion 

Both tofu and chicken meat offer loads of nutrition value, which vary slightly depending on the firmness for tofu and preparation method, part of the chicken, and age for chicken. 

Each score over the other in different aspects, making it hard to decide which is the best. People have differing opinions concerning both protein sources, and personal preference may depend on dietary choices.

Keeping serving size constant, chicken meat is the leader in terms of nutrition value percentage levels. Always target the chicken breast for leanest fat and highest protein content on the bird, it’s the part that scores high in overall nutrition value.

In the end, choosing between tofu and chicken often comes down to personal choice. If you are vegan or vegetarian, then chicken is definitely off the menu and you will most likely opt for tofu or a similar plant based protein option.

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