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The Many Benefits of Tofu

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Since becoming a hardcore vegetarian almost 10 years ago, I have always had to supplement my diet with foods that provide extra energy, including more vitamin B12. I accept this tradeoff in return for a stronger immune system, enhanced carotene levels in the body, the reduced chance for contracting heart disease ,and a reduced chance of developing cancer. Vegetarians also have lower levels of creatinine. To boost energy levels I use many of the formulas shown in my herbal guide and have done quite successfully for the past 10 years.  The best energy boosters being the SOD Superoxide Dismutase Mix, the Overnight RejuvenEssence Formula and Cottage Cheese. The true reason most vegetarians lack energy is due to them not getting adequate protein and vitamin B12.

You can get just as much protein in your diet as a meat based diet by eating the right plant based proteins like tofu, brown rice and beans.  Cottage cheese also provides adequate protein that has a slower, but longer lasting energy effect. If you take a carnosine supplement, you are sure to have the same amount of energy as any meat eater, but without the toxic side effects or the feelings of guilt of assoicated with eating a slaughtered animal.


The Power of Tofu

Don't let the low price of Tofu fool you. Tofu is a nutrition packed power protein source.  Because eating Tofu by itself can taste bland, I have discovered that poking some holes in a sealed package of Tofu and allowing the Tofu to drain for 24 hours before eating it sharpens its taste. I like to use the Firm Tofu for best results. Than after I have finished cooking it, I will add 2 packets of Kikoman Soy sauce, which deepens its flavor.

Let is examine the cost of Tofu compared to other foods.

Tofu costs less than yogurt or cheese per ounce, and less than cottage cheese. The only protein source that comes close to Tofu per pound are eggs.  The cheapest Tofu is homemade Tofu.  By making your own Tofu, you will end up saving about a third of what you would pay retail, and it is ready in about an hour. Due to Tofus versatility, it mixes well into other dishes to add extra "fill" and provide a power punch of nutrition.

The Inability to Absorb Toxins

I have always found a difference in eating Organic Tofu compared to GMO Tofu.  Organic Tofu has much better flavor and texture compared to GMO Tofu. One of the main advantages of Tofu is that it is relatively free of chemical toxins.  It is a common characteristic among high protein foods that they readily absorb and hold toxins, such as heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides.

In the case of meat, the toxins bury themselves in-between the fatty tissues of the animals that are at the top of the food chain.  It is a fact that meat, poultry and medium to large sized fish will have an approximately 20% higher amount of pesticides compared to plant protein coming from  legumes.  In the case of dairy, including cheese and milk, the number increases to 4 1/2 times higher.  This means Tofu is one of the only foods high in protein, and lowest in pesticide contamination.

Food Combining Using Tofu

For those of you who have read my book Anti Aging Nutrition Secrets. The Fountain of Youth Seekers Guide to Longevity you already know that combining certain foods increases their nutritional value and in some cases protein values.   Tofu is very unique in this category because of its versatility, and ability to be combined with other foods to increase the amount of protein absorbed by the body. If we include wholegrain bread or rice with our Tofu and be sure they are of adequate ratio to one another, than the body will aquire more protein, and at no extra cost. Let's take a look at eating Tofu with other foods and find out how much more protein is absorbed by our body.

3 ounces of Tofu with 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1.5 tablespoons of sesame butter = yields an increase of 42% more protein absorbed by the body.

1 cup of whole wheat flour with 4 ounces of tofu increases the amount of protein absorbed by the body by 32%.

1 1/4 cups of brown rice and 3.5 ounces of Tofu increases the total amount of protein absorbed by the body by 32%.

3 Tablespoons each of peanut butter and sesame butter with 4 ounces of Tofu increases total protein absorbed by the body by 25%.

Source of study: Diet for a Small Planet.

Because Tofu is a soft food, and not highly processed like many other foods, it has a digestibility rate of 95% or more, making it one of the most digestible of all soybean foods. In scientific circles the total amount of protein utilized by the body is expressed in terms of NPU (also known as Net Protein Utilization). The NPU rating is based on how close the patterns of amino acids in the protein source match that to the amino acids in the body.  The closer the match, the more easily it is absorbed.  Therefore the higher the NPU rating of a food, the more completely the body is able to utilize the protein contained in the food source. Let's take a look at the NPU percentage of some foods.

Eggs - 94%
Whole Dairy Milk - 82%
Fish - 80%
Cottage Cheese - 75%
Brown Rice - 70%
Cheese - 70%
Wheat Germ - 67%
Steak, Hamburger and Beef - 67%
Oatmeal - 66%
Tofu - 65%
Chicken - 65%
Soybeans/Soy flour - 61%
Peanuts - 43%
Lentils - 30%

Source: Diet For A Small Planet, Lappe.

This means your body absorbs the same amount of protein compared to if you ate the same amount of chicken, tofu or oatmeal.

The Natural Food Highest in Protein

Dried Frozen Tofu and Yuba contain the highest percentages of protein found in any natural foods available anywhere.

Dried frozen Tofu contains 436 calories compared to firm Tofu which has only 87 calories. This makes it a great short term food for needed energy.

So how much protein do foods have? Let's take a look at the percentage of protein by weight in the following foods;

Dried frozen Tofu - 53%
Dried Yuba - 52%
Soy Flour (defatted) - 51%
Soy Flour (natural) - 40%
Soybeans (whole dry) - 35%
Cheese - 30%
Fish - 22%
Chicken - 21%
Beef and Steak - 20%
Cottage Cheese - 20%
Whole Wheat Flour - 13%
Hamburger - 13%
Eggs - 13%
Firm Tofu - 11%
Soft Tofu -8%
Sprouted Brown Rice - 8%
Whole Dairy Milk -3%

Source: Food Composition Tables, (Japan 1964). Composition of Foods (U.S.A. 1964). Diet for a Small Planet, Lappe.

Simply put the higher the higher the protein percentage of weight in the food, the more and longer lasting the energy received after eating it. And what is most interesting is the top 5 natural foods highest in protein all come from soybeans.


The Immense Waste of Resources used in Raising a Cow for Slaughter

Raising a cow to slaughter for it's meat takes up a huge number of resources. You have to prime the grazing lands, feed the cow. Than there are the costs associated during the slaughter process invoking electricity, labor and lavishly. Then there are the costs associated with refrigeration right ip to the point of purchase. If the person purchasing the meat is a big meat eater, health care costs associated with treating heart disease and diabetes further increase the costs associated with meat production and processing, not to mention in some cultures such as India, the cow is considered sacred.

Let's take a closer and in-depth look at what it costs to raise a cow vs raising soybeans.

In the book titled: "Diet for a Small Planet", author Frances Moore Lappe states that cows can be used as protein sources by reversing the factory process.

Cows are fed approximately between 14 and 22 pounds of protein from sources that can be used to feed people. After the cow has been slaughtered, we receive just 1 pound of meat from the slaughtered animal for every 14 to 21 pounds fed it. This is a tremendous waste of sustainable resources.  To summarize this in percentages, between 5 and 7 percent of the protein consumed by the cow or steer is received as meat after the cow is slaughtered. Compare this to 12% for hogs (who ear anything), 15% for chicken meat, 22% for chicken eggs and 23% for cows milk.

Americans consume an average of 254 pounds of beef, chicken and pork each year. This amounts to 30% of the total world meat consumption.  This is 5 times the world average and 15 times higher than Asia, which explains why Americans have higher than average numbers of obesity, diabetes and heart problems.

This means that 50% of total average must be planted each year just to feed the cattle.

If a large meat eater that ate over 200 pounds reduced his or her meat intake by just 10%, it would make available an extra 12 million tons of soybeans, corn, wheat and similar grains. This total would be enough to meet the grain requirements of 60 million people in developing countries around the world.

Now these above combinations provide exactly 50% of the daily requirement for protein or the equalivsnt amount of protein found in. 4.5oz of uncooled steak.

The only food that is almost as cheap and nutritious  are lintel beans, which as of 2015 cost between $2.00 and $3.00 per ounce,  depending on where you live.

If you decide to make your own Tofu at home, it takes about an hour, and the cost drops to about one third what you would pay retail. I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as the many ways you can make Tofu an alternative to meat as well as save a cow in the process.

I have also noticed a boost taking clove tincture after eating a combination of Tofu and Beans sprinkled with wheat powder. This works great as a exercise recovery.


Further Reading

Breaking the Food Seduction
, by Neal Barnard, M.D.
Foods That Fight Pain, by Neal Barnard, M.D.
Eat Right, Live Longer, by Neal Barnard, M.D.
Food for Life, by Neal Barnard, M.D.
The McDougall Plan, by John McDougall, M.D.
Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, by Dean Ornish, M.D.

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