Tofu is not high in cholesterol. In 1999, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that tofu may help lower blood cholesterol levels. In its ruling regarding whether soy products could be labeled as reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), the agency stated that "Based on its review of evidence submitted ... the agency has concluded that soy protein included in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of CHD by lowering blood cholesterol levels."
In a 2006 study by the University of Toronto, David Jenkins and Dr. Cyril Kendall stated that soy protein, including tofu, could help lower total cholesterol level by up to 30 percent. This protein may lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels by as much as 40 percent.
Tofu is made from soy milk, and its flavor is quite neutral. You can purchase tofu in cube form, and it is off-white in color. Tofu comes in a range of consistencies from "firm" to "silken."
You can use almost any cooking method to prepare tofu, and you can easily incorporate it into just about any recipe. Tofu is extremely popular in Asian cuisines and is steadily gaining favor with U.S. palates.
In addition to lowering cholesterol, tofu also may reduce the risk of blood clots. It is also high in minerals, protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Tofu on its own can be bland, but this product easily absorbs spices, marinades and sauces.
- FDA: Food Labeling: Health Claims, Soy Protein and Coronary Heart Disease
- Associated Press: Tofu, Oatmeal Can Help Lower Cholesterol
- World's Healthiest Foods: Tofu
- Savvy Vegetarian: How to Cook Tofu
- 101 Cookbooks: Tofu Recipes
- Eating Well: Healthy Tofu Recipes
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About this Author
Marie Biondolillo has been writing for eight years. Her fiction has appeared in "The Invisible Stitch," Jeopardy, and "Rivet"; her journalism has appeared in "The Cascadia Weekly" and "The Western Front." She currently writes for WeekinRewind.com and YouAreWeAre.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Western Washington University.