Is Tofu Good for People With Diabetes - Sugar.Fit
Metabolic Health

Tofu for Diabetes

If you want to choose something healthy but delicious, Tofu is the best option for you. Tofu is a vegan food containing lots of proteins and fibres. Tofu or bean curd originated in China about 200 years ago. Tofu is tasteless and adopts the flavours of seasonings, making it a fantastic ingredient for various dishes. Tofu is prepared from soy milk that is extracted from soybeans. Then, a coagulant is added to curdle the soy milk. Once the curdling is over, excessive water is removed by pressing. This makes Tofu firm, and its shape remains intact.

Silken Tofu is a form of Tofu that is prepared with minimal curdling. It has the consistency of gelatin and can be used in desserts, sauces and smoothies. In contrast, firm Tofu is in the form of white blocks and can be incorporated into various recipes to improve their nutritious value.  Tofu is a good food option for you if you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are thinking of including healthy food options in your diet. It has a glycemic index of 15, making it very safe for people with diabetes.

Tofu for Heart Health

Tofu has also been recommended as a healthy food option for people with diabetes by the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association. The nutritional profile of Tofu helps to understand how Tofu maintains a healthy heart.

Every 100 gms of Tofu contains:

Proteins: 8 gm

Unsaturated Fats: 3 gm

Saturated Fats: 1 gm

Carbohydrates: 2 gm

Sodium: 12 gm

Benefits of Tofu

•Tofu is also a rich source of minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and copper. It also contains Vitamin B, K, Niacin, folate and pantothenic acid.

•The unsaturated fats keep LDL or harmful cholesterol at low levels. These unsaturated fats also increase the amount of HDL or good cholesterol in the body.

•The dietary fibres in Tofu flush excessive cholesterol from the body, which helps to maintain a healthy heart.

•Omega-3 fatty acids in Tofu reduce fats in the blood and prevent artery blockage. These fatty acids also prevent the rise in blood pressure and reduce the risk of irregular heartbeats. Omega-3 fatty acids in Tofu act as a shield for a healthy heart.

•Tofu contains anti-inflammatory compounds like bioactive peptides that help reduce chronic inflammation. It prevents any damage to the blood vessels and prevents high blood pressure.

•Eating Tofu for diabetes also prevents the risk of cardiac complications. In uncontrolled diabetes, the risk of heart-related complications increases. Tofu contains peptides and isoflavones extracted from a soybean that helps to reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin functioning. This keeps the blood glucose levels under control and keeps the heart healthy.

•Replacing animal food with Tofu decreases the intake of saturated fats. The lower level of saturated fat maintains the heart in a healthy condition.

•In addition to its beneficial effects on our heart, Tofu has multiple other health benefits, including:

•Various antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in Tofu improve the immune system and protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. Zinc present in Tofu also improves the functioning of the immune system.

•Being a rich source of calcium, Tofu prevents osteoporosis and keeps bones healthy.

•The high fibre content of Tofu keeps the digestive tract healthy and reduces the risk of stomach cancer.

•The high protein content of Tofu promotes collagen synthesis, increases the elasticity of the skin and strengthens the facial muscles. This helps to keep your skin supple and prevents ageing.

•Minerals like selenium in Tofu are good for hair and maintain high volume and strong hair.

•Phytoestrogens in Tofu act as a natural source of oestrogen in the body. It helps reduce menopause-related symptoms in women, including hot flashes, fatigue and mood changes.

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Risks of Tofu

•Always be watchful for the amount of carbohydrates in the food to keep blood sugar levels in control. Hence, it is advisable to eat Tofu for diabetes with protein-rich foods to prevent a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.

•Like any other food, you must watch the quantity of soya-based food in your daily diet. Tofu is a rich source of phytoestrogen. Its excessive consumption can interfere with oestrogen synthesis in the body, leading to hormonal disbalance.

•Few people are allergic to soy and soy products. Intake of Tofu in such people can cause stomach pain and diarrhoea, flushed skin, itching, hives, dizziness, shortness of breath and confusion. These people should avoid eating Tofu for diabetes or as a source of protein in their diet.

•An excessive intake of isoflavones with oestrogen-like effects can be harmful if consumed for a prolonged duration. It increases the risk of uterine and breast cancer.

•Increased intake of isoflavone-rich food might decrease testosterone levels. This testosterone imbalance can have negative impacts on the male reproductive system.

•People with diabetic complications like diabetic nephropathy can experience a decline in renal function following excessive protein intake. Having Tofu for Diabetes in these people can lead to worsening of renal complications.

•Some researchers have indicated excessive intake of isoflavones-rich food decreases thyroid hormone levels and decreases iodine absorption. This impacts the overall thyroid functioning.

•If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are taking note of total carbohydrate intake, you must be cautious in selecting the type of soybean food. Different soybean food has different amounts of carbohydrates and can considerably alter blood sugar levels.

Bottomline

Tofu and other soy foods have been considered beneficial for overall health. These foods help improve cardiac health and are a good choice for patients with diabetes. The intake of soybean food protects the body from chronic illness and various cancers. Stop worrying about the question ‘Is Tofu Good for Diabetes’ as the high protein content makes Tofu a safe option. Along with its multiple benefits, you should always watch the total intake of soybean food to save yourself from the harmful effects of excessive consumption of soy-derived products.

References

  • https://www.livestrong.com/article/386728-are-soy-beans-good-for-diabetes/

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