You ask yourself should you go for tofu or the readily available paneer, I mean what difference does it make? To start this conversation let us understand how tofu is different from paneer. While paneer aka our Indian cottage cheese is made of milk protein, tofu is made of soybean milk curdled into a low-fat block. Paneer, however, can have processed cream to soften its texture, which can give you some fattening results. Tofu is considered one of the readily available foods in the vegan section but if you are looking for retaining your natural milk diet then perhaps switch to skim milk to make paneer at home and avoid the fat. These are simple differences between tofu and paneer with garden variety health benefits.
Let’s say that you want a lighter diet but want to retain the same taste of your daily lunches. In the meantime, you also want to have a decent amount of calcium, magnesium, and potassium in your meals so you go to paneer. If you try tofu you not only get your calcium and protein intake but a significantly lighter meal because tofu will occupy less of your calorie space. Soy milk, remember?
Tofu can be beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant so that you can balance your meals for a desirable calcium intake. It is readily available in supermarkets so you don’t have to stress about making it at home unless you want to. Tofu and paneer both look similar but tofu is also rich in nutrients. If you are a vegetarian you can try using tofu in salads/ stir fried veggies/ soups/ curry to alter your diet from paneer for a few weeks and feel the difference. However, there is no such thing that trying tofu alone can break even your calcium and protein intake and balancing it with paneer can give the same results. In a significantly healthier choice, tofu is equal to your gut-feeling.
Making the Choice
Making a choice for Healthy Food is a very important part of your journey towards achieving your fitness goals. For example, including protein-rich foods like soybeans can be a great choice for vegetarians. And no wonder tofu, made from soy, is a rich source of protein that can help in muscle building and also be cutting down some body fat.
The choice and selection of tofu can be made on the basis of the firmness or softness of the soy blocks. It really depends on your own taste and what you are cooking with the tofu. Lighter tofu is usually the softer ones that are less fatty. If you are using tofu to make sizzlers or grills then probably go for the firmer ones. Regular soft textured tofu can be used for salads or sabzis. Paneer does not make much of a difference in making the choice so to speak. If you want regular paneer then the blocks made of cow milk or cream milk should be ready to use given their fattiness has little variation. Tofu qualifies as a healthier option for heart patients and diabetics over the regular market paneer. Tofu comes with the benefits of essential amino acids and vitamin B1, which passes the nutrient test too.
The Healthier Alternative
Let us quickly see what tofu and paneer tell us for you to make a healthier choice if you are looking for some options.
#More Protein: Tofu has more protein than paneer because of the complex process of its making. It retains protein more than the moderate protein content in paneer.
#Milk and Soy: If you have allergies to soybeans you should probably avoid tofu and go with paneer instead. Tofu is made of soy milk and paneer is made of whole fat milk or cow milk.
#Calorie values: Paneer can contain over 300 calories in a 100gms and an additional 200 from its fat. Tofu contains calories under 100 and no added fatty calories.
#Zero cholesterol: Tofu proudly stays at 0 cholesterol levels whereas paneer can go up to 90mg in a 100gms.
#Nutrients rich: Tofu contains necessary nutrients other than calcium such as amino acids and vitamin B1. Paneer also has contents of magnesium and potassium.
It is best to consult a dietician or your general physician to advise you a diet that suits your body and lifestyle. If you are trying to make your life healthy by avoiding all the greasy food then tofu is perhaps a convenient choice but you don’t have to say no to the occasional paneer.