Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'm confused about tofu

This week on the cleanse eggs and soy have been added back.  I've found I'm a bit confused about tofu.  Diets that focus on whole or clean foods incorporate tofu.  As far as I can tell, tofu is just taking an inedible food and processing it to make it edible.

Chinese writings mention the soya plant as far back as 2838 BC, and considered the soybean one of their essential Five Sacred Grains, along with rice, wheat, barley, and millet.  I guess if I think of it like processing grain into flour it makes more sense.  The traditional process involves sea water precipitate,  known as nigari.  Some manufacturers use calcium sulfate or magnesium chloride instead as a coagulant.

There is a lot of opinions out there on soy.  Some hate it and some love it.  It may depend on how it's processed.  Cultures that have a larger percentage of soy in their diets have less heart disease and (I remember discussing in pharmacy school) less postmenopausal issues, but then phytoestrogens get a bad rap.  I found an article that discusses the research behind the various purported health benefits and harms of soy.  It is totally speaking my language and was a great review of some of the published studies.  And, I have to admit, as much as Dr. Oz frequently irritates me (pop medicine can be very frustrating for someone working in healthcare), there is a good overview of soy on his site.

I think my overall opinion is, as with anything, moderation is key and eat the least processed version available.

I also had to google how to press tofu.  Important to learn something new everyday.  It really reduces that mushy pillow texture I've experienced before.  I had some of the baked tofu I prepared last night for lunch today and it was pretty good.  Although I think it may have caused some stomach discomfort. The soy issue may become a non-issue for me if a rechallenge later this week indicates a sensitivity.

No comments:

Post a Comment