Choosing between two nutritious plant-based foods is not that easy. Tofu vs chickpeas is one such dilemma for many of us.
As a plant food lover and nutritionist, I will guide you to choose the right one for yourself. Knowing all the differences and similarities between tofu and chickpeas will give you more clarity.
Tofu vs Chickpeas: Choosing the Right Nutritional Source
Before moving ahead, let’s take a brief look at different nutritional metrics of tofu vs chickpea:
Soybeans & Water
|TASTE AND TEXTURE
Mild & Creamy
Nutty & Soft
|BEST TIME TO EAT
Morning & Noon
Morning & Noon
|ORAL & BONE HEALTH OUTCOME
*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100 grams
Tofu vs Chickpeas: How Different Are They?
Tofu and chickpeas both are plant based foods. Tofu is prepared with soybeans, which are a kind of legume.
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are hard beans which can be consumed only after boiling. Whereas, tofu is a ready to eat product. Hence for a better comparison, I will use boiled chickpeas here.
Taste and Texture of Tofu vs Chickpeas
Tofu comes in various textures depending from extra firm to extra soft. It has a neutral taste, which makes it suitable to use in many different recipes from savory to sweet.
Boiled chickpeas have a nutty and mild taste. They can absorb the flavors easily. The roots of this rich legume are from Middle East Asian countries.
How Much of Tofu vs Chickpeas Is Enough per Day?
Tofu and chickpeas are nutritious and delicious plant based foods. You can add them to your diet on a regular basis. However, eating within a limited quantity is recommended.
You can have 100-150 grams of tofu per day whereas 50-100 grams of chickpeas are sufficient for a day. Choose the upper limits if you have an active lifestyle.
Tofu vs Chickpeas Caloric Comparison
In terms of calories, there is a vast difference between tofu and chickpeas. Chickpea has much higher calories compared to tofu.
If you are on a low calorie diet or want to shed a few extra pounds then tofu is certainly a better pick for you.
Tofu or Chickpeas: What to Pick for Lower Carbs?
Just like calories, chickpeas are also packed with higher carbs than tofu. However, instead of quantity, quality of carbs matters more.
Chickpea is a whole food whereas tofu is a processed food. Whole foods contain more carbs since they have a lot of dietary fiber in them. This kind of carbs are considered as healthy carbs.
Lower Fat Content: Tofu or Chickpeas
In terms of fat content, the situation is completely opposite from carbs and calories. Tofu contains more fat than chickpeas.
However, it has more healthy fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6, which makes it a better pick than chickpeas. Both the products have very less amounts of saturated fats.
Which Has More Protein: Tofu or Chickpeas?
Since our body can’t make protein itself, it is really critical to incorporate your diet with protein rich foods.
Tofu and chickpeas are excellent sources of plant based protein. Although their quantity is similar, the quality varies,
The protein in case of tofu is superior as it is complete protein and contains all essential amino acids when compared to chickpeas.
What to Pick for Higher Calcium Intake: Tofu or Chickpeas?
Most of the plant based foods don’t contain high amounts of calcium. However, tofu is an exception. There are two particular reasons for that.
First, soybean is naturally a good source of calcium. Secondly, calcium sulfate is commonly used as a coagulant to make tofu. It enhances the calcium amount in tofu. Therefore, for calcium tofu is a better option compared to chickpeas.
Fiber Content: Which Is Better, Tofu or Chickpeas?
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate which is also known as bulk or roughage. It regulates bowel movement, maintains the sugar and cholesterol level in the body and aids to achieve a healthy weight.
Compared to tofu, chickpea contains more dietary fiber. Most of the fiber of soybeans strained away during the process of making tofu.
Tofu vs Chickpeas Nutrition: Compare the Diversity?
To know which one is more nutritionally diverse, we need to compare all kinds of nutrients including macro and micronutrients of tofu and chickpeas. We already discussed macronutrients in detail above.
As far as micronutrients, tofu contains a higher amount of iron, selenium and vitamin A. On the other hand chickpea is richer in folate, phosphorus, manganese, copper, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and zinc.
This rich profile of micronutrients shows that chickpeas have more diverse nutrients compared to tofu.
Optimal Time to Have Tofu vs Chickpeas
You can have tofu anytime of the day, since it is a low calorie plant based food. However, breakfast and lunch are the recommended meals to have this soy product.
Chickpeas have high calorie and carbs, hence it is advisable to consume them either in the morning or in afternoon. I will highly recommend avoiding chickpeas in the evening or at night.
Tofu or Chickpeas: A Gut Friendly Choice
Chickpea is a calorie dense food which can take longer to digest compared to low calories food tofu.
On the contrary, chickpeas contain more dietary fiber than tofu, which regulates bowel movement and improves digestion. So, both are almost equally good for your gut because of different reasons.
Which One Is Better Suited to Your Bones & Teeth Health: Tofu or Chickpeas?
Tofu and chickpeas both are rich sources of protein which makes them healthy choices for teeth and bones. However, for strong teeth and bones, calcium is also a crucial mineral.
Tofu contains 7 times more calcium than chickpeas, this gives tofu an unparalleled advantage to choose it over chickpeas for strong bones and teeth.
Though, a rich micronutrient profile of chickpeas can’t be ignored which contains phosphorus, copper and zinc.
Tofu or Chickpeas: Which Can Cause Allergy?
Tofu is a soy product and it can cause problems if you have a soy allergy. You might feel nausea, stomach discomfort or skin rashes due to that.
Chickpea allergy is not as common as soy allergy. However, just like soy it is also a legume and you might get soy allergy symptoms after having chickpeas.
Which Can Be Put To More Uses: Tofu or Chickpeas?
Tofu and chickpeas both are highly versatile plant based foods. Both the products are used in many different ways throughout the world.
Tofu goes very well with fried rice, noodles and curries. You can also eat it straight with soy or mustard sauce topping. Scrambled tofu is an excellent breakfast choice among others for great start of the day.
Chickpea masala curry also known as “Chana Masala” is a very popular dish of India and Pakistan. Hummus is also another famous recipe for chickpeas. Besides that, you can have it as salad or use it in various rice dishes.
In Myanmar tofu is made of chickpeas which is also known as “Burmese Tofu”. This shows the high versatility of chickpeas.
In conclusion, tofu and chickpeas both contain a wide range of health benefits and instead of picking one, you can add both of them to your regular diet.
Hope this detailed explanation about tofu vs chickpeas helped you to get a better understanding to choose the right one for yourself.