In recent years many plant-based meat alternatives are available in the market which creates confusion to choose the right one. Tofu vs seitan is one such dilemma which people often face.
As a nutritionist, I am going to share my expertise to assist you in knowing the differences between the two. Read along to find out more about tofu and seitan nutrition, taste and more.
Tofu vs Seitan: Better Source of Nutrition
Before moving ahead, let’s take a brief look at different metrics of tofu vs seitan:
Whole Soybeans & Water
Wheat Gluten & Nutritional Yeast
|TASTE AND TEXTURE
Mild & Soft
Mild, Soft & Chewy
|BEST TIME TO EAT
Morning & Noon
Morning & Noon
|ORAL AND BONE HEALTH OUTCOME
*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100 grams
Is Seitan and Tofu the Same Thing?
No, they are not. They are made of totally different ingredients.
Tofu is coagulated soy milk, hence, also called bean curd. Nigari salt (magnesium chloride) or gypsum (calcium sulfate) are used as coagulants. Resulting curd is pressed with weights to form a block of tofu.
Seitan is prepared with vital wheat gluten flour which is different from wheat flour. You can get it easily from the store in slices, cubes or stripes. However, you can also make it at home without much hassle.
Seitan vs Tofu Taste: Which One Is More Delectable?
Tofu has a very mild flavor and is almost tasteless. It can thus go well with many dishes. Tofu made with nigari salt will be a little bitter than the one which is made of gypsum.
Seitan is also mild in flavor. You can enhance its flavor by adding chickpea flour, soy flour and garlic powder while kneading the dough. It has a soft and chewy texture which is quite similar to meat.
How Much Tofu vs Seitan Is Enough per Day?
Tofu and seitan both are excellent sources of plant based protein. Hence,It is highly recommended to vegetarians and vegans to add these protein rich vegan foods to their diet.
You can consume up to 100 grams of tofu and seitan a day. This quantity depends on various aspects such as age, gender and activity level. If you have an active lifestyle then you can have them up to 200 grams of each.
Seitan vs Tofu Calories: Compare the Quality and Quantity
If you are a person who is looking for a low calorie product then compared to seitan, tofu is a better pick for you.
However the difference between their calories is not substantial. So, I won’t suggest avoiding seitan completely. Instead adjust the quantity according to your caloric needs.
What to Pick for Lower Carbs: Tofu or Seitan?
Carbohydrates give glucose to the body which is converted to energy. This energy is required to support bodily functions and physical activity. However, instead of quantity, quality of carbs matters more.
Tofu contains significantly lower amounts of carbs compared to seitan. Compared to seitan, tofu has a better quality of carbs which mostly comes with fiber.
Tofu vs Seitan: Which Has Less Fat Content?
If you are looking for a low-fat product then compared to tofu, seitan is a better pick. Tofu is significantly higher in fat content in comparison to seitan.
Their base ingredients are the reason behind this large gap. Tofu is made of soybeans, which contains more fats compared to wheat gluten which is used for seitan.
Does Tofu Have More Protein Than Seitan?
Protein is a macronutrient which is essential for many functions in your body including building and maintaining the strength of bones.
If we talk about qantity, seitan contains a higher amount when compared to tofu. Tofu is a soybean product which contains all 9 amino acids required to make protein by the body.
Thus, tofu has greater quality of protein whereas seitan has more quantity of it.
Comparing Seitan & Tofu Against Popular Vegan Protein Sources?
| Seitan Vs Tempeh |
Tofu vs Seitan: Which Is a Better Source of Calcium?
Calcium is a vital micronutrient for everyone. However, children aged between 9-18 years, pregnant and post menopausal women need it in higher amounts.
Speaking of calcium, tofu contains way more of it than seitan. Opt for tofu over seitan if you belong to the group which requires more calcium such as teenagers, pregnant or menopausal women.
Tofu or Seitan: What to Pick for Fiber Needs?
Dietary fiber is a kind of carbohydrate which passes through the body undigested. It is crucial to regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts are some of the excellent sources of fiber. The fiber in seitan is almost negligible. Though tofu has more fiber, neither holds substatial amounts of fiber.
Tofu vs Seitan Nutrition: Which Is More Diverse?
To know seitan vs tofu health benefits, it is important to compare their nutritional diversity. Seitan has more protein and contains less fat. Tofu is a low calorie and carbs food with more fiber and calcium.
Compared to seitan, tofu is a richer source of many minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus etc. It also has niacin, riboflavin, copper and vitamin B6.
This makes tofu more nutritionally diverse compared to seitan.
Suitable Time of the Day for Having Tofu vs Seitan
You can have tofu for breakfast like other East Asian people. It is a low carb and protein rich food which is perfect to start the day. It is also a healthy option for a midday meal or for a light supper.
Seitan is a protein dense food which takes time to digest. Hence, breakfast or lunch is a better option to add seitan to your regular diet.
Is Tofu Better Than Seitan for Digestion?
Your gut health impacts your overall physical and mental health. Healthy digestive system is also critical to develop your immunity.
Seitan is a gluten based product which takes longer to digest. If you have digestion issues then better to pick tofu over seitan. However, if you are allergic to soybeans then it is better to avoid tofu as well.
Tofu vs Seitan for Your Oral and Bone Health
Protein, calcium and vitamin D are three critical nutrients for teeth and bone. Tofu is a source of complete protein whereas seitan has more protein in it.
Speaking of calcium, tofu has more calcium than seitan. Besides that, tofu has more magnesium and copper compared to seitan, which play an important role for health. All these micro and macro nutrients make tofu a better choice for strong teeth and bones.
Tofu or Seitan: Which Is More Allergy Friendly?
If you have a high level of gluten sensitivity then avoid seitan completely. It can cause severe side effects such as diarrhea, nausea or bloating.
Many people are allergic to soybeans and its products. In that case they might feel discomfort after consuming tofu which is basically bean curd. Compared to seitan, tofu is less allergic.
Tofu vs Seitan: How Versatile Are They?
Tofu goes very well with many dishes like fried rice, noodles and curries. You can also eat it straight with soy or mustard sauce topping. Scrambled tofu is an excellent vegan substitute of scrambled egg.
Seitan is also a highly versatile food option. You can add to your salads, curries, rice dishes or stir fried noodles. You can simply grill or bake to use it in your sandwiches. Seitan is bland in taste and it can go well with many different flavors.
Comparing the Shelf Life of Tofu vs Seitan
Tofu can be stored around 1-2 days at room temperature and up to 4-5 days in the fridge. On the other hand seitan can be stored for 2-4 weeks in the fridge.
Packed versions of tofu and seitan have different expiry dates you can check it while buying. In case you are not going to use them for long then store them in the freezer with a vacuum seal.
In conclusion, both tofu and seitan have immense health benefits. I would say that instead of picking over the other, try to add both of them to get the benefits of both.
If you have any further queries regarding tofu vs seitan, write it in the comment section. I will do my best to answer it as soon as possible.