Answered by on Monday, June 1, 2009
A three-ounce serving of firm tofu weighs in with 14 g of protein, a little more than half the protein in three ounces of meat (the serving size many nutritionists recommend). Three ounces of sirloin has 26 g of protein, roast turkey breast contains 25, lean roast lamb has 22. So you'd need five to six ounces of tofu to match meat gram for gram, according to Else Sosin, M.A., R.D., a nutritionist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "Soy is essentially equivalent to animal protein, such as eggs, milk, and meat," says Sosin, "in that it contains all of the eight amino acids we require, in a configuration readily used by the human body. Equally important, while it's not a low-fat food, ounce for ounce, it's lower in fat than meat, and it's been linked with many health benefits, including reducing risks of heart disease and some kinds of cancer." But if six ounces of tofu (between 108 and 180 calories, depending on the consistency) sounds like too much of a good thing, there's plenty of protein to be had in beans, peas, seeds, and nuts, and the smaller quantities we get from other vegetables and grains complete the picture. According to the American Dietetic Association, as long as you eat a variety of foods and get enough calories, protein need not be a big worry for those who don't eat animal products.