Eating tofu offers multiple health benefits, including helping with weight management. Besides being highly nutritious, tofu enables you to eat less by making you feel full longer and keeping you from getting hungry as often.
Have you ever wondered why tofu is so filling? If you have, then we are here to explain. In this article, we will discuss:
- Does tofu keep you full?
- Why is tofu so filling?
- Is tofu more filling than chicken?
Let’s dive right in.
Does tofu keep you full?
Yes, tofu does keep you full. Tofu has a very slow digestion rate due to being rich in fiber and complex in structure. This means that it takes your body longer to break the tofu down and absorb it.
The upside of this is that it stays in your stomach longer. The longer foods stay in your stomach, the longer you feel satisfied and less hungry you feel.
So why is tofu so filling?
Why tofu is so filling is a bit of a complicated question. To understand why tofu is filling, you first need to understand why you feel hungry.
The need to eat is a biological imperative. That is a fancy way of saying you need to eat to survive. Over time our bodies have developed triggers that drive us to crave food in proper amounts.
Two hormones in the body primarily control hunger.
- Ghrelin- makes us feel hungry
- Leptin- makes us feel satisfied.
Ghrelin is released, making us feel hungry when there is a lack of food in our stomachs. It is also released when the food that is there isn’t providing us needed nutrients. That is why junk food leaves you hungry so quickly.
Leptin is released, killing hunger pains when all of the body’s needs are met, even if the volume of food in our stomachs is small.
Tofu is filling because it satisfies all of the conditions needed to trigger leptin release.
Tofu contains all eight essential amino acids our bodies require to function properly. Tofu also provides all of the macronutrients that our bodies need. It is rich in vitamin and mineral content and is high in fiber. The fiber content is important because it slows the digestion process keeping us feeling full longer and helping to prevent insulin spikes.
Is tofu more filling than chicken?
Whether or not tofu is more filling than chicken depends on how you are forming the comparison.
- If you compare 1 cup of chicken to 1 cup of tofu, even super firm, the chicken will have an edge because it is denser, slower to digest, and higher in calories.
- If you compare 100g of each, most tofu will be more filling because of the greater volume it will occupy.
- If you make the comparison based on calorie count, there is no contest. Tofu will be more filling, hands down. One hundred grams of skinless chicken breast will contain 165 calories. You would need to eat 163 grams of tofu or almost twice as much by volume to consume the same 165 calories.