High Vegan Protein Comparison: Tofu vs. Beans

High Vegan Protein Comparison: Tofu vs. Beans

The two most common vegan proteins that everyone seems to know about is tofu and beans. However, which is the best bang for your buck not just in protein, but price wise, versatility, and the different nutrients they give. At the end I will also be exploring other source that might surprise you. This is my High Vegan Protein Comparison battle of the tofu and the beans!

High Vegan Protein Comparison: Tofu vs. BeansNow I will be looking at extra firm tofu, canned black beans, and dried great northern beans as my comparison test subjects.

Price

Here we go. I’ll be looking at price overall, price per serving, and price per gram of protein. Then I will declare the winner of this first round.

Tofu

1.99 a block

Servings per container: 5

Price per serving: 0.40

Protein a serving: 8g

Price per gram of protein: 0.05

Canned Black Beans

0.72 a can

Servings per container: 3.5

Price per serving: 0.21

Protein a serving: 7g

Price per gram of protein: 0.03

Dried Great Northern Beans

2.84 a bag

Servings per container: 26

Price per serving: 0.11

Protein a serving: 8g

Price per gram of protein: 0.01

Winner!

Tied in first place for amount of protein a serving is the tofu and the dried great northern bean, but the bean beats the tofu on the price per gram of protein by a whopping 4 cents!

Calories

Depending on how things are in your life depends on how many calories you are trying to intake per day. It’s recommended to get between 2,000 and 2,500 so that your body can function at the optimal levels. You definitely can’t be getting there without a solid source of calories. We are going to be pairing our protein up with the exact same sized potato, with a serving of green beans, and a serving of salad with Italian dressing, and then times it by three and see where we stand calorie wise. Which one gives the most punch to a meal?

I am also adding how much protein is in each meal and the percentage of overall protein requirements which I have set at 50g since the average woman needs 46g and the average male needs 56g.

Extras

Calories in potato: 163

Calories in green beans: 15

Calories in salad with Italian dressing: 14 + 70 = 84

Tofu

Serving size: 3 oz.

Calories per serving: 80

Calories for meal: 342

Total protein for meal: 13.5g

Percentage of overall protein requirements: 27%

Canned Black Beans

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Calories per serving: 110

Calories for meal: 372

Total protein for meal: 12.5g

Percentage of overall protein requirements: 25%

Dried Great Northern Beans

Serving size: 1/4 cup dry ≅ 1/2 cup cooked

Calories per serving: 90

Calories for meal: 352

Total protein for meal: 13.5g

Percentage of overall protein requirements: 27%

Winner!

Well, we would definitely need to either snack throughout the day or eat more at meal times to get adequate amount of calories. However it is interesting to note that they all give at least 25% of the protein needed daily, and that’s without truly trying to keep track of your protein.

I declare the winner for the most calorie dense to be: The Canned Black Beans!

Nutrients

Which of these three lovely sources of vegan protein packs the most as far as nutrients and vitamins go? We’ll be looking at potassium, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, sodium, fiber, sugar, and the total fat of a serving. We will not be looking at Vitamin D since all one needs to do to get their daily intake of Vitamin D is stand under the sun for 10-20 minutes. If that is simply not feasible, then please take a vegan vitamin D3 supplement.

 

Tofu

Total fat per serving: 4.5g

Potassium per serving: 68mg

Fiber per serving: 2g

Sodium per serving: 10mg

Sugar per serving: 0

Vitamin C per serving: 0

Iron per serving: 8%

Calcium per serving: 10%

Canned Black Beans

Total fat per serving: 0.5g

Potassium per serving: 340mg

Fiber per serving: 7g

Sodium per serving: 10mg

Sugar per serving: 0

Vitamin C per serving: 0

Iron per serving: 15%

Calcium per serving: 6%

Dried Great Northern Beans

Total fat per serving: 0

Potassium per serving: 490mg

Fiber per serving: 7g

Sodium per serving: 0

Sugar per serving: 1g

Vitamin C per serving: 4%

Iron per serving: 10%

Calcium per serving: 6%

Winner!

The dried great northern beans has the least amount of fat and sodium, as well as the most potassium and vitamins overall. It shows how much of a difference between canned and dried there are, even though canned is the easier option.

However, all but o.5g of fat from the tofu is the good kind of fat, so it’s okay to add some to your diet. Just don’t have it at every meal.

If you’re wondering why the least amount of sodium is considered a win we’re only supposed to have 1.500mg a day. Take a look at a can of regular green beans and a can of no salt added green beans. Or don’t and just keep reading, as the regular can of green beans has 380mg a serving compared to just 10mg from the no salt added. Salt is added to everything because it’s addicting. The same goes for sugar, and that’s snuck in wherever possible like canned soups.

Versatility

Now, this is a little more tricky. How many recipes call for beans and how many for tofu? Tofu can be used in scrambles, soups, tacos, salads, and more. Beans are used in just about everything from baked beans, to chili and burritos, refried beans, and so much more!

So honestly, there is no comparison so they both win!

Other Sources of Protein

Lentils

These little lovelies are very yummy, and are excellent in veggie burgers. The most awesome thing is that a half cup adds 9 grams of protein to any dish you put it in and 18% of your daily iron intake.

Quinoa

This is a lovely addition that I add to chili all the time! A quarter cup of dried quinoa has 6 grams of protein and no saturated fat. It also sits at 160 calories, so it’s sure to help fill you up!

Soy Milk

A single glass, which is easy to have in the mornings, contains 8 grams of protein, the exact same that is in a glass of dairy milk, no cholesterol, and 15% of your daily magnesium intake.

Peas, oatmeal, chia seeds, spinach, green beans, almonds, and peanut butter are just a few of the alternative sources to get your protein.

Conclusion

In the end there is no winner and no loser, it’s all about what your tastes are, and what you prefer to eat. The one thing I am sure about is that we worry about protein way too much. It’s time to turn our attention to something more important like eating healthier in general, and making sure we’re planning an excellent nutrient packed diet that will keep us moving and motivated to be our very best!

I hope this post helped you. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to put them below in the comment section and I will be more than happy to respond!

4 thoughts on “High Vegan Protein Comparison: Tofu vs. Beans

  1. Wow! Thanks for all the information you provided. I have been looking into vegan diets lately because I am trying to lose weight. A lot of meats are very high in fat as well as their protein content thus why I have resorted to searching for vegan dishes. I had no idea of what the nutritional value of tofu is leading up to this article. Perhaps i’ll have to try it some day!

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yes, a good, whole foods plant based diet is the way to go if you want to lose weight. Tofu is definitely yummy when it’s been prepared properly. Otherwise, it’s a wet, edible sponge, which is not appealing to any of the senses.

  2. I love beans and tofu but mostly eat beans, because they are high in protein. Never knew that oatmeal, chia seeds, spinach, green beans, almonds, and peanut butter also have protein. That’s amazing because I eat those items on a regular basis…! I do like to make a tofu “egg” scramble with turmeric to color the “eggs” yellow. But I do prefer beans — all kinds!

    1. Thanks for the comment! Tofu scramble is a favorite of mine and I like to pair it with potatoes, mushrooms, an tomatoes and add turmeric and cumin to give it a spicy flair! Beans though are definitely amazing! I like pureeing white kidney beans and adding it to soups to thicken the soup and give it a little protein boost! 

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