Difference Between Tofu and Meat
By Laura Lee - December 3, 2021

While tofu and meat are clearly not synonyms, many people do not know the differences between them. Basically, tofu has been used as a healthy alternative to meat for years in Asia – but what is it exactly?

Table Summary

Animal productProduct of soy milk
High in protein and several vitaminsLow in calories and high in protein
Marbled raw pork chops of Porco Iberico meat on round cutting board with meat knife on dark rustic background

Getty Images / Moment / VICUSCHKA


Also known as bean curd, tofu first originated in China and has been consumed in the country for over two millenniums. A traditional component of Eastern and Southeastern Asia, tofu is a food prepared by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into solid blocks. It can vary in softness (silk, soft, firm, extra firm and super firm) and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. Tofu is low in calories and high in protein and iron.

Meat, on the other hand, is animal flesh eaten as food. It includes beef, goat, lamb, sheep, and pork. It is very high in dietary protein, iron, vitamin B12, B6, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, niacin, vitamin B6, choline, and riboflavin. Numerous forms of meat are also a good source of vitamin K. It is low in carbohydrates and does not contain any dietary fiber.

Meat VS Tofu

Both tofu and meat are great sources of protein and iron. Tofu is the product of soy milk and a vegan alternative to meat, which is animal flesh. While meat has been consumed as food since prehistoric times, tofu first originated in China over 2,000 years ago.