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8 Reasons Why The Popular Vegan Food Tofu Can Be Harmful For Your Health!

By Chandana Rao

Most of us know at least one person who has recently turned vegan.

If yes, then you would definitely know how different this diet trend can be for people who follow meat-based diets!

Being a vegan means following a diet which is completely devoid of animal fats and any sort of animal products.

While vegetarians consume animal products such as milk, honey, cheese, and paneer, vegans do not consume anything which is derived from an animal.

So, a vegan diet just includes plant-based foods such as leafy greens, fruit, vegetables, berries, and legumes.

Tofu is a very popular vegan variant of paneer, which is made from soy milk as opposed to cow's milk.

Tofu closely resembles paneer in taste and texture and is used to prepare a number of dishes.

But a recent research has found out that tofu may not be as healthy as it claims to be!

Here are some of the reasons why tofu can be harmful for your health.

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1. Genetic Modification

Tofu is a food product prepared by genetically modifying soy beans, to enable tofu to obtain the texture, softness and flavour.

A number of chemicals are used in this process, which can cause a number of health hazards in people who consume tofu on a regular basis.

In fact, research studies have proven that genetically modified foods such as tofu can pose the threat of serious diseases of the kidney, liver and even cancer!

RELATED - 10 Cancer-causing Foods to Avoid

2. Breast Cancer

We read in the previous fact that since tofu is a genetically modified food, it can cause serious illnesses, including cancer. Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancers associated with tofu according to science.

Researchers say that since tofu contains phytoestrogens, it can cause abnormal cancerous cells to develop in the breasts at a fast rate.

3. Hypothyroidism

As we know tofu is made from soy beans; soy beans are known to contain a harmful compound known as isoflavone genistein, which can block the thyroid glands from producing enough hormones, thus causing hypothyroidism in people who consume tofu regularly.

4. Nutritional Deficiency

Tofu also contains a compound known as phytate, which gives tofu its firm texture. Phytate can be hazardous to the health because it blocks the tissues of the body from absorbing essential nutrients like calcium, iron, zinc, etc., thus causing nutritional deficiencies.

RELATED - 5 Major Nutritional Deficiencies and How to Avoid Them

5. Cognitive Diseases

Many research studies have also linked the regular consumption of tofu to degenerative cognitive diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's, due to the presence of phytoestrogen in tofu, which is known to stimulate the degeneration of brain cells at a quicker rate.

6. Digestive Diseases

Consuming tofu on a regular basis, especially if you are not consuming enough fibre, could cause digestive ailments like gastritis, leaky gut syndrome, bloating, etc., as tofu takes a longer time to get digested and contains certain compounds that induce acidity.

7. Heart Ailments

It is believed that a vegan diet is healthy for the heart; however, tofu is one vegan food which could cause heart diseases, specifically a disease in which the muscles of the heart become abnormally thick, thus making it difficult for the heart to pump blood. Researchers believe that the compounds in tofu can trigger this condition.

8. Weaker Bones

As tofu is known to inhibit your bone tissues' capacity to absorb vitamin D from the sun rays and the food consumed, it could lead to vitamin D deficiency, which in turn causes your bones to become weak and brittle.

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If you know a vegan, share this article with them immediately. You will be doing your friend a big favour.

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    Read more about: food nutrition health wellness
    Story first published: Friday, January 5, 2018, 21:00 [IST]
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