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Is tofu healthy for men?



"It's chalky, it's tasteless, what's it about?" Minh Tsai says confidentially, coming up close and almost whispering. "I do not blame you for not having loved it."

That's almost the last thing I'll expect when I stand on Hodo's Soil, Tsai's busy tofu manufacturing facility in Oaklands Camp Circle.

Tsai takes me on a tour in white jacket, hairnet and scrub. I see the high quality soybeans he uses (exclusively from the American Midwest). I experience a process that is almost the same as that of cheese making and that he has ingeniously put into a hybrid operation, partly mechanical, partly practical.

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Alex Farnum

He tells me that Hodo ships around 50,000 pounds of tofu every day, along the way Tsai distributes samples that have been pinched off the assembly line – solid and soft tofu, transformed into nuggets transformed tofu, into tough strips.

At some point, a taste of warm, fresh from the tub tofu dipped into my mouth, he offers some tasting notes Nussig, he says Complex nuttiest, most complex solid tofu I've ever had.

But do I dare to tell him that I do not love him? [19659009] It tastes more like a substitute for something, I say. Tsai nods undauntedly and brings me in the room where he makes Yuba, the thin layer that forms on the soy milk when cooking, similar to the skin that develops on a puddling.

"I call Yuba the starter drug for tofu," says Tsai and cuts with a small knife into one of the rectangular Yuba pans set up in rows, similar to the developing pans in the darkroom of a photographer.

The process produces a tofu product that is denser in proteins (21 grams in 3 ounces versus firm tofu 14). Tsai holds out something that looks like a bunch of chewed, dark-colored chewing gum. The skin, almost halfway between solid and liquid, collapses in his palm.

Go ahead, he says and offers me a taste. The implication is not lost for me: I will let you eat out of my palm.

And he does. The Yuba is not like any tofu I've ever eaten: lush, creamy, more like a bundle of warm, freshly made mozzarella.

Tsai smiles, but has dead eyes and sounds more like a futuristic technology titan than the maker of an old soy product. He says solemnly, "So you've seen what's possible."

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			<span class= Alex Farnum

I'm not a tofu hater. Hate implies contempt or hostility, I'm indifferent to that stuff – neither good nor bad bad, neither memorable nor insulting, I do not doubt that this is a position that comes out of ignorance, but I would argue that ignorance comes from a lack of tradition, context, what one would call a country of tofu production, though Its history in the US begins duly in the 1970s, says Tara McHugh, Ph.D., a food technologist and researcher at the USDA.

I'm not a tofu hater Implies contempt or hostility, I do not care about that stuff.

At that time, environmental awareness was crucial as herbal food moved from the margins to the mainstream, it was not the Köstli which was responsible for the relatively rapid spread in the USA. It was politics.

Tofu was not meat. It did not come from factory farms. If you wanted to speak out against the agribusiness in person, if you wanted to do without the evils of predators, tofu was a practical remedy, a kind of culinary conscientious objection.

In this ideological context, it was almost inappropriate to say that tofu did not taste so good. Taste? How about the taste of the resistance ?

Since the 70s, tofu production has become more widespread, so it is not surprising that the quality has become better and better.

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And it turns up in fast-food burgers and milkshakes to become a processed food item – Tofutti, a mass-market brand that makes milk-free "ice cream".

Not even the rumor from the internet that the phytoestrogens in tofu would cause a condition called gynaecomastia (these are male breasts for you and me) has slowed their recurrence. [See “Wait, Isn’t Soy Bad for You?” at the end of this story for more information.]

"It's time to take back tofu," Tsai tells me at lunch the day after I meet him at the factory. I'm the hippie and the politics, "he says.

In other words, if you only see tofu as a lackluster substitute for meat, if in your imagination it's synonymous with cooperatives and communities, if you think it's just the province of Asian cuisine, then Tsai asks you – yes, She – to open her mind so that he can then blow it up.

"Let's just make it delicious," he says. "It's delicious."

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Tsai, a former investment banker and business consultant who began his tofu business with little more than a method and a story he began 15 years ago He sold his handmade product to farmers' markets in the Bay Area.

He refined his method, he told me, by tasting every brand he got in his hands. It took him a long time to realize what was missing: flavors. [19659002] "I wanted to make a tofu that contains flavors. To get some flavors, I needed more protein and fat in the soybeans. "Could produce a much thicker soymilk, a thicker soymilk means a high-protein tofu, resulting in a richer, creamier taste and texture with more chewing.

Hodo

H odo soybean organic five spice tofu nugget, 8 ounces – 6 per carton.

arico foods
foodservicedirect.com

As of October 2018, 16 products were produced at the Hodo factory More will follow in February of that same year he convened an event in San Francisco called Tofu Evolved.

Yes, a tofu symposium – only in San Francisco – in which he eloquently and passionately discusses tofu as a potential force in one Food future is becoming more environmentally friendly and cleaner.

Then a few months later, he changed the name of his company from Hodo Soy to Hodo, removing any hint of the one ingredient without which it would tofu, from the brand.

The change came in the run-up to a market turmoil in which Tsai introduced its line of packaged tofu products – including Yuba sesame noodles, tofu nuggets and the same solid tofu blocks that Chipotle is currently crumbling into its vegan sofritas Whole food.

But how much of "new tofu" was hype? I decided to let my taste buds decide.

In the days after seeing the Hodo factory with Tsai, I do something I never did – something I never wanted to do: I eat tofu.

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			<span class= Alex Farnum

Now I've done BBQ and burger benders and for weeks I've had the best pizzas, kebabs, and chocolate chip cookies, but I've never had one in the morning, Having tofu fast food and tofu fine dining for lunch and dinner, I feel like I'm shooting a Foodie Buddy movie with Tsai Shotgun.

As eager as I need to see if I'm finally brought to it Tsai is also eager.

Because if I like it, it means that the vision he is focusing on may not be a dream but a reality.

In recent years, Tsai has been taking care of himself Relationships with some of San Francisco's best and most ambitious cooks, and arranged with my approval a series of demo meals with his most passionate adopters, not only to prove to me that a variety of uses are possible, but also that tofu is not, what I think the cooks you on the other hand, like to play with.

Two bites and I completely forget that I am eating tofu.

When I meet Stuart Brioza, Chef of Progress, a modern-day American, restaurant in San Francisco, it's a late afternoon lunch between shifts.

With his staff busy preparing dinner, the chef mischievously slips into the kitchen to demonstrate his Yuba game. He takes the same thin, tough sheets I've tried at the factory and equips them with smoked black cod, spring peas, and a black butter pony.

After two bites, I forget completely that I am eating tofu.

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<p class= I'm still trying to process exactly what I'm eating, because there is no reason to substitute it If this highly decorated chef, who once lived and cooked in Italy, makes a surprising statement,

Not just his version of amatriciana, made with thin strips cut from Hodo's tofu leaves, is as good as an amatriciana Pappardelle.

Not just a compelling substitute that surprises your palate, he says, no, says Brioza, his version of Amatriciana made with yuba is indeed better.

I'm frowning. "Seriously – a lot better, "says Brioza, because of the Yuba's chewing and texture, the way the Roman-i A spicy mixture of tomatoes, onions and guanciale (salted pork) sticks to it. He has a point.

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			<span class= Alex Farnum

Later that night, still humming from my encounter with Brioza, I had dinner at Mister Jiu's, a modern Chinese restaurant in the red lanterns strewn with hearts of San Francisco's Chinatown.

Given the restaurant's MO, I expect more traditional preparations of tofu from Chef and Owner Brandon Jew.

And there are a number of them, but then Chef Jude attacks in the middle of eating Briozas Pasta theme and explore it with the same passion.

If I did not know better, I would accept the dish. Jude sends me a pasta at the table, especially maltagliati, the Emilia Romagna classic torn and irregular pasta flapper baked here with morels, duck egg and garlic is capes.

One more night, I visit Nightbird, a cozy tasting menu in the Hayes Valley neighborhood The chef, Kim Alte r, is in an alliance with Brioza and Jude, both of them are trying to open their already adventurous customers to the idea that Yuba is not necessarily Asian, and are turning to Pasta as their preferred entry point.

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Alex Farnum

One of her favorite ways to make the compound visceral and instant is to brown the same Yuba strips to golden brown to create a tough, crunchy texture. Reminiscent of both pasta as well as to snack chips and then water them with a variation of a Caesar dressing of miso, Parmesan, egg yolk, garlic and Dijon. East meets West seamless and exciting.

The cooks, it is clear, I adore Yuba, I adore Yuba. It's hard not to do that. But Yuba is just part of the tofu universe.

Determined to prove to me that tofu is blocking, t The more traditional form you know in supermarkets can also be a stand-alone product. Tsai brings me to James Syhabout's Hawking Bird in Oakland, a determined, informal restaurant with fried chicken, watching over Telegraph Avenue.

Tsai tests two sandwiches on the menu. One is a chicken sandwich, the other a slice of firm hodo tofu fried to resemble a chicken sandwich.

"Well?" Tsai asks, after drinking several bites from each one.

I am surprised to hear that I prefer the tofu to the chicken. Somehow the actual chicken disturbs the delicious fried exterior, while the cleaner tofu does not.

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			<span class= Alex Farnum

Tsai is happy when he sees me polishing it off.

The love of the sandwich is further proof of what he's got for him For days it has been saying that tofu is not a substitute, but the thing itself that does not need to be in an Asian dish to be tasty, that it can go high and low.

Right and yet, what it says I ask myself that I really only like tofu when I think I'm eating something else "I'll take it," Tsai says, smiling. "Small steps."

After my tofu crawl I'm determined to use the lessons I've learned at home.

I make you a decent dish of tofu, sesame oil, chopped cumberbell cumber and celery, rice wine vinegar and Sriracha When I think back to the cooks Jude and Brioza, I make Marinara remains hot, tear some Yuba, throw everything, grate fresh Parmesan au f, add a few drops of ricotta, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over it.

It's good – and for a second I even think about making it for friends. Would I lie to them, what is it, or would I tell them, but only when they think it's something else?

The latter, definitely the latter.

Baby Steps.

– Todd Kliman is an award-winning food author of The Wild Vine .

Wait, soy is not bad for you?

No. It's actually pretty good for you, according to the latest scientific findings. Here are three health benefits of soybean:

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			<span class= Alex Farnum

1. It's a good source of protein.

Half a block of solid tofu contains 28 grams of protein, compared to half a cup of chopped, roasted chicken breasts has 22 grams In active people with higher protein intake, whether they were animals or plants, the risk of functional physical decline in old age was 35 percent lower. Those who ate the least protein found a study by researchers of the group Boston University from 2018.

2. It could fight diabetes.

People who consumed more isoflavones in tofu and soymilk had an 11 percent lower risk, according to a study by Harvard researchers from 2017 Isoflavones may improve glucose tolerance and blood lipids, markers of diabetes.

3. It could protect your prostate.

Men whose diet contains soy foods had a 29 percent reduced risk of contracting prostate cancer. A meta-analysis from 2018 revealed nutrients . Thanks again to isoflavones like genistein and daidzein, which scientists believe could disrupt the development of prostate cancer.

But what about the low sperm count and the male breasts? In the 2000s, several small studies and studies on rodents indicated that phytoestrogens in soy products could disrupt hormones. Some news agencies (including this one – our bad ones) may have exaggerated these findings.

"Such a compound has never been proven in human studies," says Qi Sun, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition, Harvard University. "I do not think that's a problem," says Sun.


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