Paneer and tofu are both healthy and nutritious. While they look alike and share some similar properties, they are actually two completely different foods and have a vast difference in their nutritional contents. Take a look at this article to know more about paneer and tofu and understand how they help you to stay healthy.
What is paneer?
Paneer is a type of cheese that is made by curdling animal milk. It is most commonly made from cow’s milk, though it is also made with the milk of goats and buffaloes too. It is a vegetarian source of food as the milk is curdled using lemon juice. Paneer is sold and consumed fresh and originates from India, hence is also called Indian cheese or cottage cheese.
What is tofu?
Tofu is made with soya milk, which is curdled and pressed, much like how paneer is made. It is a completely plant-based product and suitable for vegans and those who follow a dairy-free diet. It originated in China but is now popular all across the world.
The main differences
Paneer is an animal-based product as it is made from cow or buffalo milk. However, it is a vegetarian product. Tofu is completely plant-based and doesn’t have any animal product in it, and is suitable for vegans.
Since paneer is made with animal milk, it has a high-fat content. You get close to 9 grams of fat in a 100-gram serving of paneer. This is beneficial for children or for those who are looking to gain weight, but not suitable for those who are on a weight-loss journey. Tofu, on the other hand, has only 1,6 grams of fat per 100-gram serving, so it is a healthier choice for those who follow a low-fat diet.
Animal milk is rich in calcium. Calcium helps you to have strong bones and teeth and is essential for children and adults too. If you are looking for a calcium-rich option, paneer is better suited. Paneer offers 42% calcium per serving while tofu, being plant-based, offers a much lower percentage.
- Carbs and calories
Paneer has a higher volume of carbs and calories and again, is not very suitable for anyone who is on a limited-calorie diet. Tofu is very low in carbs and calories and hence, proves to be a better alternative here.
- Taste and variation
Both paneer, as well as tofu, have a fairly neutral taste. They absorb the taste of the sauces and gravies they are added to and hence are easy to cook and use in recipes. Paneer is widely used in Indian cooking while tofu is more commonly found in Southeast Asian cuisine. While paneer doesn’t really have any variation, tofu has quite a few variations including silken tofu, toughened tofu, and soft tofu.
The bottom line
As you can see from the points mentioned above, there are some fundamental differences between paneer and tofu. You need to choose the one which matches your requirements or dietary needs.