Is Tofu Keto Friendly?

Is Tofu Keto Friendly?

December 22, 2023 5 min read

Tofu is a popular food item for many diet regimes. It primarily serves as a meat alternative, mostly for plant-based or vegetarian practitioners. With tofu essentially a substitute for meats such as chicken, beef, or our favorite - keto pork rinds.

There’s a lot of confusion about whether or not it’s allowed in the ketogenic diet.

In this article, we unravel answers from experts and nutritionists to determine whether or not tofu is keto-friendly. We’ll also uncover the different types of tofu, their carb content and nutritional information, and more. 

What is Tofu?

Tofu is a food item made from soybeans. It’s a staple ingredient for a variety of dishes, originating in China more than 2000 years ago. Tofu is made by curdling soy milk and pressing the curds into blocks. This yields cubes of tofu with different levels of firmness. 

Experts consider Tofu healthy as it’s plant-based and abundant in protein and healthy fats. But to reap its health benefits, dieticians recommend opting for tofu made with organic soy. Other soy crops do more harm than good because they’re genetically modified and treated with pesticides. 

Can You Eat Tofu on Keto?

Tofu can be considered keto-friendly, but proponents believe it’s not the perfect keto food. Although it’s a good source of healthy fats and protein, it’s important to remember that tofu is primarily used as a substitute for meat. And because of that, it does not have the same nutritional qualities as meat items like beef, seafood, or chicken. 

Keto dieters also have concerns about the carbohydrate content in tofu. While low in carbohydrates compared to other food items, whether or not you can consume tofu on keto will depend on your daily carb allowance. 

Ultimately, nutritionists highlight that you must be careful about adding tofu to your meals. They point out that tofu is more suitable for those following the ketogenic diet and are also vegetarian or vegan. But for pure keto dieters, meat is a better, low-carb source of fat and protein. 

How Many Carbs in Tofu?

Tofu is relatively low in carbs, with a100-gram serving containing only 1.2 grams of carbohydrates. The same amount of tofu has 83 calories, 5.3 grams of fat, and 10 grams of protein. It can be suitable for the ketogenic diet because of the division of its fat, protein, and carbohydrate content. 

However, it’s not the best source of healthy fats for the ketogenic diet, which requires your calorie consumption to be 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. Meat items like beef, for example, fit better into theketo macros because of their higher fat and protein content. 

85 grams (3 oz) of beef outranks tofu in nutritional quality, containing 14 grams of fat, 22 grams of protein, and 0 grams of carbohydrates. 

Types of Tofu

The process of making tofu can be varied, yielding different types of tofu with unique consistencies and textures. Each tofu variety is categorized based on its firmness, which is determined by its water content. The more water there is in tofu, the softer it is. 


Silken tofu is the softest of the tofu varieties. It has a water content so high that it can barely keep its shape when handled. Its soft consistency makes it suitable for making sauces, cakes, and fillings. For keto dieters, silken tofu can be used to create keto-friendly dressings, cream sauces, smoothies, ice cream, and more. 

100 grams of silken tofu contains 44 calories, 2.2 grams of fat, 4.4 grams of protein, and 1.1 grams of carbohydrates. 


Regular tofu is what you usually see in restaurants and grocery stores. It has a slightly firm and solid texture, allowing it to hold its shape well after it’s cooked or prepared. Regular tofu can be scrambled or used as a spread to add protein to a keto meal. 

This tofu variety contains 83 calories, 5.3 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein, and 1.2 grams of carbohydratesper 100-gram serving


Firm tofu is the most popular tofu variety and is often the type used as a meat substitute. Its firmness allows it to be cooked in a variety of ways, with common recipes including smoked or stir-fried tofu. Firm tofu can also be marinated and used to make spreads. 

A serving size of100 grams of firm tofu has 144 calories, 8.7 grams of fat, 17.3 grams of protein, and 2.8 grams of carbohydrates. 


Extra-firm tofu only has a slightly higher level of firmness than regular tofu, making their uses and recipes the same for the most part. However, because of its firmer consistency, this variety does not absorb sauces or marinades as well as firm tofu. It’s best fried or baked to make a crispy tofu dish. 

Extra-firm tofu, when served in a portion size of100 grams, contains 94 calories, 4.7 grams of fat, 9.4 grams of protein, and 2.4 grams of carbs. 


The densest of all tofu varieties is super-firm tofu. It has an almost similar consistency to meat items like chicken and ground beef. This makes it a go-to for dishes like tacos, bowls, etc. 

Super-firm tofu has about 123 calories per100-gram serving. The same amount also contains 6.6 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein, and 1 gram of carbohydrates. 

Types of Tofu: Nutrition Summary

Different varieties of tofu will have different textures and consistencies. They will also differ when it comes to calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrate content. 

Here is the nutritional information for different types of tofu at a glance. These are for a serving size of 100 grams.

Tofu Variety






44 kcal

2.2 g

4.4 g

1.1 g


83 kcal

5.3 g

10 g

1.2 g


144 kcal

8.7 g

17.3 g

2.8 g


94 kcal

4.7 g

9.4 g

2.4 g


123 kcal

6.6 g

15 g

1 g


The nutritional content of tofu makes it suitable for the ketogenic diet regime. It’s a good source of fat and protein while having minimal carbohydrates. While it can be a substitute for meat for plant-based keto dieters, practitioners believe that those observing pure keto can get better nutritional quality from meat items. 


Is Tofu Keto: Frequently Asked Questions

How much tofu can I eat keto?

An average serving of tofu contains only 1.5 grams of net carbs, so you can consume what you need to have a satisfying meal without worrying about exceeding your carb allowance. With the standard ketogenic diet limiting carbs to 50 grams per day, the carb content in tofu is insubstantial. 

Does tofu have a lot of carbohydrates?

Tofu is low in carbohydrates. 100 grams of regular tofu, for example, only contains 1.2 grams of carbs, making it suitable for those observing a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Other tofu varieties are also low in carbs. Tofu can also be a good source of healthy fats and protein. 

Is it OK to eat a block of tofu a day?

Nutritionists consider tofu as a healthy food item and say it’s safe to consume it, along with other soy foods every day. For those observing the keto diet, proponents generally do not recommend a certain limit on how much tofu you can consume in a day. Ultimately, it will depend on your personal daily macro allowance. 

Is tofu good or bad for weight loss?

Tofu is a staple in many weight loss diet regimes. It is considered healthy and effective for weight loss as it’s low in calories, high in protein, free of cholesterol, and rich in bone-boosting minerals. Tofu can also keep you feeling full for longer, reducing hunger pangs throughout the day.