Paneer vs Tofu: Nutritional Value

Paneer vs Tofu: Nutritional Value

Tip of the Day: 

Paneer and tofu both are high protein foods, often opted by vegetarians for protein intake. Paneer, also known as cottage cheese is traditionally made from cow’s milk and has a fresh versatile flavor whereas tofu also known as soybean curd is made from curdled fresh soya milk.

Tofu is rich in many nutrients and has high protein content. It is very similar to paneer in appearance but has low fat, cholesterol and calorie content compared to paneer. Tofu is beneficial for those people who have lactose intolerance and cannot eat paneer. While, paneer can be easily prepared at home by simply curdling milk with a dash of lime, making tofu is not that simple to make.

Nutritional breakdown of Paneer and Tofu (100gms)




Energy (kcal)


















Paneer or Tofu: Health Benefits

Tofu: If you are ready to compromise a bit on taste, tofu is a better option due to its low calorie count. Tofu is ideal for people who are on weight loss program because it has low fat content and is also recommended for those suffering from heart disorders and diabetes. It is very beneficial for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis patients, due to its high calcium content.

Consumption of tofu also helps lower cholesterol levels, triglycerides and helps restrict growth of cancer cells, decreasing the risk of breast cancer recurrence by about 25%. It is also beneficial in reducing menopausal symptoms and preventing liver damage caused by free radicals.

Tofu comes in different consistencies - extra firm, firm, soft or silken. Soft tofu has a smoother texture and is used for soups, salad dressings, sauces and desserts whereas the firm and extra firm are best for grilling, baking and stir frying. Silken tofu is best for dip and pudding and can also be well blended into smoothies for added protein. Firmer tofu has higher the fat content while the softest tofu has the lowest fat content.

Paneer can be best substituted with tofu for someone on weight loss plan. However, even those on weight loss plan should not completely avoid paneer due its other nutritional health benefits like high protein content. Consumption of paneer in moderate quantity is recommended over completely avoiding it. Both tofu and paneer have their own nutritional benefits. It is for the individual to choose the right option depending on his/her health requirement.  Paneer is softer, creamier and high in fat content.

Top 6 ways to incorporate tofu in your diet: There are numerous ways to incorporate this nutritious dairy product to your diet. Some of them are:

  • Grill or stir fry tofu with small cubes of vegetables like carrots, onions and capsicum
  • Use diced tofu in stews, soups, chili and casseroles
  • Dip tofu into a mixture of garlic and lemon juice
  • You can prepare a tofu bhurji by simply crumbling soft tofu and scrambling it along with onion, tomatoes and coriander with spices.
  • Add tofu cubes in your fruit salad and drizzle a little honey on it
  • Stir fry tofu till they are golden brown in color and add them to soup.