Is Tempeh Healthy Or Bad?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Is tempeh healthy or bad? Tempeh is soy-based plant food that is an alternative to meat. Many vegetarians choose this for themselves as a meat alternative option. It is very popular with vegans and vegetarians because it has Vitamin B-12, and it has the complete source of protein your body needs. Tempeh has nine of the essential amino acids your body needs to build and maintain your muscle mass as well as build healthy bones.

Is Tempeh Healthy Or Bad? Photo credit: iStock-tonphai

The nutritional facts of a 3-ounce Tempeh are:

  • 162 calories
  • 15 grams of protein
  • 9 grams of carbs
  • 9 grams of total fat
  • 9 milligrams of sodium
  • 12% of Iron
  • Calcium-9% of the Recommended daily intake, (RDI)
  • Riboflavin- 18% of the RDI
  • Niacin- 12% of the RDI
  • Magnesium- 18% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus- 21% of the RDI
  • Manganese- 54% of the RDI

When it comes to soy products tempeh is one of those plant-based proteins and plant-based diets that promotes positive gut health.

Tempeh also has no cholesterol, and it contains fiber, iron, calcium, and other minerals.  Some of the health benefits of eating tempeh are that it is a probiotic food that will help promote and influence gut microbiome. What is gut microbiome? It is the bacteria that lies in your digestive system. Why do we need prebiotics? Because it is a fiber that influences the growth of bacteria in your digestive system.

Studies have shown that prebiotics can increase stool frequency, reduce inflammation, and improve memory. They also have shown it can increase the formation of short fatty acids in the colon.

One of the advantages of eating a protein food is that it will keep you staying full throughout the day. And one cup of tempeh contains about 31 grams of protein.  There is research that has shown that soy protein and meat protein are both equally effective when it comes to controlling your appetite.

There was a 2014 study where 20 men that had obesity were put on a high protein diet that included soy based or meat-based protein. After 2 weeks they found that both diets led to weight loss, decrease in hunger, and made them fuller. There were no significant differences between the soy based food that had protein and animal-based protein.

What does that mean? It means that tempeh can increase satiety, reduce hunger, and increase weight loss. Tempeh also has a good source of calcium and getting a consistent intake of calcium will keep your bones strong and improve bone density.

Getting the proper amount of calcium can help the lower chances of obtaining osteoporosis.  Tempeh is a fermented soy food and not everybody can consume soy food as some people are allergic to it.

Some of the allergic symptoms to soy are:

  • Swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives

“Tempeh has nine of the essential amino acids your body needs to build and maintain your muscle mass as well as build healthy bones.”- Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is tempeh is a high protein food that is popular with vegans and vegetarians because it is not an animal protein.

It is high in calcium, vitamin B-12 and it contains no cholesterol. It is a great weight loss food that keeps you feeling fuller while helping you eat less food.

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