Blog, Ketogenic Diet

Is Soy Sauce Keto? The Answer Might Suprise You

 November 7, 2018

By  Jeremy Stone

I love soy sauce. It has always been one of my favourite condiments to use.  Marinating it with steaks and garlic was one of my go-to moves to making a tasty dinner.

So when I started the ketogenic diet, one of the first things I wanted to know is if I could still use soy sauce!

Is Soy Sauce Keto?

Soy sauce can be used in a Keto diet, but it should be used sparingly. 1 tablespoon of soy sauce has 1 gram of net carbs. So if not used carefully, the net carbs can add up quickly. Therefore, when used responsibily, soy Sauce is keto safe.

There are other similar sauces like Liquid amino that have similar flavoring to soy sauce but has less net carbs than Soy sauce and may be safer to use on a keto diet.

keto soy sauce

Why Soy Sauce?

Soy Sauce is one of the oldest condiments in the world, and has been a mainstay for me around the dining table. For one, Soy Sauce packs a mean punch of sodium and electrolytes.

When on the keto diet, the body often craves for these essentials in order to guarantee optimum performance. Having Soy Sauce in close proximity during meal times also happens to be a wonderful way to ensure that you don’t succumb to the numerous effects of the Keto Flu.

Since we’re talking about Keto, you’re probably wondering just how safe Soy Sauce is in terms of carbs constitution. The typical tablespoon has only 1 gram of carbs content in it. When you review the fact that many keto recipes only require you to add about a ¼ cup of Soy Sauce, you get to the conclusion that you’re going to be playing it safe.

When you do the math, you’ll discover that a ¼ cup of Soy Sauce has only 4 grams of carbs. Which means that you’ll still be in the clear when cooking for keto.

Digging Deeper into Soy Sauce

A daily intake of Soy Sauce provides 38% of the recommended salt intake. Importantly, while Soy Sauce boasts vast quantities of both protein and carbohydrates in terms of volume, they are not the only substantial nutrients contained in the condiment.

The various processes involved in the preparation of Soy Sauce i.e. the fermentation, aging, straining and pasteurization typically yield a plethora of substances that play a big role in the taste, coloring, and aroma of Soy Sauce. Some of the emergent substances are things like sugars, alcohols, lactic acid, and amino acids which play various roles in the body’s development.

What’s Bad About Soy Sauce?

As highlighted, Soy Sauce is perfectly okay for keto from a nutritional perspective. However, it would be remiss for me not to point out that Soy Sauce may not be the ideal condiment for everyone. Some of the constitutional elements in Soy Sauce may cause it to pose a health risk to some people.

When taken in excess, sodium from the Soy Sauce may lead to elevated blood pressure. In light of this, it’s advisable that you don’t overindulge when adding Soy Sauce to your food. In small dosages, sodium is vital in ensuring the proper functioning of nerves and muscles in the body.

Some commercial brands of Soy Sauce also tend to have histamine as part of the ingredients. To avoid the toxic effects of histamine, you need to consume Soy Sauce in moderation. Over-engaging in histamine-rich foods can lead to symptoms like rashes, sweating, stomach issues, sweating and blood pressure variations.

Other brands have wheat and gluten listed in the constitution of Soy Sauce. Those allergic to wheat or happen to have celiac disease should seek to find brands that offer gluten-free alternatives.

Soy Sauce also happens to be perfect for those facing hormonal issues like low estrogen. Phytoestrogens form part of the composition of Soy Sauce and may come to the rescue of those seeking to raise their estrogen levels. On the same note, those with incredibly high estrogen levels need to stay away from Soy Sauce since they would be doing more harm than good to their bodies.

As a parting shot, it’s important to note that when it comes to using Soy Sauce as a condiment, it’s not all doom and gloom. These aforementioned issues are only here to make you aware of possible scenarios. If you’ve not noticed any weirdness after partaking in a Soy Sauce delicacy, you should not be put off by this information.

Brands Worth Checking Out

The market is awash with numerous Soy Sauce options to try out. My personal favorites are the OHSAWA Organic Nama Shoyu Sauce and the Lee Kum Kee Premium Soy Sauce.

Is There A Keto Soy Sauce Replacement?

Coconut Aminos

Coconut Aminos is a great keto soy sauce substitute and it is absolutely gluten-free. Since it’s derived from coconut trees that naturally have a little bit of sea salt, Coconut Aminos has considerably diminished levels of sodium compared to Soy Sauce.

I tend to like using Coconut Aminos when making marinades, sauces and a host of other recipes which comprise spicy ingredients and salt.

The only flaw with Coconut Aminos is that it’s a tad bit more expensive than Soy Sauce. It does have a considerably sweeter flavor though.

Is Kikkoman soy sauce Keto?

Kikkoman is one of the most popular soy sauces on the Market. It has 1 net gram of carbs per tablespoon which makes it keto friendly if used responsibly. That means you can add soy sauce to your recipes for flavouring, but it is not carb free.

So just like with regular soy sauce, you will have to use it responsibly and keep track of how much soy sauce you put into your recipes.



Jeremy Stone

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