Are you wondering if you can have soy sauce on a low-carb keto diet? Well, in this post, you will find the answer, the carb content of soy sauce, and some of the best replacements.
The ketogenic diet has gained immense popularity recently for its potential to promote weight loss and improve overall health. This high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet forces the body into ketosis, primarily burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Individuals following the keto diet must be vigilant about their carb intake to maintain ketosis. This brings us to the topic of soy sauce and its keto-friendliness. Is soy sauce keto-friendly? How many carbs are in soy sauce? Read the following article to find all the answers.
What Is Soy Sauce?
Soy sauce is one of the oldest spices in the world! It has been used for over 2,500 years in China, where it has spread, first to Asia and then to European cuisine.
Soy sauce is a fermented ingredient made from soybeans, water, and salt. Widely used to flavor food, especially in China, Japan, Korea, and Thailand, soy sauce has many different varieties in taste, consistency, salt content, although similar at first glance.
Let’s dig deeper and find out if we can have soy sauce on keto, how many carbs are in soy sauce, and other keto-friendly soy sauce alternatives.
Is Soy Sauce Keto?
With just 1 gram of net carbs per tablespoon of soy sauce, you could include soy sauce in your keto diet.
If you are not bothered by gluten and other soy by-products, you can easily include soy sauce even if you are on a keto diet.
Avoid “sweet” soy sauce that contains added sugar, and it’s not keto-friendly.
So, it’s possible to enjoy soy sauce on a keto diet to enhance the flavor of some dishes while still being on ketosis.
Always check the nutrition label to see how many carbs per serving are in your bottle of soy sauce. Carbs in say sauce vary greatly due to their type.
Different Types Of Soy Sauce
- Light Soy Sauce – This thin, brown liquid is what most Americans refer to as regular soy sauce. It is a good soy sauce to use on a keto diet since it’s unsweetened and contains about 1g of net carbs per serving.
- Dark Soy Sauce – This soy sauce contains added molasses or caramel, and it’s slightly thicker with a complex flavor.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce – Salt is an important component in soy sauce production because it is an antimicrobial agent. Most low-sodium soy sauces are prepared using the hydrolyzed acidic vegetable protein method, which does not use bacterial and fungal cultures and requires less salt.
- Tamari – This Japanese soy sauce is made from soybeans without wheat or other grains. Tamari has a very clean aroma and is favored by those who need a wheat-free or gluten-free diet.
- Sweet Soy Sauce – contains added sugar, and depending on the brand, a serving can have up to 15g net carbs.
Keto Soy Sauce Substitutions
If you’re looking for a keto soy sauce alternative, here are a few options:
- Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce is made from fermented vinegar, used mainly to season fish and red meat. Modern cuisine uses it extensively, using it both as a table spice and as an ingredient in marinades and sauces.
- Coconut aminos – Coconut amino is a sauce made from fermented coconut sap and contracted to its name. It does not taste like coconut. It has a similar umami taste to soy sauce but is slightly sweeter. Another interesting thing about this product is that it is lower in sodium and gluten-free and can be used for any recipe that needs soy sauce.
- Liquid Aminos
- Fish Sauce– Some brands make fish sauce using only anchovies and salt to add that umami flavor. Sadly, there are tons of brands that add sugar to enhance the taste.
Soy Sauce Carbs
According to the USDA website, one tablespoon(16g) of soy sauce provides:
- Calories 11.4
- Fat 0g
- Sodium 960mg
- Carbohydrates 0.7g
- Sugar 0g
- Fiber 0.12g
- Protein 1.3g
Carbohydrates in Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a popular condiment and ingredient in various Asian cuisines. It’s known for its savory, umami flavor and ability to enhance the taste of many dishes. But is soy sauce compatible with the keto diet?
Soy sauce is traditionally made from four primary ingredients: soybeans, wheat, salt, and water. The wheat component contains carbohydrates, which can concern those following a strict keto diet. The exact carb content in soy sauce can vary depending on the brand and type, but a standard serving size of one tablespoon typically contains around 1-2 grams of net carbs.
However, some manufacturers produce “gluten-free” soy sauce, eliminating the wheat component and reducing the carb content. These gluten-free soy sauces often have negligible carbs, making them a better choice for keto dieters.
Benefits Of Eating Soy Sauce
- Soy sauce is healthy, and nutritionists recommend it for daily consumption in overweight people.
- Niacin, found in soy sauce, is beneficial to heart health.
- Due to fermentation, soy sauce helps support and develop beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, improving digestive health and the immune system.
How To Store Soy Sauce
Unopened soy sauce can be stored in a cool, dark place on the shelf. And once opened, the soy sauce should be stored in the refrigerator for optimal flavor.
Using Soy Sauce in a Keto Diet
If you’re following a keto diet and want to incorporate soy sauce into your meals, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Portion Control: Be mindful of your portion sizes. A small amount of soy sauce can go a long way in flavoring your dishes.
- Check Labels: Always read product labels to determine the carb content of the soy sauce you’re using. Opt for low-carb or gluten-free varieties when possible.
- Use Tamari Sauce: Consider using tamari sauce as a low-carb alternative to traditional soy sauce.
- Incorporate Wisely: Use soy sauce as a condiment or seasoning in your keto recipes rather than as a primary source of carbs.
- Balance Your Macros: Ensure that the rest of your meal is well-balanced with fats and protein to stay within your daily carb limit.
- Homemade Soy Sauce: If you’re concerned about the carb content in store-bought soy sauce, you can try making your own at home with tamari or gluten-free soy sauce alternatives.
In summary, soy sauce can be part of a keto diet, but choosing the right type and monitoring your portion sizes. Traditional soy sauce contains some carbs due to its wheat content, while tamari sauce is a lower-carb alternative that is often gluten-free. By being mindful of your carb intake and using soy sauce in moderation, you can enjoy its savory flavor while staying on track with your ketogenic lifestyle.
Best Keto Recipes With Soy Sauce
I love using soy sauce in tons of recipes,, but you can substitute it with coconut aminos if you prefer.