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Is Soy Sauce Keto or Not?

Soy sauce, which is also called soju, is considered to be a staple of numerous Asian diets. As the world has become more global, many people have fallen in love with Asian cuisine and the powerful umami flavor of soy sauce. If you are trying to follow a keto diet, you may be wondering, is soy sauce keto? There are several important points you should keep in mind. Make sure you stick to your keto diet to maximize the health benefits it can provide. 

Some Soy Sauce Brands Are Keto-Friendly

Some soy sauce brands are considered to be keto-friendly. Many of them are low in carbohydrates, which means they can be used with most keto diets. It is still important to check the nutrition facts on the labels to make sure your specific type of soy sauce is keto-friendly. Some types of soy sauce are higher in carbs than others, so you need to make sure you are not going to break your diet.

How Is Soy Sauce Made?

There are many types of soy sauce that exist. Some of them are made differently from others, which is why they vary markedly in their carbohydrate content. The two most common production methods include: 

  • Traditional: The traditional soy sauce production method is conducted using fermented soybeans. They are made using wheat and water in combination with bacteria, yeast, and salt. It is not unusual for this production process to take years. 
  • Chemical: There is also a chemical production method that has been developed recently. Using this process, soy sauce can be produced in a few hours using heat and acid to break down the soybeans and create soy sauce. 

There are other factors that will impact the taste, style, and carbohydrate content of soybeans as well. For example, the proportions of salt, wheat, soybeans, and sugar will impact the final product. These ingredients can also have an impact on the aroma, texture, and flavor. All of these factors are going to play a role in whether soy sauce is keto-friendly. 

Furthermore, there is also a specific version of soy sauce called light soy sauce that is found across the world. This specific soy sauce is often keto-friendly because it contains almost no added sugar. If you are trying to stick to the keto diet, this may be a slow sauce you want to consider. 

What Are the Different Types of Soy Sauce

Before you decide on the type of sugar you want to use, you should take a closer look at the types of soy sauce available. They fall into different categories, including:

  • Light Soy Sauce: Light soy sauce is one of the most common types of soy sauce is available in North America. This low carb soy sauce is often keto-friendly because it often contains fewer than one gram of carbohydrates per tablespoon (or less). 
  • Dark Soy Sauce: Dark soy sauce is slightly sweetened when compared to other types of soy sauce. In general, this type of soy sauce has between one and five grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. Therefore, some types of dark soy sauce are keto-friendly while other types of this soy sauce are not. 
  • Tamari: Tamari sauce keto is a gluten-free soy sauce. Therefore, it does taste slightly different; however, it can pass for soy sauce in certain dishes. In general, this type of sauce has fewer than one gram of carbs per tablespoon. 
  • Sweet Soy Sauce: Finally, this type of soy sauce has a lot of added sugar. It is commonly called kecap manis, and it could contain as many as 15 grams of carbs per tablespoon. If you are trying to stick to a keto diet, then you should stay away from this option. 

These are just a few of the many types of soy sauce that are available. You should think carefully about the type of soy sauce you use, as this is going to have an impact on your ability to stick to the keto diet. 

Japanese sushi chopsticks, soy sauce bowl and sakura blossom on black stone background. Top view with copy space. Toned

How Do I Choose a Soy Sauce for My Keto Diet?

If you are trying to find soy sauce that will work well for the keto diet, it is important to consider your specific keto diet and how much soy sauce you are using. All versions of the keto diet are going to involve restricting carbohydrates. The goal is to place your body in a state of ketosis, where your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates as a fuel source. The only way this is going to happen is if you deprive your body of carbohydrates.

Ketosis is often achieved by reducing or carbohydrate intake to between 25 and 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is consider how much you want to restrict your carbohydrate intake. 

Because there are many low-carb soy sauce options, you should have plenty of choices from which to choose. That way, you can enjoy enhancing the flavor of your meal without having to risk your ketosis. A few key factors you need to consider as you make your decision include: 

  • The Number of Carbs in the Soy Sauce: The first thing you should do is take a look at the number of carbs on the nutrition label. Remember that most soy sauces are going to be quantified in terms of tablespoons. Therefore, the number you see should represent the number of carbohydrates per tbsp of soy sauce. 
  • The Number of Tablespoons You Use: After you figure out the number of carbohydrates present per tbsp, the next step is to multiply this by the number of tablespoons you are using. Think carefully about how much soy sauce you are going to add. This will determine how many carbohydrates you consume.
  • Your Allowance: Finally, you also need to think about your overall carb allowance. How many carbohydrates are you consuming on a given day? Where are your carbohydrates going to come from? This will help you determine how well you are soy sauce fits within your carb allowance. 

If you think about these factors now, you should be able to find a soy sauce option that fits your budget. This can go a long way toward helping you stick to ketosis while still enjoying delicious meals. 

Sushi Rolls with Rice, Surimi and Smoked Salmon and Soy Sauce

How Can You Use Soy Sauce?

When you look at the nutrition facts of soy sauce, you may be surprised at just how much it contains. On the other hand, you do need to remember that a little bit of soy sauce can go a long way. Because it has such a powerful flavor, you may be able to get away with adding less than one tbsp into each of your dishes.

Therefore, you may have an easier time choosing traditional soy sauce without break in ketosis. It is important to experiment with soy sauce a bit so you figure out exactly how much you require. You might even be able to get away with using a teaspoon of soy sauce instead of a tablespoon. 

Are There Any Alternatives To Soy Sauce?

If you are looking for an alternative to soy sauce, there are plenty of options you have at your disposal. Some of these options are more keto-friendly than others. These include:

  • Maggi Seasoning Sauce: This seasoning is very similar to soy sauce. You might not even be able to tell the difference. It has fewer than one gram of carbs per tbsp. 
  • Liquid Aminos: This is a saw that is made specifically from soy proteins. It is also free from all carbohydrates, so it is suitable for the keto diet. 
  • Coconut Aminos: This is another alternative to traditional soy sauce; however, even coconut aminos keto can be high in carbohydrates compared to certain types of soy sauce. In some situations, it could contain six grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon.
  • Fish Sauce: Finally, you may want to consider using fish sauce as well. There are certain types of fish sauce that have added sugar, so you need to read the nutrition facts carefully. Even though fish sauces contain more sodium than soy sauce, they may help you stick to the keto diet. Take a look at several options if you are considering fish sauce as a soy sauce alternative. 

Think carefully about these alternatives before you decide which one is right for you. You can incorporate many of these options into your dishes without breaking ketosis.