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Is Soy Sauce Keto? How to Eat? [The Best Alternatives]

Is soy sauce keto? If you wonder if soy sauce is Keto-friendly or try to find Keto soy sauce alternatives, look no further as I have crawled the net as a soy sauce lover and have found interesting points you need to know if you like to use soy sauce on a Ketogenic diet.

Is Soy Sauce Keto? How to Eat? [The Best Alternatives]

What Is Soy Sauce?

Soy sauce is a part of various international dishes, especially in Asian cuisines like Chinese and Japanese. Soy sauce is made from a mixture of soybeans, wheat, salt, and water.

Let’s take a closer look at these ingredients and the basic process of making soy sauce.

  • Soybeans: It’s no secret that the main ingredient of soy sauce is soybeans.
  • Wheat: Wheat can be used in the fermentation process, but wheat-free soy sauces are also available for those who can’t tolerate gluten.
  • Salt: Salt plays a significant role as a preservative in the fermentation process.
  • Water: Water streamlines the fermentation and dilution of the soy sauce and leads to the desired consistency.

If you wonder what the fermentation process is and how soy sauce is made, here’s how:

  1. Steaming: A special proportion of soybeans and wheat are cooked and mixed.
  2. Inoculation: The mixture is inoculated with molds, yeasts, and lactic acid bacteria to start fermentation.
  3. Fermentation: The mixture is left to ferment for several months to several years. During fermentation, the microorganisms break down the carbohydrates and proteins into amino acids and other flavorful compounds.
  4. Pressing: After fermentation, the mixture is pressed to extract the liquid, which is soy sauce.

Learn More: Carnivore vs Keto: Which Is Better for Weight Loss?

Is Soy Sauce Keto?

Generally, soy sauce can be considered Keto-friendly as it contains low levels of carbohydrates, but it may not be the best choice to add to your Keto dishes. If you’re on a Keto diet, you’d better consume soy sauce in moderation and consider your daily cab intake.

But what is the belief that soy sauce is full of carbs?

Is Soy Sauce Full of Carbs?

Traditional soy sauce contains some carbohydrates coming from wheat. However, its carbohydrate content is low, and a small amount of soy sauce contains only a few grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per serving.

Let’s be more precise. Each serving of soy sauce contains only 8.5 calories and less than one gram (0.8g) of carbohydrates. It also contains very little sugar (0.06g) and fiber (0.1g).

But note that the carbohydrate content can vary slightly among different brands and types of soy sauce. Also, there are low-sodium and gluten-free soy sauce options available.

Learn More: Is Sour Cream Keto?

Why Is Soy Not Allowed in Keto?

Soy itself is frowned upon in a Keto diet as soya beans contain relatively higher levels of carbohydrates than other legumes. One cup (172 grams) of cooked soya beans contains 15 grams of net carbs, i.e., 30-75% of your daily carb limit on keto.

It means that if you eat soya beans too frequently or in excess, you will easily get kicked out of the ketosis state, directly impacting fat melting and weight loss.

Also, the reason why some Keto dieters limit their soy intake is the following factors.


Soy contains anti-nutrients like phytic acid, lectins, and protease inhibitors, which can hinder or limit the absorption of certain nutrients in the body.

GMO Concerns

Some soy products, especially those made from conventionally grown soybeans, may be genetically modified (GMO), which many Keto dieters try to avoid and choose organic versions instead.

Digestive Sensitivity

Soy can cause digestive issues, such as gas, bloating, and discomfort for sensitive individuals.

Learn More: Is Yogurt Keto-Friendly? What Is The Best Keto Yogurt?

How to Eat Soy Sauce on a Keto Diet?

If you're following a Keto diet, you can use soy sauce, but it's necessary to do so in moderation, and also follow the tips below.

Pay Attention to Portion Sizes

Use small quantities of soy sauce in your Keto dishes to keep your carb intake low.

Use It in Cooking

You can add soy sauce to your keto-friendly stir-fries, marinades, and even sauces as a seasoning to increase depth and an umami flavor.

Dipping Sauce

Combine some soy sauce with sesame oil, minced garlic, and a pinch of stevia or other Keto-friendly sweeteners to make a Keto-friendly dipping sauce for meat, seafood, or vegetables.

Salad Dressings

Mix soy sauce with olive oil, vinegar, and Keto-friendly seasonings to make a tasty homemade Keto salad dressing.

Check Labels

Check soy sauce labels to ensure no added sugars or high-carb thickeners are included.

Learn More: Can You Have Soy Sauce on the Carnivore Diet?

Soy Sauce Benefits on the Keto Diet

Each tablespoon of soy sauce (15 ml) contains 8, 1 gram of carbohydrates, zero fat, 1 gram of protein, and 902 mg sodium. Also, the fermentation, aging and pasteurization processes produce a mixture of over 300 substances, including alcohols, sugars, amino acids like glutamic acid, and organic acids like lactic acid that create the aroma, flavor and color of soy sauce. The amounts of these substances depend on the base ingredients, the strain of mold and the method of production (source).

Soy sauce, especially gluten-free versions, can lead to some benefits on a Ketogenic diet, as follows.

  • Flavor: Soy sauce adds a rich, salty, and savory flavor to your low-carb Keto dishes.
  • Low Calories: Soy sauce contains low levels of calories, making it a suitable condiment for those on a low-calorie Keto diet.
  • Protein: While soy sauce is not a significant source of protein, it contains small amounts of protein and can increase your overall protein intake.
  • Umami Flavor: Soy sauce provides an umami flavor, the “fifth taste.”
  • Versatility: Soy sauce is versatile and can be used in various Keto recipes.
  • Electrolyte Balance: Soy sauce contains sodium, an essential electrolyte that must be balanced in a Keto diet, especially in the early stages of adapting to ketosis.
  • Fermented Properties: Traditional soy sauce is fermented, i.e., it contains beneficial compounds with positive effects on gut health.

Learn More: What Is The Dirty Keto Diet? Food List and Free 7-Day Meal Plan

The Best Keto Soy Sauce

There are numerous brands of Keto soy sauce, but I’m about to list five of the most popular brands.

  • 365 Organic Reduced Sodium Shoyu Soy Sauce: Each 17 grams of it contains 0.5g of net carbs, zero fats, 2g of protein, and 10 calories.
  • Bragg Liquid Aminos: Per 5 ml of it includes zero net carbs and fats, 1g of protein, and 5 calories.
  • SAN-J Organic Shoyu Soy Sauce: Each 18 grams of it contains 1g of net carbs, zero fats, 2g of protein, and 10 calories.
  • Simple Truth Organic Reduced Sodium Tamari Sauce: Each  18 g of it includes 1g of net carbs, zero fats, 2g of protein, and 15 calories.
  • Eden Organic Tamari Soy Sauce: Each 15 ml of it includes 1g of net carbs, zero fats, 2g of protein, and 15 calories.

The Best Keto Soy Sauce Alternative and Substitute

  • Tamari Sauce: It is a Japanese, gluten-free soy sauce alternative that contains no wheat, which means it’s naturally lower in carbohydrates.
  • Coconut Aminos: It is a sweet and salty sauce made from coconut sap, with no gluten, but has a similar flavor profile to soy sauce.
  • Liquid Aminos: This gluten-free soy sauce alternative is made from soybeans, which brings the same umami flavor as soy sauce but with lower sodium content and similar carbs per serving as traditional soy sauce.

Learn More: What Is a Lazy Keto Diet? How to Do It? [Free 7-Day Meal Plan]


Soy sauce, with its strong flavor, can be a tasty ingredient in your Keto-friendly dishes. Although it is allowed on a Keto diet, you’d better keep your consumption low to avoid excess calories.

If you like to add the soy sauce flavor but are looking for lower calorie content, you can use the gluten-free alternatives introduced in this article.

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