If you have recently made the switch to a fully ketogenic diet, you have committed to lowering carbohydrate intake and increase proteins and healthy foods. With so many things to consider while on this weight-loss diet, you may be wondering which foods to eat and which to avoid. The Ketogenic diet works excellent when you eliminate refined sugars and grains and foods that are high in carbs. Soy, however, adds flavor to foods, but it is not all that you may think. While this may be healthy, it might not help in bringing your body into the ketosis state.
What is Soy Sauce?
Soy sauce is a salty brown condiment produced over 2,000 years ago in ancient China. It is made from a fermented paste of soybeans, roasted grain, brine, and Aspergillus oryzae. This condiment was originally used to stretch the salt supply, which grew to become very expensive in ancient China. Soy sauce was first introduced during the Western Han dynasty. It is commonly eaten with sushi and noodles. Soy sauce offers rich flavor to foods and meats, becoming one of the most popular cooking ingredients worldwide.
Traditional Chinese Soy sauce was a long and tedious process. In ancient years, the condiment would go through the following stages:
- Cook and Soften Bean – The beans were to be soaked and boiled. Roasted kinds of wheat are often added for an extra flavor boost.
- Aspergillus Fungus Culturing – Boiled soybeans and roasted wheat are joined into a grain batter.
- Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Culturing – Sugars are altered and form into ethanol
- Culture Grain Brew – The mixture will then join salt brine or other grains to become simple sugar ultimately. This step is the reason for the brown color of soy sauce.
- Pressing the Fermented Grains – The mixture pressed to extract the liquid sauce. All additional materials from this process are used as fertilizer and food for animals.
- Heating the Sauce – The liquid soy sauce is then baked, which aids in yeast and mold removal.
Today, the process of making soy sauce has undoubtedly become more convenient and cost-efficient. This is due to the use of acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein. By using this, the creation process takes a few days wherein ancient times it would take months. This also enables soy sauce to stay on store shelves for a longer period.
Soy sauce has received a bad reputation for its high sodium content. However, the mixture does have positive health benefits.
Does Soy Sauce Have Carbs?
When adopting a ketogenic lifestyle, it is essential to enjoy the foods you eat. For this reason, many individuals enjoy soy sauce for their rich flavor. Although it is a commonly used condiment, it is essential to use in moderation considering the carbs in soy sauce. According to experts, it should be noted that each tablespoon is equal to one carb.
Types of Tofu and Their Carbohydrate Content
There are various types of tofu, and we will explain everything below.
This type of tofu is undrained and un-pressed. It is a Japanese food that includes the most water content than any other tofu. Its texture is usually creamy and thick, although, depending on the soy protein content, it can have a firm texture. Individuals that eat silken tofu typically enjoy it as a dipping sauce, mayonnaise, or shake. The total carbohydrate count for one slice of Silken Tofu is 2 grams.
Regular tofu is the exact opposite of Silken tofu. It is pressed and has a spongy consistency, which is because of the higher water content. Depending on how much water is pressed out, regular tofu can range from soft to extra-firm.
Soft Texture Tofu
This type of tofu is originally made in China. It is similar to the Japanese Silken Tofu; however, the consistency is a lot thicker. The total carb count for a 100-gram serving of soft tofu is 2 grams.
Medium Texture Tofu
Medium tofu is lighter and delicate. Many people add this to Miso soups. The total carb count for 60 calories of medium tofu is 2 grams.
Firm Texture Tofu
Unlike the previous softer tofu, the firm tofu absorbs flavor well and can easily replace meat in any type of dish. It can be seasoned, fried, sautéed, and scrambled. Firm texture tofu has a count of 1.9 grams of carbs for every 69 calories.
Extra-Firm Texture Tofu
The Extra-firm tofu holds a block shape. This feature makes it an ideal option for slicing, cubing, and even baking as with regular meat. Total carb count for 80 calories of extra firm tofu is 2 grams.
Super-Firm Texture Tofu
The densest tofu is the super-firm texture, as it also has the most protein content amongst the other tofu. It often looks like a block of cheese. Each serving of super-firm tofu is 3 grams of carbohydrates.
Soy Sauce Alternatives
Here are the primary alternatives for soy sauce:
Coconut Aminos is a great soy sauce alternative. This blend is formed from fermented the natural sap of coconut palms and sea salt. It has the same brown hue as regular soy sauce. Individuals that enjoy Coconut Aminos will find that the taste is a lot sweeter. It is a healthier option as it is soy-free and gluten-free. Traditional soy sauce has high sodium content. Coconut Aminos are not as high in this ingredient. It is also great for those who suffer from food allergies. This makes it an ideal option; however, it does not have substantial nutritional value.
Liquid Aminos (from soy)
Another great alternative to soy is liquid amino. This is made similarly to coconut aminos; however, in addition to fermenting with coconut sap, it is made with salt and water. Additionally, it is formed by hydrolyzed soybeans. For those who love a little more seasoning, liquid aminos add the perfect touch of salt. The amino acids that are included are excellent for muscle formation and immune health. Best of all, it is 100% vegan and gluten-free.
Some of the soy sauces we love include sodium benzoate. This ingredient is included just to extend the shelf life of the product; however, this does harm to the health.
The Best Keto Alternatives to Sauces, Dressings, Condiments, and Marinades
Is there a substitute for soy sauce? Let’s find out!
Avocado Pesto Greens Sauce – This rich and creamy sauce is a great way to introduce your body to the keto fats that are so important to the ketogenic diet. The significant part about this sauce is that it is a budget-friendly way to replace the sauces that you are used to. All that is needed are an avocado, fresh basil leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and pine nuts. This blend is excellent for weight-loss, antioxidants, and so much more.
Nacho Cheese Sauce – For a little fun to replace the regular dipping sauce, try nacho cheese sauce. It is a tasty, creamy blend that does not include any more than 1.5 carbohydrates and 2 grams of sugar per serving.
Dijon and Yellow Mustard – Both mustards make excellent sauces because they have zero carbohydrate content and sugar-free. Instead of going for the usual sweet ketchup, grab any of the two that help add flavor and melt pounds on a ketogenic diet.
Sriracha Mayonnaise – Spice up your meal by adding sriracha mayonnaise. Not only is it tasty, but it only has 1 gram of sugar and carbohydrates.
Ranch Salad Dressing – Eating a salad can be boring without the right dressing to top it off. Ranch dressing only contains 1 gram of sugar and carbohydrates. Add to your salad or use as a dipping sauce.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent resource for health benefits. It has a unique taste and is low in carbs and sugars.
Oil-based Dressings – If creamy salad dressings are not your thing, you will find a simple mixture of oil and vinegar to complement your diet better. The great news is that nothing in this salad dressing contains carbohydrates, and you can customize it to your taste.
BBQ Sauce – Barbeque sauce is a great soy sauce alternative and can be used as a marinade as well. However, the better option is those that are low in sugar content. Most of the brands we love are high in glucose. Search for barbeque sauce that you will still enjoy and helps you grow closer to your weight-loss goals.
Strawberry Jam – This is an excellent condiment for those who are on a strict ketogenic diet. The right jam includes strawberries, xylitol, and grass-fed Collagelatin. It is an excellent addition to your favorite snacks and does not contain carbohydrates.
Chocolate Toasted Coconut Butter – This tasty condiment includes salt, cocoa powder, and shredded coconuts. It is an excellent option to add to a healthy snack and only contains one carbohydrate. To get the best results on a ketogenic diet, ditch the low-quality chocolate powders and go for one with quality.
Pecan Butter – Pecan butter is another condiment that adds the right amount of taste to a snack. All that is needed is to soak some pecans in water (which decreases phytic acids).
Coconut Vanilla Sauce – If you have a sweet tooth but don’t want the carbs, try having a low-carb dessert with a whipped mixture of coconut butter, grass-fed butter, and sweetener whips. This creates a fluffy consistency that will leave your taste buds satisfied.
Does Soy Sauce Fit into a Ketogenic Diet?
According to Keto Summit, soy products are not the most fabulous option for a ketogenic diet. This is because they are processed and rich in phytoestrogens. Another disadvantage to soy products is the content of phytates, which affect the body’s ability to absorb minerals. When it comes to soy sauce, many products are healthier options. It is very flavorful, however, not beneficial to a strict low-carb diet.
The ketogenic diet is centered around cutting back on carbohydrates and increasing healthy fats. When this is fully accomplished, the body goes into ketosis. This is when the body naturally switches metabolic habits, burning fat instead of carbohydrates. Consuming starchy foods or pieces of bread is counterproductive to the ketogenic weight-loss diet.
Soy sauce can be used on a keto diet; however, it should be used in moderation. Soy sauce does have a significant impact on those who struggle from low estrogen levels. Soybeans are usually very high in carbohydrates, and the point of this diet is to minimize that. The better option would be to replace soy sauce completely.
Since Soy sauce is so high in sodium, it is not the best fit for all dieters. It could pose a health risk to some people. Soy sauce has the potential to increase blood pressure to maintain nerve and muscle functions. Some sauces include histamine, which could create problems like rashes, sweating, blood pressure changes, and more.
Luckily there are so many healthy sauces, marinades, and dressings to replace those with high carbs and sugars. For example, a ketogenic dieter may replace soy sauce for liquid aminos, which offer significant health benefits without sacrificing taste. There are also Coconut Aminos, Green sauces, and Kikkoman soy sauce, which only has 1 gram of carbohydrates. It should be used sparingly.
So, is Soy Sauce Keto Friendly?
Individuals that have adopted the ketogenic diet and lifestyle require foods that are low in carbs and high in healthy fats. This makes every food choice crucial – including what sauces we choose that may be counterproductive.
Soy sauce is a flavorful blend of salts, which makes it a favorite for those on strict diets. It has become very popularly used since its ancient Chinese beginnings. Although this sauce has undoubtedly come a long way, it still has more to go for the health-conscious. It can be used on a ketogenic diet; however, it should be taken in moderation. Too much can negatively affect weight loss and overall health.
To avoid adverse side effects, it is advised to try the healthy options mentioned earlier in this article. Your health will thank you for it.