Soy sauce is a savory condiment to flavor many low-carb or keto dishes. It is a culinary favorite of Chinese and Japanese cuisines.
When it comes to flavoring food, soy sauce ranks high among my go to-s. It adds character to any dish. But as much as it is handy and a kitchen fave, is soy sauce keto? Is it within your keto boundaries, or is it backtracking you from ketosis?
Before I proceed, we need to understand the make-up of soy sauce.
Soy sauce is made of soybeans, wheat, salt, and water. These components involve gluten and carbs, which are against the keto constitution. Relying on this, you could say that soy sauce is not keto. But is this really the case?
If you follow the keto diet, you must count every macro in everything you eat, including sauces, condiments, and flavorings.
Let’s dissect the murky waters of soy sauce. And as it is, there is no straight road to this. The fact is, not all soy sauce is keto. Depending on the brand, you can get yourself low-carb soy sauce. To do this, all you have to do is look at the ingredients on the packaging. Choose the soy sauce with no added sugars and a low net carb count.
Do you have a particular question about soy sauce on keto? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
Does soy sauce have carbs?
Yes, it does. You can’t miss the carbs with wheat as an ingredient. Moreover, soybeans have a minor component of carbs. So, there is nothing like carb-free soy sauce. Just stick with the least carb counts or any soy sauce alternative with no carbs.
If you aim for keto soy sauce, go for the sugar-free one.
How many carbs are in soy sauce?
The carbs in soy sauce vary with the brand you buy. One serving (1 tablespoon) of regular soy sauce contains 0.8g of total carbs, 0.6g net carbs, 0.1g of fat, 8 calories, and 1.3g of proteins.
But some brands have 2g of net carbs and 2g of protein for 1 tbsp.
Is soy sauce keto-friendly?
The keto diet eliminates carbs and emphasizes a high fat intake. So, yes, some brands of soy sauce are keto-friendly. An excellent example of soy sauce keto is Kishibori Shoyu Pure Artisan soy sauce. It has a minor carb count.
This soy sauce keto has less than half of the regular carbs of soy sauce. In a serving size of 2 tsp (1 tbsp), the macro includes 1g of carbs, 1g of proteins, and 10 calories.
And no. Some soy sauce brands are not keto-friendly. Always look at the macros of any soy sauce packaging. They will let you know the carb count of that particular brand.
Tip: Any soy sauce with a lot of sugar and wheat is keto unfriendly. Such types include sweet soy sauce and dark soy sauce with added sugar. Other keto-friendly soy sauce consists of the light soy sauce you use for general cooking with a thinner consistency.
Can you have soy sauce on keto?
Just follow this simple guide. If the soy sauce has low carb content, no sugar, and low sodium, you can have it on keto. It is a bonus if it has natural flavoring and coloring.
Keto soy sauce substitute
These soy sauce substitutes will dial down on the sodium and carb macros. On top of that, they will add great flavor to your dishes. Feel free to use them in your keto recipes.
Tamari. This is the traditional soy sauce without wheat and sugar. For all your 100% keto recipes, use Tamari for the rich flavor.
Coconut aminos. This is the closest low-carby sauce alternative to soy sauce. This savory seasoning is similar in looks and taste to soy sauce because it is made by fermenting coconut sap with water and salt.
Coconut aminos is excellent for a vegan and gluten-free diet.
Liquid aminos. It is a dark, salty sauce for seasoning. The acidic chemical used to treat the soy sauce breaks down the proteins into free amino acids, making it gluten-free.
Dried mushrooms (dried). Though different in texture from soy sauce. Dried mushrooms add a rich flavor to your food. You can try using whole dried mushrooms or mushroom powder.
Miso paste. With only about 2g of carbs per serving, miso paste is keto-friendly with a rich umami flavor.
Fish sauce. The best brands of fish sauce contain only salt and anchovies. But just their taste alone adds an umami flavor to your dishes.
But like soy sauce, some fish sauce brands add sugar, so ensure you check the labels for macros. And, of course, this option is a no-go for keto vegans.
How much sodium is in soy sauce?
Soy sauce is high in sodium. It has almost 40% of the daily value of salt you are supposed to consume. So too much consumption in a day can increase your blood pressure, leading to heart disease or stroke. So please, take it in moderation.
All in all, soy sauce is keto. Just be mindful of the type of soy sauce that goes into your mouth (be aware of the macros). And if you don’t mind the sodium content of the sauce, you are good to go.
Thanks for the graphics: Canva.com
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