Keto Friendly

Is Soy Sauce Keto Friendly

Is Soy Sauce Keto Friendly?

Following a ketogenic diet involves consuming low-carbohydrate, high-fat foods to induce a state of ketosis in the body. This metabolic state promotes fat burning and weight loss. However, it can be challenging to navigate the world of condiments and sauces while on a keto diet. One popular condiment that often raises questions is soy sauce. In this article, we will explore whether soy sauce is keto-friendly and provide valuable insights to help you make informed choices.

Understanding the Nutritional Composition of Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a staple in Asian cuisine and is made from fermented soybeans, roasted grains, water, and salt. It is known for its rich umami flavor and is commonly used as a seasoning or dipping sauce. To determine if soy sauce is keto-friendly, we need to examine its nutritional composition.

One tablespoon (15ml) of regular soy sauce contains:

  • 10 calories
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 0 grams of sugar

From a macronutrient perspective, soy sauce is relatively low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. However, it is important to note that the carbohydrate content is not negligible, especially for individuals following a strict ketogenic diet.

The Impact of Carbohydrates on Ketosis

The primary goal of a ketogenic diet is to restrict carbohydrate intake to induce ketosis. When carbohydrates are limited, the body switches from using glucose as its primary fuel source to burning stored fat for energy. This metabolic shift leads to weight loss and other health benefits.

For most individuals following a keto diet, the daily carbohydrate intake is typically limited to 20-50 grams. This restriction ensures that the body remains in a state of ketosis. While one tablespoon of soy sauce contains only 1 gram of carbohydrates, it is essential to consider the serving size and potential cumulative effect.

Soy Sauce and Portion Control

When using soy sauce as a condiment or flavor enhancer, it is crucial to practice portion control. Many recipes and dishes call for more than just a tablespoon of soy sauce, which can significantly increase the carbohydrate content.

For example, if you consume 4 tablespoons of soy sauce in a meal, you would be consuming an additional 4 grams of carbohydrates. While this may not seem significant, it can add up throughout the day, especially if you are consuming other foods that contain carbohydrates.

Alternatives to Traditional Soy Sauce

If you are following a strict ketogenic diet and want to minimize your carbohydrate intake, there are alternatives to traditional soy sauce that you can consider:

  • Tamari: Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce that is often recommended for individuals with gluten sensitivities. It has a similar flavor profile to traditional soy sauce but typically contains fewer carbohydrates.
  • Coconut Aminos: Coconut aminos are made from the sap of coconut blossoms and have a slightly sweeter taste compared to soy sauce. They are low in carbohydrates and can be a suitable alternative for those following a keto diet.
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos: Bragg’s Liquid Aminos are derived from soybeans and contain 16 essential and non-essential amino acids. While they are not completely carbohydrate-free, they have a lower carbohydrate content compared to traditional soy sauce.

These alternatives provide options for individuals who want to enjoy the flavor of soy sauce while minimizing their carbohydrate intake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I consume soy sauce on a keto diet?

While soy sauce contains a small amount of carbohydrates, it can be consumed in moderation on a keto diet. However, it is important to practice portion control and consider the cumulative effect of carbohydrates from other sources.

2. How much soy sauce can I have on a keto diet?

It is recommended to limit your soy sauce intake to 1-2 tablespoons per meal to keep your carbohydrate intake in check.

3. Are there any low-carb soy sauce options available?

Yes, there are low-carb alternatives to traditional soy sauce, such as tamari, coconut aminos, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. These options can be suitable for individuals following a keto diet.

4. Can soy sauce kick me out of ketosis?

Consuming soy sauce in moderation is unlikely to kick you out of ketosis. However, if you consume large quantities or pair it with other high-carbohydrate foods, it may impact your ketone levels.

5. Are there any health benefits to consuming soy sauce?

Soy sauce contains antioxidants and beneficial compounds such as phytochemicals, which may have potential health benefits. However, it is important to consume soy sauce in moderation and consider the overall balance of your diet.

6. Can I use soy sauce as a marinade on a keto diet?

Using soy sauce as a marinade can add flavor to your dishes while keeping your carbohydrate intake relatively low. However, it is essential to account for the carbohydrates in the marinade and adjust your overall meal plan accordingly.


Soy sauce can be consumed in moderation on a keto diet, but it is important to practice portion control and consider the cumulative effect of carbohydrates. If you are following a strict ketogenic diet, you may want to explore low-carb alternatives such as tamari, coconut aminos, or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. These options provide similar flavors while minimizing carbohydrate intake. As with any dietary choice, it is essential to consider your individual goals and consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to ensure that your diet aligns with your specific needs.