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How Do I Choose a Healthy Soy Sauce?

Selecting a healthy soy sauce involves scrutinizing labels for reduced sodium levels and natural ingredients. Opt for traditionally brewed options, which offer a richer flavor without artificial additives. Organic and non-GMO certifications are also indicators of a healthier choice. Wondering about the impact of fermentation on soy sauce's nutritional profile? Let's explore how this ancient process can benefit your health.
Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith

To choose a healthy soy sauce, consumers should look for a type of sauce that has been naturally brewed and is also low in sodium. This type of soy sauce is usually available for purchase in local grocery stores. Individuals with unique food allergies can find wheat free and gluten free varieties that have been fermented and are also low in sodium.

Soy sauce alone is not medically linked to any negative health conditions. This type of food is usually served as a condiment to accompany many different types of Asian cuisine. It is often found in Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese restaurants as a staple food additive that can add flavor and color to any food.

Soy sauce.
Soy sauce.

Those who are concerned about the origins and ingredients of the food they put into their bodies can benefit by purchasing a naturally brewed type of soy sauce. This type of sauce, which can be considered a type of healthy soy sauce, is created through a fermentation process using soy beans, wheat, and water. The resulting product is rich in flavor and texture, and does not contain artificial flavoring, sweeteners, or preservatives. Chemically produced soy sauce is often derived using hydrochloric acid and high fructose corn syrup, which can create an unpleasant taste and add calories to this type of food.

Soy beans.
Soy beans.

Soy sauce is often naturally high in sodium. This is often more true of chemically produced soy sauce than naturally brewed healthy soy sauce. Salt may be added as an ingredient to improve the flavor of the sauce and increase its shelf life. Individuals who have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or hypertension should not consume chemically produced soy sauce that is high in sodium. These individuals can use instead a fermented sauce that has a reduced amount of salt, and is usually labeled as a low sodium variety.

Bacon-wrapped scallops with a gluten-free soy dipping sauce.
Bacon-wrapped scallops with a gluten-free soy dipping sauce.

Standard soy sauce typically contains traces of wheat which was used during the fermentation process. Those who have an allergy to wheat should look for a wheat and gluten free variety of healthy soy sauce which is fermented using alternative grains, so that no wheat or gluten byproducts are allowed into the finished product. The flavoring is typically described as more mild and less salty than traditional soy sauces. Those sauces made without this common ingredient are often available for purchase in specialty food stores or through Internet ordering.

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Discussion Comments


I saw an article in the paper not long ago that talked about some kid nearly dying after drinking over a quart of soy sauce! I don't know how he got it down to start with. They were able to save him, but the doctor said his kidneys took an awful beating.

Anyway, I use low sodium soy sauce, too. I like the taste better. I've seen the really expensive sauces in a kitchen supply store, and I bought one, once, but I just couldn't tell that much difference between it and my preferred brand. Low sodium is definitely the way to go for me, though, and I'm glad it's readily available.


If you're allergic to MSG, read the labels, too. Some soy sauce brands have it as an ingredient. Not shilling for a product, but I use the Kikkoman low-sodium soy sauce. It doesn't have MSG in it.

I really like soy sauce and I like to use it for other things besides Asian cooking. It's good for a lot of different cooking applications. Sometimes a sauce or soup will be bland and need "something," and a dash of soy sauce is exactly what it needs. I don't know how it perks up flavor, but it does.

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    • Soy sauce.
      By: photoliving
      Soy sauce.
    • Soy beans.
      By: terumin
      Soy beans.
    • Bacon-wrapped scallops with a gluten-free soy dipping sauce.
      By: Matthew Antonino
      Bacon-wrapped scallops with a gluten-free soy dipping sauce.
    • Gluten-free tamari is a popular substitute for soy sauce in Asian dipping sauces.
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      Gluten-free tamari is a popular substitute for soy sauce in Asian dipping sauces.