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All about Soy Sauce and Soy Sauce Calories: Best Explanation

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  • Soy sauce calories
  • All about soy sauce

Soy sauce is an Asian seasoning that has its origins dating back to China around 2000 years ago. There are various types of soy sauce, but the one that’s most commonly seen in most supermarkets is Japanese soy sauce, also known as Shoyu. Shoyu is generally thinner and clearer compared to some other varieties of soy sauce. It can be either light or dark in color.

Traditionally, soy sauce was made by hand using a Japanese method known as “honjozo.” During this process, soybeans are fermented and combined with other ingredients like wheat or barley. The mixture is allowed to ferment, and then it’s infused with salty goodness. Today, it’s used in various commercial brands that you’ll find on your store shelves.

Soy sauce adds an umami or savory flavor to dishes and can also impart a salty taste. Although there are low-sodium versions available in the market, most soy sauces are relatively high in sodium and offer little nutritional benefit.

Nutritional Facts for Soy Sauce:

According to the USDA, one tablespoon (16 grams) of soy sauce provides the following nutritional information:

  • Calories: 8.5
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Sodium: 879 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 0.8 grams
  • Fiber: 0.1 grams
  • Sugar: 0.06 grams
  • Protein: 1.3 grams

Carbohydrates: One tablespoon of soy sauce contains just 8.5 calories and less than 1 gram (0.8 grams) of carbohydrates. Soy sauce has very little sugar (0.06 grams) or fiber (0.1 grams). If you use a small portion of soy sauce in your meal, such as the packets you often get with Asian takeout orders, you’ll consume fewer calories, carbohydrates, and sugar.

Soy sauce doesn’t have a recorded glycemic index (GI) or glycemic load (GL). However, due to its small serving size and low carbohydrate content, it’s possible to have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Soy foods are generally considered to have a relatively low glycemic response.

soy sauce calories


Soy sauce contains minimal fat, with only 0.1 gram of fat per serving.


Soy sauce provides a small amount of protein, with roughly 1.3 grams in each tablespoon.

Vitamins and Minerals:

Since soy sauce is consumed in such small quantities, it’s not a significant source of vitamins or minerals. The primary micronutrient present in soy sauce is sodium. According to the USDA, one tablespoon contains 879 milligrams of sodium.

Health Benefits:

Soy sauce and similar low-nutrient foods are unlikely to provide health benefits. Incorporating soy, such as tofu or edamame, into your diet may offer some benefits because soy contains isoflavones, which act as phytoestrogens.

Soy sauce contains isoflavones, and there is some limited evidence that the traditional methods of making soy sauce, including the fermentation and boiling processes, may enhance the availability of isoflavones. However, it’s unlikely that you’d consume enough soy sauce to derive significant benefits, and the sodium content could outweigh any potential advantages. Balancing excessive sodium intake is crucial.

Some limited evidence also suggests that soy sauce may offer antioxidant benefits. However, research in this area is limited and conflicting. Other foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are more likely to provide substantial antioxidant benefits.

soy sauce


Soy is a common allergen, especially among children. Individuals who are allergic to wheat, peanuts, milk, or other foods might also have an allergy to soy. Allergic reactions to soy can be mild, such as hives or mouth itching, or severe, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. People with soy allergies should avoid using soy sauce as it is a common trigger.


People who are monitoring their sodium intake should be cautious about using soy sauce. Some brands can have as much as 900 milligrams of sodium per serving. The American Heart Association recommends that adults should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily and ideally aim for an ideal limit of 1,500 milligrams, particularly for those with high blood pressure.

Some brands offer low-sodium versions, so be sure to read the label. Note that products labeled as “reduced sodium” may still have considerable sodium content. For instance, Kikkoman’s Less Sodium Soy Sauce contains 575 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon.

Finally, soy sauce contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is a sodium salt of an amino acid known as glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is naturally present in some foods, including soy sauce. The FDA considers MSG to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), but some individuals have reported symptoms like headaches or nausea after consuming foods containing MSG.

Soy Sauce Calories

Soy sauce, that fantastic flavor enhancer, is actually quite light on the calorie front. For a standard 1 tablespoon serving of soy sauce, you’re only looking at around 8 to 10 calories. Yep, that’s it!

So, if you’re watching your calorie intake but still craving some delicious umami goodness in your meals, soy sauce is a great choice. You can drizzle it, dip in it, or pour it over your favorite dishes without adding a ton of calories. It’s like a flavor boost without the guilt!

Whether you’re stir-frying, dipping sushi, or marinating your favorite proteins, soy sauce is here to make your taste buds happy without weighing you down with extra calories. Enjoy your meals and let soy sauce bring that savory goodness to your plate! 🍽️😋


The most common types of soy sauce are Shoyu and Tamari. However, there are other varieties as well. For instance, dark soy sauce is a sweet, thick sauce that contains molasses or caramel. Light soy sauce has a milder flavor and is preferred by those who don’t want the deep color typically found in regular soy sauce.

When It’s Best: Soy sauce is widely available in almost any supermarket year-round. You’ll find it in most major markets and even in Asian markets and online.

Storage and Food Safety: Unopened, soy sauce should be used within a month of opening. According to the USDA, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but some manufacturers advise that leaving soy sauce in the refrigerator will help it maintain its freshness and flavor for longer.

How to Use: Soy sauce can be used in marinades, sauces, and various delicious recipes. Besides Asian cuisine, soy sauce pairs well with Caribbean dishes and many American recipes. For example, you can use it in grilled vegetables or even in place of salt in French fries.

You can use soy sauce as a seasoning for steaks, poultry, seafood, and other dishes. Or mix it with other ingredients like garlic, Worcestershire sauce, honey, or balsamic vinegar to create your custom marinade. Marinate meat for at least 30 minutes or up to eight hours to develop your preferred flavor.

You can also add soy sauce to your favorite soup recipe. For instance, try incorporating it into beef noodle soup or a hot and sour soup to enhance the taste.

In summary, soy sauce is a versatile condiment that can enhance the flavor of various dishes. Whether you use it in Asian cuisine or fusion dishes, soy sauce is a flavorful addition to your culinary repertoire. So go ahead and explore its potential in your kitchen!

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