Does Soy Sauce Make You Poop? A Simple Guide

Soy sauce is a staple condiment in many households, especially for those who love sushi and other Asian cuisines. But have you ever wondered if soy sauce can affect your digestive system?

Does it make you poop more or less?

In this article, we’ll explore the potential effects of soy sauce on your gut health and overall well-being. From its origins to its ingredients, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this salty liquid condiment.

So, grab a seat and let’s dive into the world of soy sauce!

Does Soy Sauce Make You Poop?

One of the most common questions people have about soy sauce is whether or not it can make you poop. The answer is not a straightforward one, as it depends on a variety of factors.

Firstly, soy sauce itself does not contain any laxative properties. However, some people may experience digestive upsets after consuming soy sauce due to its high sodium content. Excessive sodium intake can lead to dehydration, which can cause constipation.

Additionally, some people may have an intolerance or allergy to soy, which can lead to diarrhea and other gastric symptoms. If you experience diarrhea every time you ingest soy sauce, it’s best to eliminate it from your diet until you are seen by your physician.

Another potential factor to consider is the presence of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in soy sauce. AGEs are harmful because they contribute to increased intestinal permeability, which can lead to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and even food allergies. If you tend to get backed up after consuming soy sauce, try skipping it to see how your body reacts.

The Origins Of Soy Sauce

Soy sauce has a rich history that dates back over 3,000 years. Its origins can be traced to a Chinese sauce called “jan,” which was made by pickling raw materials in salt to preserve them. There were various types of jan, including those made from fruit, vegetables, seaweed, meat and fish, meat only, and grains. The grain-based jan, which used rice, wheat, and soybeans, is believed to be the prototype of soy sauce.

It’s unclear when soy sauce first arrived in Japan, but it was known as “hishio” and was made from soybeans. In modern terms, hishio was somewhere between miso paste and soy sauce and was served at palace banquets. The making of miso paste began using the Kinzanji method that a Zen monk named Kakushin brought back from China in 1254.

According to the Taiho Code, hishio was to be made at the hishio institute belonging to the cuisine division of the Imperial Household Agency. While teaching the villagers of Kishu Yuasa how to make miso paste using the Kinzanji method, Kakushin noticed that the liquid that seeped out of hishio tasted really good. This liquid eventually became known as “tamari soy sauce.”

Over time, similar products were developed in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and across Southeast Asia. Soy sauce first came to Europe in the 1600s through Dutch and Japanese trading. The word “soy” comes from the Japanese word for soy sauce, “shoyu.” In fact, the soybean itself was named after soy sauce.

The four basic ingredients in soy sauce are soybeans, wheat, salt, and fermenting agents like mold or yeast. Regional varieties of soy sauce may have varying amounts of these ingredients, resulting in different colors and flavors. Today, soy sauce is a popular condiment used in many Asian cuisines.

What Is Soy Sauce Made Of?

Soy sauce is a condiment that adds a salty, savory flavor to a variety of dishes. It is made from a mixture of soybeans, wheat, salt, and a fermenting agent. The traditional brewing method involves soaking soybeans in water for several hours and steaming them. Wheat is then roasted, ground into flour, and mixed into the steamed soybeans. Fungal spores, usually Aspergillus oryzae, A. sojae, and A. tamarii, are added in and left for 3 days. The next step is fermentation, where a brine solution is added. This may be left to ferment for from 1 month up to 4 years. For some premium soy sauces such as double-fermented soy sauce (saishikomi-shoyu), a raw soy sauce mix is added. After fermentation, the mixture is pressed to filter the solids, heated to remove molds and yeasts (pasteurized), and packed.

There is also an acid hydrolysis method that is much faster, taking just a few days. This uses soybeans without the oil, wheat gluten, and hydrochloric acid. The mixture is heated for 20 to 35 hours to break down the proteins. However, this method results in a less flavorful and less healthy soy sauce.

Some soy sauces are a mixture of both traditional brewing and acid hydrolysis methods, which makes them cheaper but less tasty. A longer brewing time means better flavor and a higher content of beneficial amino acids and antioxidants.

It’s important to note that not all soy sauces are created equal. Naturally fermented soy sauce is healthier than chemically produced varieties because it contains beneficial microorganisms that aid digestion and boost the immune system. It’s always best to read the labels carefully and choose high-quality soy sauce made from natural fermentation methods.

The Nutritional Value Of Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a condiment that is low in calories and fat, but high in sodium. A 15-milliliter serving of soy sauce contains only 10 calories, 2 grams of protein, and no fat or carbohydrates. However, it also contains 920 milligrams of sodium, which is 38% of the recommended daily intake. High intakes of sodium are linked to increased blood pressure and may contribute to the risk of heart disease and other diseases such as stomach cancer. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the amount of soy sauce consumed, especially for those with high blood pressure or a family history of heart disease. Salt-reduced varieties of soy sauce are available, which contain up to 50% less salt than the original products. Despite its high sodium content, soy sauce can still be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, especially if you are limiting processed food and mostly consuming fresh, whole foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Can Soy Sauce Affect Your Digestive System?

Yes, soy sauce can affect your digestive system in several ways. Firstly, soy sauce is difficult to digest, which can cause gas, bloating, and general discomfort. However, fermented forms of soy sauce, such as miso or tempeh, are more easily digested than non-fermented soy foods.

Another potential issue with soy sauce is its high sodium content. Excessive sodium intake can lead to dehydration, which can cause constipation. This is especially true for individuals who do not drink enough water throughout the day.

Furthermore, soy sauce contains advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which can contribute to increased intestinal permeability. This can lead to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and food allergies. If you experience digestive issues after consuming soy sauce, it may be best to eliminate it from your diet or consume it in moderation.

Lastly, individuals with an intolerance or allergy to soy may experience diarrhea and other gastric symptoms after consuming soy sauce. If you suspect you have an allergy or intolerance to soy, it’s best to consult with your physician before consuming any soy products.

Soy Sauce And Sodium Intake

One of the main concerns regarding soy sauce consumption is its high sodium content. Sodium, commonly known as salt, is an essential nutrient that our body requires to function properly. However, excessive intake of sodium is linked to increased blood pressure, especially in salt-sensitive individuals, and may contribute to the risk of heart disease and other diseases such as stomach cancer.

One tablespoon of soy sauce contains nearly 40% of the daily recommended 2,300 milligrams of sodium. The average American takes in more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, which is well above the recommended intake. Therefore, consuming soy sauce in moderation is essential to maintain a healthy sodium intake.

Reducing your sodium intake results in a modest decrease in blood pressure and can be part of a treatment strategy for people with high blood pressure. Most dietary organizations recommend an intake of 1,500–2,300 mg of sodium per day, with the aim of reducing the risk of high blood pressure.

It’s important to note that soy sauce can still be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, especially if you are limiting processed food and mostly consuming fresh, whole foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables. If you are limiting your salt intake, try a salt-reduced variety or simply use less soy sauce in your dishes.

Soy Sauce Alternatives

If you’re looking for a soy sauce alternative, there are several options available. One popular choice is coconut aminos sauce, which is soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. This sauce is made from the sap of coconut trees and contains Gran Molucas sea salt from the Philippines. It has a lower sodium content than soy sauce and contains 17 amino acids, which offer additional health benefits.

Another option is to try a low-sodium soy sauce or tamari sauce. These sauces are made from fermented soybeans and have a similar flavor profile to traditional soy sauce. However, they contain less sodium and may be a better choice for those looking to reduce their salt intake.

For those with a soy allergy or sensitivity, there are also soy-free alternatives available. One option is to use fish sauce, which is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. It has a salty, savory flavor and can be used in place of soy sauce in many recipes.

Another alternative is to use coconut milk or cream as a substitute for soy sauce. This works well in recipes that require a creamy or rich flavor, such as curries or soups.

Ultimately, the best soy sauce alternative will depend on your personal preferences and dietary needs. Experiment with different options to find the one that works best for you.