Soy sauce is a beloved condiment that adds a unique flavor to many dishes, especially in Asian cuisine. But for those following the Paleo diet, soy sauce may not be on the approved list of foods.
The question is, why? Is it because soy sauce is derived from soy, which is not allowed on the Paleo diet? Or is it because of the high sodium content that should be avoided while on this diet?
In this article, we’ll explore whether or not soy sauce is part of the Paleo diet and provide some alternatives for those who want to add a little umami to their dishes.
So, let’s dive in and find out if soy sauce can be part of your Paleo journey!
Is Soy Sauce Part Of The Paleo Diet?
The short answer is no, soy sauce is not part of the Paleo diet. Legumes, including soybeans, are not allowed on this diet. Additionally, most commercial soy sauces contain wheat (gluten), sugar, dyes, and chemicals that are not natural or healthy.
However, there are some exceptions. Traditional soy sauce made from just soy (no wheat, sugars, or colorings) in the fermented method may not cause many problems. Soy sauce also contains little to no isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens that can cause issues such as infertility and “man-boobs.”
If you want to add some savory flavor to your Paleo dishes, you can try using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. This substitute is made from coconut sap and has a similar taste to soy sauce.
Another option is to make your own soy sauce substitute using three simple ingredients: beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt. This recipe is soy-free, Whole30 compliant, paleo, and gluten-free.
What Is The Paleo Diet And Why Is It Popular?
The Paleo diet, also known as the Paleolithic diet or caveman diet, is a popular eating plan that aims to mimic the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors who lived more than 12,000 years ago. The idea behind this diet is that humans were genetically designed to eat certain types of foods, and that modern-day processed foods and agricultural practices have led to health problems.
The Paleo diet consists of whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, and eggs. Grains, dairy products, legumes (including soybeans), and processed foods are not allowed.
The popularity of the Paleo diet can be attributed to its potential health benefits. Some studies have shown that following a Paleo diet can lead to weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and reduced inflammation. Additionally, the emphasis on whole foods and avoidance of processed foods can lead to a healthier overall lifestyle.
While soy sauce is not allowed on the Paleo diet due to its soy and gluten content, there are alternative options available that can add flavor to your meals without compromising your dietary goals. By understanding the principles of the Paleo diet and making informed choices about your food options, you can enjoy a healthy and satisfying diet that supports your overall well-being.
What Is Soy Sauce And How Is It Made?
Soy sauce is a thin, dark sauce that is commonly used in many Asian recipes to add savoriness. It is made by pressing the liquid from fermented soybean paste, salt, and water. Traditionally, soy sauce was made by mixing soy paste with grains and a bacteria such as Aspergillus oryzae to help the fermentation process. This process took several months and was often treated like a fine wine.
Non-traditionally, soy sauces are made using a form of hydrolysis, which is much cheaper, faster, and more common at local Chinese restaurants. The hydrolyzed form has a longer shelf life, but the trade-off is a different taste and texture. Both traditional and non-traditional methods commonly use sodium benzoate as a preservative.
However, most commercial soy sauces contain wheat (gluten), sugar, dyes, and chemicals that are not natural or healthy. This makes them unsuitable for the Paleo diet. If you still want to use soy sauce in your cooking, it’s best to opt for gluten-free ones made in the traditional method or try a soy-free substitute like coconut aminos.
Why Is Soy Not Allowed On The Paleo Diet?
Soy is not allowed on the Paleo diet for several reasons. Firstly, soy is a legume, and legumes were not consumed by our ancestors. This means that our bodies are not genetically adapted to digest them properly. Legumes, including soybeans, contain anti-nutrients such as phytates, saponins, and toxic lectins that can cause digestive distress and inflammation. Soy further distinguishes itself with detrimental protease inhibitors and phytoestrogens, which can raise estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels in the body.
Additionally, soy has high levels of phytates, which bind to minerals such as zinc, calcium, and iron, making them unavailable for the body to use. Soy also has high levels of lectins, which can influence how the brain responds to hunger signals and may encourage overeating. Finally, soy has a high level of phytoestrogens, which act like estrogen in the body and have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems.
While soy is widely considered to be a health food, the levels of phytates, lectins, and phytoestrogens in soy deserve a closer look. For these reasons, soy is excluded from the Paleo diet.
Is Soy Sauce Allowed On The Paleo Diet?
Soy sauce is not allowed on the Paleo diet because it is derived from soy, which is not a Paleo-approved food. Moreover, commercial soy sauces contain wheat (gluten), sugar, dyes, and chemicals that are not natural or healthy. However, some traditional soy sauces made from just soy in the fermented method may not cause many problems. It’s important to note that soy sauce contains little to no isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens that can cause issues such as infertility and “man-boobs.”
If you are looking for a substitute for soy sauce on your Paleo diet, you can try using coconut aminos. This substitute is made from coconut sap and has a similar taste to soy sauce. You can also make your own soy sauce substitute using beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt. This recipe is soy-free, Whole30 compliant, paleo, and gluten-free. While there are some exceptions to the rule, it’s best to avoid soy sauce on the Paleo diet and opt for healthier alternatives.
What Are Some Alternatives To Soy Sauce For Paleo Dieters?
If you’re following the Paleo diet and looking for a soy sauce alternative, there are several options available. One popular choice is coconut aminos, which is made from coconut tree sap and salt. It has a similar taste to soy sauce, but contains far less sodium and is free of soy and gluten.
Another option is tamari, which is a gluten-free version of soy sauce. However, it still contains soy, so it may not be suitable for those with soy allergies.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try making your own soy sauce substitute using ingredients such as beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt. This homemade version is soy-free, paleo-friendly, and can be customized to your taste preferences.
Ultimately, the key to finding a suitable soy sauce alternative on the Paleo diet is to read labels carefully and opt for natural, whole food-based options whenever possible.