Is Soy Sauce Low FODMAP?

September 8, 2022 (Last Updated: December 28, 2022)
is soy sauce low fodmap

Is soy sauce low FODMAP? Yes, some soy sauce is low FODMAP if the recommended serving size of 42 grams or 2 tablespoons is followed. There’s light soy, dark soy, gluten free soy and so many different types of soy sauces. Each of them have different tastes, textures, and that may change the FODMAP levels.

We’re going to talk about all of that and so much more in this post:

Low FODMAP soy sauce feels like it shouldn’t be in the same sentence since soy is high FODMAP but before we get into that, let’s look at the benefits of soy sauce.

Benefits Of Soy Sauce

Soy sauce comes in many shapes and forms. Used in Asian cuisine as seasoning, condiment, preservative, you name it, there’s probably soy sauce in it. Before you opt for soy free soy sauce, here are some benefits of soy sauce you don’t want to miss out on:

  • Soy contains high levels of protein and may reduce the risk of health problems by improving bone health. [1]
  • It’s good for digestion! Studies on Japanese soy (shoyu) showed that it helped our gastric tract process food. [2]
  • Soy sauce is rich in antioxidants and that’s always good.
  • Yes, soy is salty but apparently, replacing soy sauce with salt helps reduce salt (sodium) intake. [3]

Who knew this salty condiment had this many benefits. I could go on and on about the health benefits but that’s not what you’re here for. We know it’s good for you but is it low FODMAP?

Is Soy Sauce Low FODMAP?

is soy sauce low fodmap

Yes, soy sauce is low FODMAP. If you look up, “soy sauce FODMAP Monash,” you’ll know that soy sauce is low FODMAP at 42 grams or 2 tablespoons. FODMAP Friendly also tested it and came to the same conclusion. But let’s talk about two points:

  • Knowing your tolerance
  • Always choose naturally brewed soy sauce. 

Knowing Your Tolerance

Soy sauce and IBS don’t mix, right? Wrong(ish). It’s important to note that everyone’s different. Just because something is low FODMAP certified, doesn’t mean it’s tolerated by every single person on a low FODMAP diet.

Growing up in Asia may have helped my gut a lot because I have zero problems with soy. But I know a lot of people that have IBS triggers with trace amounts of soy. Make sure to test out your tolerances (preferably with the help of a health care or dietary professional) and see how much you’re able to have. 

Soy sauces are not created equal. Choosing naturally brewed soy sauce makes a huge difference in taste and FODMAP levels.

Always Choose Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce

Naturally brewed soy sauce is made from soy, wheat, and water. This mix is fermented for months or years and this process changes the FODMAP levels in soy. Naturally brewed soy sauce is superior in flavor and is almost citrusy. 

Whereas chemically produced soy sauce is extremely salty and lacks flavor. This soy sauce is made in days and is filled with additives, coloring, and corn syrup. I highly recommend checking the ingredient label and choosing naturally brewed soy sauce for the FODMAP content and flavor. 

Soy sauce also (almost always) contains maltodextrin -a food additive meant to preserve the shelf-life, taste, or texture. It comes from wheat, rice, potato, corn, or starch. It sounds like it’s high FODMAP but Monash reports that maltodextrin is a byproduct of starch. It’s easy to digest and give it the green light for anyone on a low FODMAP diet [4]

Did you know that there were different types of soy? That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in the next section.

Types Of Soy Sauce

There are so many different kinds of soy sauces, from light to dark, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and even Indonesian. Light soy is pretty common and used to dip sushi. Dark soy or sweet soy is for cooking, mostly to add color and flavor.

Let’s find out how they’re different and what that means for their FODMAP levels. Starting off this section is (in my opinion) the BEST soy sauce: Pearl River Bridge

Light Soy

is soy sauce low fodmap

Light soy is low FODMAP at 42 grams or 2 tablespoons. It is thin and has a light color. Light soy sauce is refreshing and used in dishes as seasoning or as a dipping sauce. It isn’t gluten-free because most soy sauce is made with wheat. 

Choose Tamari if you have celiac disease or sensitivity to wheat. What is Tamari you ask?

Tamari (Shoyu)

is soy sauce low fodmap

Tamari (sometimes confused with Shoyu) is a type of Japanese soy sauce. Soybeans and rice are fermented together. Making it gluten-free! Is Tamari low FODMAP? Tamari hasn’t been tested. It may be low FODMAP at 42 grams or 2 tablespoons because it’s made the same way as regular soy sauce. Kikkoman is a popular type of shoyu!

But because the FODMAP level is unknown, it’s better to avoid it during the elimination period. Remember to always test your tolerance and see if it triggers your symptoms.

We’re going to move on from light soy to dark in the next section.

Dark Soy

is soy sauce low fodmap

Dark soy sauce vs light soy sauce, what’s the difference? Compared to light soy, sark soy is thicker and darker. It’s also less salty and is a little sweeter. It’s used to add color and extra depth of flavor in dishes when cooking. Dark soy is aged longer than light soy.

Chinese dark soy has not been tested by Monash but they did test a popular dark soy sauce called Ketjap/Kicap Manis.

Ketjap Manis 

is soy sauce low fodmap

Monash University tested kicap or ketjap manis to be low FODMAP at 20 grams or 1 tablespoon. Ketjap or Kicap manis is also known as sweet dark soy and is a popular cooking seasoning in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. 

There are hundreds of different kinds of soy sauces out there but these four are the most common ones. Still have more questions? Let’s get into the web’s most asked questions about IBS and soy sauce.

Soy Sauce IBS FAQ

The low FODMAP diet is more than lists of food that you can or can’t eat. Know your tolerance, test things out, keep an eye on serving size and how the food is prepared. Soy sauce is one of those confusing items since soybeans are high FODMAP. So let’s answer some of those questions:

Is Soy Sauce With Wheat Low FODMAP?

Yes, soy sauce with wheat is low FODMAP. Most soy sauce is made with wheat but it only has trace amounts. The fermentation also changes the FODMAPs. For instance whole wheat sourdough is low FODMAP and good for the gut! Soy sauce with wheat is tolerated by most IBS sufferers.

Tamari is a type of Japanese soy sauce that is gluten-free if you are wheat or gluten intolerant.

Is Low Sodium Soy Sauce Low FODMAP?

Low sodium soy sauce is low FODMAP as long as it is naturally brewed, free of chemicals and additives. The fermentation and natural brewing process is CRUCIAL to low FODMAP soy sauce.

Can You Have Soy On FODMAP Diet?

Yes, you can. A FODMAP-free diet is not a soy-free diet. Firm tofu, tempeh, edamame beans, miso paste, soy sauce, soybean oil and soy milk made from soy protein are some examples of low FODMAP soy products. 

Mature soybeans are high FODMAP and contain galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) stachyose and raffinose but there are plenty of soybean products that people with IBS can tolerate.

That’s everything I’ve got on IBS and soy sauce for now, folks. Now that we’ve answered the question, ‘Is soy sauce low FODMAP?’ How about we have a look at some other low FODMAP soy products.

Low FODMAP Soy Products

is soy sauce low fodmap

We’ve got you covered with an article full of low and high FODMAP soy products if you’ve asked, “is soy low FODMAP?” But here’s a quick run down of some other soy products that are low FODMAP.

  • Miso paste: is low FODMAP at 12 grams or 1 tablespoon. Miso is fermented soybeans. Just like choosing naturally brewed soy sauce, always make sure to choose naturally fermented miso paste and check the ingredient label for high FODMAP ingredients. 
  • Firm Tofu: is low FODMAP at 170 grams or 5.9 ounces. Firm, extra-firm, and super firm tofu are low FODMAP. Soft or silken tofu is high in FODMAPs. 
  • Edamame Beans: are young immature green soybeans that are low FODMAP at 90 grams or 1 cup (3.17 ounces). They’re high FODMAP at 210 grams or 7.4 ounces.
  • Tempeh: is made from fermented whole soybeans pressed into a solid block. Tempeh is low FODMAP at 100 grams or 3.5 ounces. 
  • Soy Milk & Yogurt (Made From Soy Protein): Soy milk and soy yogurt (untested) made from soy protein is low FODMAP at 250ml or 1 cups. Note: soy milk made from hulled soybeans is low FODMAP at 60ml or 1/4 cup. Soy milk made from whole soybeans is low FODMAP at 30ml or 2 tablespoons.

After all of that, I hope I’ve answered the question, ‘is soy sauce low FODMAP?’. Yes, if you can tolerate it. Remember that at the end of the day everyone’s bowels are different. So if Monash or FODMAP Friendly give something the green light, listen to your body and try it sparingly.

Here are some related articles that might interest you:

Is Soy Low FODMAP?

Is Tofu Low FODMAP?

Miso On A Low FODMAP Diet

Looking for low FODMAP Asian recipes?

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