What Are Liquid Aminos? Can You Substitute It For Soy Sauce?

People want to substitute soy sauce for different reasons. And one of the most prominent alternatives for people doing the keto diet is the liquid aminos soy sauce.

liquid aminos poured on saucer

Are you looking for a soy sauce substitute? Some of the many options include Worcestershire, Maggi, and fish sauce. These options have a similar taste/texture as the original soybean product. People want to substitute soy sauce for different reasons. And one of the most prominent alternatives for people doing the keto diet is the liquid aminos soy sauce.

People who have a soy or wheat allergy will definitely need a substitute. Both are key ingredients in soy sauce. They’re also fermented to make the traditional sauce, which results in a stronger flavor. Another major issue with soy sauce is the high salt content. One tablespoon can have two-thirds of the daily total recommended by health experts.

Amino acids are important for good health. That’s because they’re known as the building blocks of protein. In fact, some “complete” proteins have all 9 essential amino acids (EAAs). Liquid aminos have many of the 20 amino acids found in the human body. The main ingredients used to make these products are soy and coconut.

When picking any amino supplement it’s important to consider how many aminos they contain and how much of each one. This can help you choose wisely when you’re picking a product. In order to achieve good health, you’ll need all 9 EAAs.   

What Are Liquid Aminos?

As the name suggests this is a liquid form of amino acids. They often contain a small amount of several amino acids. There are 20 main ones in the human body. The total includes 11 non-essential amino acids (NEAAs) plus 9 essential amino acids (EAAs).

It’s important for your body to have enough of all these aminos. The body naturally produces NEAAs. However, sometimes factors like unhealthy diet and illness/disease cause your body to make less than you need of 1+ NEAAs.

Then there are EAAs. Humans must always get these from food, beverages, and supplements since the body doesn’t make them. These are the amino acids usually included in supplements like tablets, capsules, and powders.

One of the most popular supplements in recent years has been “BCAAs.” This stands for branched amino acids. The name is based on the aminos’ structure, which branches off to one side. BCAA supplements include a blend of three EAAs that make up one-third of the total number of EAAs.  

Various companies make liquid aminos including Braggs, which is probably the most popular variety. The company is best known for its apple cider vinegar (ACV), but it’s been making various health food products for several decades.

The term “liquid aminos” usually refers to soy-based products. They’re somewhat different from soy sauce even though they contain soy. For example, the soy is unfermented and there’s no wheat like traditional soy sauce.

Another type of amino supplement with a liquid form is “coconut aminos.” These products are made from the flower nectar of coconut trees. They provide a taste that’s milder than soy sauce. However, the taste is still savory and contains less salt like soy-based liquid aminos.  

Both of these products can be used for many functions. They include smoothies/shakes, oatmeal, salads, soups/stews, etc. They’re also convenient so you can take them when you’re on the go.    

Liquid Aminos: Soy Sauce Substitute?

When picking a soy sauce substitute you have several options. Liquid aminos are a popular option but you might be wondering how they stack up. Is it enough that they contain soybeans? In fact, there are several similarities and differences compared to the original sauce.

It starts with the main ingredients of traditional soy sauce. They include:

  • Soybeans (fermented)
  • Wheat (fermented)
  • Salt
  • Water

There might be other ingredients but these are the main ones to make the traditional sauce. The soy and wheat are fermented, which makes the flavor more savory. That’s a plus in some ways since it helps to provide a stronger flavor.

On the other hand, you might want a milder flavor. If that’s the case then options like liquid aminos might be a better option. They’re made of unfermented soybeans, which provides a less savory taste. For example, in some situations, you might want to add a lighter taste that doesn’t overpower the ingredients.

Besides the actual fermentation, another possible benefit of liquid aminos is they’re wheat/gluten-free. This can offer various benefits. If you have a food allergy/intolerance linked to wheat/gluten then you’ll want to avoid such foods.

In fact, in some situations like immune system diseases, the symptoms could be quite severe. There are ones like a celiac disease that could trigger major health problems if you consume any wheat/gluten.

Another key difference between soy sauce and liquid aminos is the amount of salt. Soy sauce is available in low-sodium versions. However, there are several products with up to 1000mg per tablespoon.

How much is that? For context, the American Heart Association recommends that most adults consume 1500mg of sodium per day. So in 1 TBSP of soybean sauce, you could actually get two-thirds of your daily intake.

Bragg’s is considered one of the industry standards for liquid amino. One tablespoon has about 690mg of sodium. It’s not rock-bottom but it’s about one-third less than regular soy-based sauce.

Top Uses for Liquid Aminos Soy Sauce

1. Stir-fry

This is one of the most versatile dishes you can prepare. Some popular ingredients include meat/seafood, grains, noodles, veggies, and herbs/spices. Soy sauce is often added to the Asian dish but it’s quite strong due to the fermented soy/wheat. If you want a milder flavor then go with liquid-based aminos.

2. Potatoes

This is a food that’s often criticized for being “high-carb.” Potatoes can be quite healthy but it depends on how you prepare it. If you remove the skins then fry them in lard it’s not the healthiest food. However, boiled, baked, and steamed potatoes are quite healthy. You can add some extra flavor with some soy-based aminos.  

3. Rice/Beans

Fun Fact: Whole grains + beans make a complete protein. You can add some soy-based aminos to a dish that includes one or both of them. You’ll get a tasty savory dish.

4. Meat

Whether it’s beef, pork, chicken, or fish you can jazz them up with some mild soy seasoning. You’ll get a similar flavor as other sauces but a milder flavor with less salt. You can also add just a few sprinkles for Meat 2.0.

5. Tofu

This is ironic since you’re actually adding a soy-based sauce to a fermented soy product. How ironic is that? Tofu is a super-healthy food that’s used for different recipes including soy milk, flour, and meat. One of the drawbacks is that it’s quite bland. One way to spruce it up with some liquid amino acids.

6. Salads

You probably wouldn’t consider adding soy sauce to vegetable salads. However, the key is that liquid aminos have a lighter flavor. So you can enhance the lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers without overpowering them. The key is to bring all the flavors in the veggie salad together and among the various salad dressings/sauces available one of the best options is liquid aminos soy sauce.

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