SUBSTITUTING SOY SAUCE FOR SOME OF THE SALT USED ON YOUR FOOD CAN REDUCE SODIUM BY AS MUCH AS 50%
This blog was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated in July 2013, but you can read the original post here.
If you’ve tried to reduce the sodium content of your diet by cutting out salt, you’ve probably discovered your food just doesn’t taste as good anymore. Same is true for the low sodium versions of many popular prepared foods on the market.
A new study using soy sauce in place of salt may change all that.
Researchers from the National University of Singapore found they could replace some or all of the salt used in food preparation with naturally brewed soy sauce and get sodium reductions of 33%-50% without changing consumer acceptance. Their findings were published in the Journal of Sensory Studies.
The key to this substitution is that while soy sauce does contain sodium, it is less concentrated than the sodium content in salt. One teaspoon of regular Kikkoman Soy Sauce used in the study contains 307mg sodium while a teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 mg. And Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce has only 107 mg sodium. That’s less sodium than you’ll get from a teaspoon of Dijon mustard or hot sauce, two other condiments commonly used in place of salt.
Another advantage of soy sauce over salt is that it imparts its own special taste to foods called umami. Recognized as the fifth taste – distinct from salty, sweet, bitter and sour – umami is described as savory or meaty. I think of umami as the taste of sautéed mushrooms, one of my favorite flavor enhancers. So it makes sense that it takes its name from the Japanese word for “delicious!”
Swapping out salt for soy sauce works great in homemade soups, tomato sauce, ground beef recipes, and salad dressings. You can even use it on eggs or to boost the flavor of low sodium and reduced-salt foods. It would not be the best substitute for salt in pickles and relishes or in baked goods and desserts.