Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Soy Sauce Bad For You?

Also Known As: soya sauce



Short answer

Soy sauce is generally considered safe in small quantities. However, there are some features of the condiment that can make it unsafe or at least unfavorable. While this is mainly a problem for people with certain health problems or sensitivities to certain foods or additives, soy sauce also poses a few other potential health concerns.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Soy sauce is very high in sodium, which can have negative consequences for health, especially for people struggling with high blood pressure or those who are susceptible to heart disease. Furthermore, soy contains substantial quantities of phytoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in the human body. Many studies have found that frequent consumption of phytoestrogens by men can lead to decreased testosterone levels, weight gain, muscle loss, mood problems, diminished libido, and erectile dysfunction.

In women, frequent consumption can lead to weight gain, lowered libido and mood problems, as well as menstrual irregularities and breast tenderness. Some evidence exists that increased estrogen levels from high soy consumption may even increase women's breast cancer risk.

There is also the issue of gastrointestinal disturbances from soy sauce. Soy and other legumes contain proteins that are difficult to digest, and they tend to cause gas, bloating and abdominal discomfort for many people. In addition, soy sauce is a rich source of naturally occurring monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is known to cause headaches and migraines in sensitive individuals. Soy sauce may also present a problem for people who experience negative reactions to wheat and gluten, as soy sauce is often made with wheat.

On the bright side of things, research has shown that soy sauce contains an ample amount of antioxidants, which may help reduce inflammation and the risk of certain diseases. Some studies have discovered that the condiment can even help lower levels of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol when used in small amounts.

Possible short-term side effects

  • gas
  • bloating
  • abdominal discomfort
  • headache (if msg sensitive)

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • increased blood pressure
  • decreased libido
  • mood swings
  • menstrual irregularities (women)
  • breast tenderness (women)
  • decreased testosterone (men)

Ingredients to be aware of


  • high in antioxidants
  • helps lower ldl (in small amounts)
  • help reduce inflammation

Healthier alternatives

  • liquid aminos

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Coconut Aminos Seasoning

  • Soy-free soy sauce alternative
  • Low sodium content
  • Low glycemic index
  • Vegan & Gluten-free
  • Organic certified
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kathan Natrajan
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kathan Natrajan
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Random Page

Check These Out!