Help me understand Bragg Aminos as a sub for Soy Sauce

shamboJanuary 5, 2012

In the last couple of days I've read at least two posts on low sodium blogs about using Bragg Liquid Aminos as a substitute for soy sauce. I've read similar comments elsewhere, including some on this forum.

About 7 years ago my husband first went on a low sodium diet, and I bought the product because it was supposed to be lower in sodium than soy sauce. It was OK, but the math behind the claims puzzled me. I'm still puzzled.

Granted, regular soy sauce is horribly high in sodium. The same can be said of the lower sodium versions you can purchase at most grocery stores. However, for the last several years I've been able to purchase online "House of Tsang" Less Sodium Soy Sauce with only 320 mgs. sodium per Tablespoon.

I recently bough a spray bottle of Bragg Aminos just to give it one more try. It tastes pretty much like the Tsang soy sauce I'm presently using. It's got 160 mgs. sodium per 1/2 Teaspoon. That works out to 960 mgs. per Tablespoon -- quite a bit more than the low sodium soy sauce I presently use.

So my question is: What would be the advantage of using the Aminos? Is it because I can use so much less? But is that assumption even correct since they taste so similar? (By the way, I just did a taste test, comparing equal amounts [1/2 tsp. each] of the Aminos vs. the soy sauce. My opinion is that I'd have to use the same amount of product.)

I am not trying to be argumentative. I just want to understand what the fuss is all about and what I am missing. By the way, I think the spray bottle idea is great for spraying a bit of extra flavor right on top of food.

I appreciate your thoughts, opinions, and ideas.


Here is a link that might be useful: Bragg Liquid Aminos Nutritional Info

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I don't know much about Bragg, but I have stumbled on this coconut aminos product that I have recommended to soy-allergic friends. Sodium = 113mg/tsp. So far I haven't heard back from anyone to whom I've recommended it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Coconut Secret aminos

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 6:07PM
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It's supposed to be healthier, and it's made from non-GMO soybeans, which is a big deal to a lot of people. It also has aminos which are a protein source. I like the taste of it. It reminds me of tamari, which I prefer because it's sweeter.

My favorite is nama shoyu though. It's unprocessed and I really like the flavor.

The spray bottle is kind of neat. I don't worry about salt but that's a good option as no soy sauce type product will ever be low sodium. :)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 6:22PM
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I realize that some are more concerned about the non-GMA soybeans and other positives. But I'm really wondering why Bragg's is often touted as lower in sodium than even low sodium soy sauces. I revisited my favorite low sodium online grocers and found other low sodium soy sauces under 400 mgs. sodium per Tablespoon. Even Kikkoman was 575 mgs. per Tablespoon -- still much lower in sodium content than a Tablespoon of Bragg Aminos.

Jessy, the coconut amino product looks really interesting. I will email that info to my daughter-in-law. She's really "into" coconut products. Its sodium content is lower than Bragg's but not as low as the online soy sauce I can purchase. For me, I go with whatever has the lowest sodium content. That's my top priority. Although I shy away from processed foods for the most part, I have not found a homemade fake low sodium soy sauce recipe that tastes very good.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 6:52PM
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My favorite substitute for soy sauce is Chinese black vinegar (You can find Japanese versions as well). It has no sodium at all that I am aware of and has a complex flavor that has a somewhat similar effect to soy sauce when cooking or on rice. The Japanese use it as a healthful drink, but they drink it in tiny quantities. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it, and you can also use it as a partial substitute for soy sauce. I have bought Shirakiku saltless shoyu, and I find the black vinegar to be a better substitute. I frequently use the black vinegar in marinades.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 7:45PM
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I use Bragg's because I like it and because of the non-GMO factor, which does matter to me, although I'm not phobic about it. I just hate Monsanto.

Since I don't have an isue with sodium, that hasn't entered into my decision much. Although Bragg's has no table salt added, it does have sodium naturally occurring from the soy. A teaspoon has something like 320 per teaspoon as opposed to 380 in LaChoy, so very similar levels.

I haven't looked into low sodium soy at all since I use very little of it, maybe twice a year. I really started using Bragg's when we had the health food store because we carried it. I figured that at least I could get some good from it with the amino acids, instead of not much of anything at all in soy sauce.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Shambo - the "regular House of Tsang" soy sauce had 280 mg of sodium per Tbsp. That was about 8 years ago. The last time I purchased it on line the sodium was 300 mg per Tbsp.

Not sure what that is about and why the lower sodium is higher than the regular. When I first discovered Tsang's about 14?? years ago the regular was way lower than Kikkoman's low sodium.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 9:22PM
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Lars, I'm going to have to get some black vinegar and give it a try. I tried looking for the Shirakiku online but had no luck. I live out in gold country, pretty far from the Asian markets in Sacramento. So I'm not sure I'd get an opportunity to shop in person for that brand. If you've got an online source, please let me know.

Annie, thanks for your input. I understand the idea that Bragg's might have more health benefits than soy sauce. I just don't understand why low sodium blogs keep suggesting it as a lower sodium alternative to soy sauce. It doesn't seem to be lower in sodium than grocery store low sodium soy sauce products.

Teresa, you stumbled upon a true mystery. I went online and found the exact same information about regular House of Tsang soy sauce. I'm with you -- how does the low sodium version end up with more sodium than the regular version?

I really appreciate all the comments. This issue has bothered me for several years now.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 10:58PM
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It may be that those posting that it's a good low sodium alternative are also concerned about wheat. In addition the nutrients and non-GMO, Bragg's also does not contain wheat.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 8:33AM
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My son is allergic to soy, so we did try the coconut aminos jessyf recommended. Found it at our local Vitamin Shoppe. I believe I did respond on that thread that it works for us!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 9:21AM
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I eventually purchased a bottle of the Coconut Aminos. It really is lower in sodium than most readily available low sodium soy sauce products. I've used it interchangeably with the online low sodium soy sauce, and they taste about the same. As I said before, my main complaint was the lower sodium claim for Bragg's. I never intended to touch on the issues of soy intolerance, GMO, or even flavor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Coconut Aminos

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 5:56PM
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