Can you eat soy sauce when pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Can you eat soy sauce when pregnant?” We will further discuss what soy sauce is, the ingredients of soy sauce, the nutrients of soy sauce, the safety of eating soy sauce when pregnant, why pregnant women crave soy sauce and the potential downside of eating soy sauce when pregnant. 

Can you eat soy sauce when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat soy sauce during pregnancy, but there is a cup limit to how much you can take. 

Regular and excessive intake of soy sauce can be detrimental to the expectant mother and their unborn child. However, having a moderate serving can boost your overall mood and health during pregnancy. 

What is soy sauce?

Soy sauce is a salty brown condiment produced from umami components. It is principally a product of the fermentation of soya beans, which produces sugars and umami components. 

What are the ingredients in soy sauce?

Soy sauce is made from a variety of ingredients, which may vary depending on the brand of product being consumed. 

The salty brown condiment is mainly prepared from soybeans to be fermented and rarely organic acids to aid the fermentation of the beans. 

Likewise, wheat flour is a crucial component of soy sauce and is imperative to its high gluten content. Flavouring agents are also added in many cases. 

What is the nutrient composition of soy sauce?

The nutrient composition of any food is important to its benefits and potential risk associated with its intake. 

The nutrients in soy sauce and any dish stem from the quality of raw materials used in their preparation. The nutrient composition of one tablespoon of soy sauce was studied and found to contain:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates resulting from additional sugars produced from fermentation.
  • 0 grams of fat, since soybeans and wheat flour lack it. 
  • 1 gram of protein, principally from soybeans.
  • 900 grams of sodium, the major source of minerals and resulting in the salty condiment.

They also contain numerous varieties of amino acids, including glutamic acid and various organic acid chains, as well as gluten, largely from wheat flour. 

Is it safe to eat soy sauce when pregnant?

The safety of eating soy sauce when pregnant is a straightforward decision to conclude. Soy sauces are rich in diverse nutrients that can support the nutrition of pregnant women. 

However, they also contain certain critical compounds that are not so friendly to pregnant women. To eat soy sauce safely, be sure about the ingredients used in the preparation and also consume it in moderation to avoid any complications. 

Why do pregnant women crave soy sauce?

It is usually common to see pregnant women crave soy sauce, the salty condiment. The act is popular among pregnant women for several reasons, which include:

  • During pregnancy, water loss is very common among pregnant women, and a significant water loss means a decrease in the sodium concentration of the body. The body generally craves sodium-rich foods to replenish the lost minerals, which is seen as increased demand for the deficient sodium nutrient. 
  • It is also common for pregnant women to crave soy sauce dishes due to taste bud changes. It is usual to have a change in palate during pregnancy, hence the demand for the salty condiment. 

What are the potential downsides of eating soy sauce when pregnant?

There have been a lot of studies projecting that the ingredients of soy sauce pose nutrients that may not fit well into the bodies of pregnant women as well as the unborn foetus in the womb. 

If you have to eat soy sauce when pregnant, do so in moderation and avoid regular consumption. 

It contains phytic acid that prevents mineral absorption.

Some soy sauce brands are high in phytic acid that prevents the uptake of essential body nutrients like zinc, iron, copper, calcium, and magnesium, which are needed during pregnancy for the proper growth and development of mother and baby. 

Deficiency in these minerals causes serious problems including anaemia, weak bones and more during pregnancy. 

It contains high levels of sodium, which can raise blood pressure. 

The frequent consumption of soy sauce can lead to the high uptake of sodium minerals in the blood, which would eventually raise the blood pressure of expectant mothers and eventually cause great harm. 

The high sodium levels can also decrease water loss from the body, which may harm their health too. 

It contains isoflavones which may have anti-estrogenic effects.

Isoflavone compounds behave like oestrogen in humans, so they can bind to their receptors when introduced into the bloodstream and lead to retarded placenta cell growth and retarded growth of mammary glands. 

It contains gluten and can have negative effects on some pregnant mothers.

Gluten in the lives of pregnant mothers with celiac disease can be extremely dangerous. Gluten in their diets can trigger unusual abortions and miscarriages during early pregnancy and premature labour during advanced stages, which still put the lives of mothers and babies at risk. 


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “Can you eat soy sauce when pregnant?.” We have further discussed what soy sauce is, the ingredients of soy sauce, the nutrients of soy sauce, the safety of eating soy sauce when pregnant, why pregnant women crave soy sauce and the potential downside of eating soy sauce when pregnant.