Tamari vs. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is made from soybeans, wheat, and salt. Tamari is a type of soy sauce that has been fermented for two weeks longer than regular soy sauces to give it a richer flavor with more probiotics. Both Tamari and soy sauce are used in cooking or as dipping sauces, but which one you should choose can depend on how much sodium you want to consume, if vegetarianism/veganism is important for you, or what kind of health benefits the ingredients offer.

Soy sauce is made from soybeans, which are high in protein and contain all essential amino acids. Coconut aminos is a soy sauce alternative that many people have used to reduce the risk of side effects.


If you’re a regular reader of food blogs, you’ve undoubtedly already seen this delicious soy alternative in a couple of your favorite gluten-free recipes. Tamari, a liquid condiment known for its smooth taste and adaptability, may have recently gained popularity. Still, it’s been around for over a thousand years and is used in various cuisines throughout the globe.

Although it’s becoming more popular as a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, the absence of wheat isn’t the only feature that distinguishes Tamari from other condiments; it’s also less likely to include additives, richer in protein, and simpler to prepare.

What Is Tamari?

Tamari is a liquid condiment and popular soy sauce alternative made from soybean fermentation. Unlike conventional soy sauce, very little wheat is introduced during manufacturing, resulting in the grain- and gluten-free finished products.

Adding a splash of Tamari to your cuisine will give it a salty, rich taste. Stir-fries, dips, sauces, and salads all benefit from it. Furthermore, although soy sauce and Tamari are often interchanged, other ingredients such as coconut aminos may be utilized as a tamari alternative to give recipes a savory, rich taste.

Many people question whether Tamari is vegan, in addition to being gluten-free. However, most brands utilize few ingredients, usually just soybeans, water, and salt, making this a good choice for vegans and vegetarians. It’s also lower in additives richer in protein and antioxidants, making it an excellent addition to your kitchen cabinet.


  1. Wheat and gluten-free
  2. Additives are less likely to be present
  3. Accessible to Use and Versatile
  4. The protein content is higher than that of soy sauce
  5. Antioxidants are present
  6. Has a Pleasant Flavor

1. Wheat and gluten-free

One of the most appealing features of Tamari is that it is made from the fermented paste of soybeans and has no wheat, making it an excellent gluten-free option for soy sauce.

Switching to grain-free options may assist patients with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity in alleviating gastrointestinal symptoms and avoiding damage to the digestive tract, resulting in more excellent nutrient absorption and a decreased risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Not only that, but animal and human research suggest that eliminating gluten from one’s diet may help reduce inflammation and prevent weight gain.

2. Additives are less likely to be present

When you turn over any bottle of ordinary soy sauce, you’ll nearly always find a lengthy list of soy sauce components, many of which seem like they belong in a research lab rather than on your plate. On the other hand, Tamari is less likely to include unhealthy food additives, preservatives, and other ingredients. On the other hand, most tamari products include simply minimal essentials, such as water, soybeans, and salt.

3. Versatile and Simple to Operate

In almost any recipe, you can substitute Tamari for soy sauce, and it can be used in anything from stir-fries to dipping sauces and beyond. Plus, unlike soy sauce, it retains its full-bodied taste even when cooked at high temperatures, making it suitable for almost any cuisine.

4. It has a higher protein content than soy sauce

By substituting Tamari for ordinary soy sauce, you may increase your protein consumption. Tamari has almost twice as much protein as conventional soy sauce, with over two grams every one-tablespoon serving. While this may not seem to be a large quantity, it may quickly add up since this condiment is often used in tiny amounts. Protein meals are essential for tissue repair, enzyme, and hormone synthesis, and even weight regulation, in addition to developing muscle and keeping your skin, joints, and bones healthy.

5. Antioxidants are present

Tamari has a significant amount of manganese, with only one tablespoon providing roughly 4% of the required daily dose. Manganese is a vital mineral, mainly because of its capacity to operate as an antioxidant in the human body.

Antioxidants are chemicals that protect cells from harm by fighting free radicals and preventing oxidative stress. According to research, antioxidants such as manganese may have an essential role in health, particularly lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

6. It has a pleasant flavor

Because of its higher percentage of soybeans, Tamari is typically preferred over soy sauce for its rich flavor and smooth taste. It has a milder, more balanced taste than traditional soy sauce, making it simpler to use and integrate into various meals. Because of its stronger flavor, recipes frequently call for less of it, making it simpler to keep your salt consumption under control.

Potential Drawbacks

Although there are various advantages to using tamari sauce, there are also some disadvantages: the salt concentration. While your body needs a small amount of salt to operate and grow, consuming too much sodium may be harmful to your health.

Not only has excessive salt been related to bone loss, renal difficulties, and even stomach cancer, but it may also cause high blood pressure, which can damage the heart muscle and raise the risk of heart disease.

Because the bulk of soybeans farmed now are genetically engineered, some worry about soy eating. It’s believed that 90 percent of soybeans grown in the United States are genetically engineered and routinely treated with hazardous herbicides like Roundup, linked to health problems.

Tamari also includes amines, such as histamine and tyramine, which are naturally occurring chemicals. While most individuals are unlikely to have adverse effects from amines, those who have an intolerance may experience symptoms such as nausea, exhaustion, headaches, and hives if they consume large quantities.

Nutritional Information

Tamari has a low-calorie count but a high salt content. Nevertheless, it may provide a considerable quantity of manganese and niacin and a variety of other critical vitamins and minerals, even when consumed in tiny doses.

A tablespoon of Tamari (about 18 grams) comprises approximately:

  • Calorie Count: 10.8
  • Carbohydrate: 1 gram
  • Protein: 1.9 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 gram
  • Sodium: 1,006 milligrams (42 percent DV)
  • Manganese: 0.1 milligrams (4 percent DV)
  • Niacin: 0.7 milligrams (4 percent DV)
  • Iron: 0.4 micrograms (2 percent DV)
  • Magnesium: 7.2 milligrams (2 percent DV)
  • Phosphorus: 23.4 milligrams (2 percent DV)

Tamari also includes a tiny amount of vitamin B6, riboflavin, zinc, copper, and potassium, in addition to the nutrients mentioned above.

Soy Sauce vs. Tamari

So, what is soy sauce, exactly? Soy sauce, often known as soya sauce, is a common condiment that is particularly popular in Asian cuisine. First, soaked soybeans and toasted, crushed wheat are combined with a culturing mold in the traditional method for making soy sauce. After that, water and salt are added, and the concoction is allowed to ferment for many months.

On the other hand, Tamari sauce is produced entirely of fermented soybeans and has very little wheat, making it an acceptable gluten-free substitute for soy sauce. In addition, Tamari sauce is stronger in protein and has a smooth, rich taste that distinguishes it from soy sauce since it includes a larger quantity of soybeans.

However, since they both contain a comparable combination of nutrients and are heavy in salt, limiting your consumption is vital. Furthermore, despite minor taste changes, both sauces may be used interchangeably in your favorite meals, including dressings, stir-fries, and salads.

Uses in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Tamari may be eaten in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet, and it even has specific health-promoting characteristics that are useful in holistic medicine.

The soybeans used to make Tamari have cooling characteristics in Traditional Chinese Medicine and help with detoxification, regularity, and urination. To improve kidney function, restricting high-sodium meals like this sauce is also a good idea.

On the other hand, Tamari is considered simple to digest by Ayurveda because of the lack of wheat and the fermentation process that it experiences. However, because of the salt concentration, which might have harmful effects on circulation on an Ayurvedic diet, consumption should be limited.


Although soy sauce is now used all around the globe, it originated in China roughly 2,200 years ago. It quickly expanded across Asia and became a common ingredient in a variety of cuisines. Soy sauce is supposed to have been brought to Japan by Chinese Buddhist monks about the 7th century. Meanwhile, in Korea, soy sauce production has been described in ancient documents dating back to the 3rd century.

Soy sauce was first recorded in Europe in 1737 when it was classified as a trade product by the Dutch East India Company. However, as soon as manufacturing techniques were introduced, Europeans started producing soy sauce with additives like Portobello mushrooms and allspice.

Tamari is considered the original Japanese soy sauce and comes from central Japan. Because it’s the liquid created during miso fermentation, it’s also known as “miso-tamari” in Japan. The term “damaru” comes from the Japanese word “damaru,” which means “to gather.” Japan is still regarded as the world’s biggest producer of Tamari today.

Side Effects and Risks

Tamari is an excellent substitute for traditional soy sauce, mainly for wheat or gluten allergy. However, since it contains a lot of salt, it should be consumed in moderation, particularly by those with heart issues or high blood pressure.

Furthermore, since most soybeans are genetically engineered, organic Tamari is preferred whenever feasible. Check the ingredients list and choose a brand with few components and no additives. Finally, if you have a food allergy or sensitivity, check for certified gluten-free goods to guarantee that your condiment is gluten-free.

Finally, soy allergies are relatively frequent and may result in hives, itching, rashes, or swelling. If you have any of these or other food allergy symptoms, stop using them immediately and talk to your doctor.

Last Thoughts

  • What is tamari sauce, and what does it do? Tamari is a soy sauce alternative made from fermented soybeans. It’s often used in stir-fries, salads, and spices.
  • It is often wheat-free and straightforward to prepare. It’s also richer in protein, contains antioxidants, has a smoother flavor, and includes fewer chemicals and preservatives than soy sauce.
  • This condiment may be found in most grocery shops and can be used in a variety of dishes.
  • However, since it contains a lot of salt, it’s advisable to consume it in moderation and always go for organic to avoid any adverse side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is healthier, Tamari or soy sauce?

A: Soy sauce is healthier than Tamari because of the salt content. It also has a higher amount of soybean extract, suitable for your body’s immune system.

Does Tamari have any health benefits?

A: Tamari has a lot of health benefits. It is suitable for people who have allergies and can sometimes help with inflammation and be great in recipes where you need to use soy sauce.

What are the side effects of soy sauce?

A: The side effects of soy sauce are pretty varied and can include headaches, vomiting, dizziness, and others.

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