Just because you want to stay healthy and fit, doesn’t mean that you need to eat things that are bereft of taste and flavor. People who wish to improve their health and physical fitness may gravitate towards a gluten-free diet or eating plan. This, for the most part, is a positive move towards a better quality of life and wellness.
However, for those just beginning with the said gluten-free diet may find it challenging and difficult as this eating plan, similar to other diets, can have certain restrictions that can be hard to religiously observe. One such restriction of the gluten-free diet is the use of seasonings, specifically soy sauce.
This is where liquid Aminos can aid dieters who wish to observe the gluten-free diet. But with the different choices available, people may ask “What is a good liquid Aminos substitute?”.In this article, let us look at some of the best liquid Aminos substitutes available in the market today.
Liquid Aminos: A Brief Introduction
People who have chosen to go paleo, gluten-free, and vegan in terms of eating or diet, they may already be familiar with what liquid Aminos are. Simply put, Liquid Aminos are soy sauce substitutes that are gluten-free. However, Liquid Aminos are more than just soy sauce substitutes. Let us first look at what Aminos are in the first place. Amino acids are referred to as Aminos and these are the building blocks of protein.
There are twenty (20) amino acids and out of these 20, nine (9) are essential which are not produced by the human body and require acquisition through the consumption of various food items. Amino acids have a number of different benefits for the human body and these include improved brain function, cardiovascular health, enhanced metabolism, better immune system response, and can help maintain and build muscles. Some of the common food sources for amino acids are from proteins from dairy, eggs, and meats and even from seeds and nuts.
So people may be asking, “Are liquid Aminos supplements?”. The direct and simple answer is no, these Liquid Aminos are not supplements. They are considered condiments or ingredients that can enhance the flavor of dishes and menu items and can serve as a substitute for soy sauce. Compared to other regular condiments such as salts and soy sauce, these liquid Aminos are relatively healthier.
It is important to keep in mind, though, that for Liquid Aminos to actually contribute some form of health benefit, voluminous amounts must first be consumed which means taking in enormous amounts of salt. As such, these Aminos are not really supplements and should only be treated as some form of substitute condiment.
These Liquid Aminos come from soybeans, a plant-based food item that can provide people with a complete range of proteins that are considered essential amino acids. Hydrochloric acid is used to process the soybeans for the amino acids to be released and for proteins to breakdown. This process is similar to that of the stomach when food items are being digested.
The resulting components are then treated with baking soda or sodium bicarbonate which will then lend the Aminos with its salty taste and neutralized acids. Once done, liquid Aminos will essentially look like liquid that is colored dark amber-brown. It will also have similar taste as that of soy sauce but with a tinge of sweetness and little less harsh.
Soy Sauce and Liquid Aminos: What’s The Difference?
All three products are created from processed soybeans. However, soy sauce has wheat and as such, is not considered an ingredient that is gluten-free. Soy sauce also went through the process of fermentation which means that it contains a little bit of alcohol, while liquid Aminos does not have any. Different brands are available in the market today and they may all have different flavors or twists in terms of added ingredients or herbs but across the board, these products will have additional stabilizers, preservatives, and salts. Liquid Aminos will have significantly lower salt content than regular soy sauce but does not mean that they are low- salt or salt-free products. In fact, while it has been proven that liquid Aminos has a lower salt content than soy sauce, the difference in the level of salt of content is not that big.
What about Tamari?
Another product from fermented soybeans is Tamari which also has similarities to soy sauce. It has a slightly different flavor and is sometimes labeled as Japanese soy sauce. Tamari does not contain wheat and is mostly gluten-free. It is still best to check labels on Tamari as some brands will contain minute amounts of gluten. Different Tamari brands may also contain different levels of saltiness and the possible choice or option for some people based on preference. For people who are concerned with GMOs or genetically modified ingredients, it must be noted that some tamari or soy sauce brands will contain some form of soybeans that GMO. On the other hand, liquid Aminos will usually hinge the marketing of their product based on the fact that their liquid Aminos are free from any GMOs.
Coconut Aminos: Are they Gluten-Free?
As the name implies, coconut Aminos come from coconuts, particularly coconut blossom nectar and coconut sap, mixed in with some sea salt. These Aminos are gluten-free and are also free from soy, making them less salty with a lowered sodium content making them a popular choice for those going on the paleo diet. These coconut Aminos are also salty but they have an increased level of sweetness and can come in various different flavors such as teriyaki and garlic.
This makes Coconut Aminos one of the top choices for people who wish to monitor their salt or sodium intake. Evidence also suggests that coconut Aminos may be beneficial in terms of probiotic provision and the promotion of a healthy gut. Similar to soy sauce, these coconut Aminos will also contain some form of alcohol since they are also fermented.