Soy Sauce

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0

Well I guess it’s meant to be.  I did a long-winded post about soy sauce, pulling nerdy nutrition crap out of my rear end, and when I went to preview it the whole thing got lost into an internet black hole.  Nothing remained.  So be it.  Instead I’ll leave that out and just say, simply, why I wanted to do a post on soy sauce specifically…

After recently seeing the powerful importance of salt in increasing metabolic rate and keeping the nervous system calm, I bought some soy sauce for the first time in a long time.  I was excited to have some because I know it’s super salty and super good.  Imagine sushi without it.  Eesh.

In some parts of Japan and China salt consumption exceeds 20, and sometimes even 25 grams per day on average.  Soy sauce plays a part in that.  I knew it was salty, and have traveled all over Asia noticing how great I felt – especially my digestion, but I didn’t know it had so much protein.

It is very high in protein – a cup of soy sauce has twice as much protein as a cup of milk.  Of course, you can drink a lot more milk, but a little complementary protein from a source like soy sauce, low in the more inflammatory, metabolism-lowering amino acids (cysteine, methionine, and tryptophan), is similar to the use of gelatin as a protein balancer.  If this is way over your head, this concept is discussed in an old post called Protein: A Closer Look.  I like soy sauce better though, as gelatin-rich broth and stews always make my stomach a little grumpy.  Soy sauce seems to do the opposite.

The aminos in soy are controversial though no doubt.  The aspartic acid and glutamic acid content of soy sauce is the primary point of contention.  I’ll save any conversation about that for the comments though.

Plus, I just like it.  The food I have made with it recently was absurdly simple and really damn good.  Even a 7-year old who looked at the little stir fry I made with a look of disgust proclaimed that I was “a good cooker” after just a couple bites.  For breakfast today she requested eggs and rice with soy sauce, and we’ve got a whole cabinet filled with Cap’n Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Cocoa Puffs, not to mention the coconut oil deep fried bagels rolled in cinnamon and sugar like a Churro that I’ve been making her lately (“banoughrros” I call ‘em).

So anyway, that’s my little soy story.  Nothing life changing.  The simplest version of the stir fries I’ve been busting out lately look something like this…

  • Saute broccoli, onions, and mushrooms in plenty of coconut oil for several minutes (I’ve used all kinds of other things like bean sprouts, bell peppers, ginger, garlic, hot chiles, sugar snap peas, etc. – as well as beef, chicken, and shellfish – but that combo will do just fine and I actually think it’s better)
  • Add a half cup or more of soy sauce, a splash of water, and a nice handful of brown sugar
  • Simmer until everything is nice and soft – add a little more water if it evaporates too much during cooking
  • Serve over rice, I like Jasmine but you can go all Uncle Ben’s on me if you want.  I won’t be mad.
  • Garnish with fresh-chopped green onions/scallions and a dash of cayenne pepper – a few chopped peanuts can be a really nice addition
  • Improvise at will

109 Comments

  1. First.

    And fish sauce. Good stuff too. I just got back from Asia (China and Thailand) myself.

    Reply
  2. I live in Asia for seven years and both soy sauce and fish sauce are staples in my cooking. I’ve been trying to lean more towards fish sauce recently because I read something about soy sauce and estrogen dominance. I already have issues with estrogen dominance so I thought I should probably ease up.

    Reply
  3. Now I could go for some Onigiri or Yakigyoza T,T

    Reply
  4. What about the phytoestrogens? I’ve been trying to avoid soy because I’ve heard it’s very estrogenic.

    Reply
    • My understanding is that it’s more a concern in large amounts and in unfermented soy like tofu or soy milk. Some tamari or shoyu as garnish is probably groovy. Even the Weston A Price Foundation folks give (unpasteurized) soy sauce the thumbs up, and they *really* dislike most soy foods.

      Reply
  5. I’d wager that reactions to aspartic acid and glutamic acid are more pronounced in those with issues with metabolism and/or gut permeability.

    Reply
  6. I love wheat free tamari. and fish sauce FTW.
    Salt has been berry berry good to me.

    Reply
  7. It is my belief that those that suffer from the ill effects of msg and soy sauce (“chinese restaraunt syndrome”) are those that are deficient in magnesium (which is almost everyone). Any thoughts on this, Matt?

    Reply
    • I’m curious about the cause of msg problems. My grandfather did original research in the 1930s which showed that there is a genetic component to msg sensitivity. So, with that, I have a really clear picture of who in the family suffers from this problem and I can trace msg sensitivity back 3 generations. The unfortunate consequence of the research has been a near obsession with healthy eating by family members. My own theory is that it is just another facet of hypothyroidism. Don’t suffer myself, so I can’t test it.

      Reply
      • However, 1930’s msg and today’s msg are not the same thing. Up until the early 1960’s I think it was made with seaweed, now it’s hydrolised from plant protein or the fermentation of glucose from starchy foods. (See ‘what exactly is msg’ on http://www.msgtruth.com)

        I am really sensitive to the stuff myself. And there possibly being a genetic component is interesting. However, I think there’s also a difference between the naturally occurring glutamates (which I imagine is what is in soy sauce?) and the man-made variety. As far as I can tell it’s the man-made ones that I have to avoid.

        Reply
    • It’s my understanding that it’s manganese, not magnesium, that helps convert glutatmic acid (the stimulating amino in msg) into gaga (the calming ‘cousin’), along with B2. Also taurine is supposed to help increase this conversion.

      Reply
  8. Funny, my husband and I just did a little taste test between wheat-free Tamari and Kikoman Soy Souce. I thought the Tamari was the clear winner whereas he liked the Kikoman. The Tamari just seemed to be a richer flavor, with a “tang” that was missing from the Kikoman, which just tastes salty to me.

    Anyway, another really really yummy way to have some is to just put it on plain chicken and rice. I slow-cook a chicken, put it on top of white basmati rice and sprinkle the Tamari over. The flavors meld really well.

    Reply
  9. OFF-TOPIC: Would you do a post on GOOD BACTERIA? I mean, for Ray Peat the only GOOD BACTERIA is a DEAD BACTERIA (or should I say *bacterium*). I’ve been dying to use a new pick-up line: Hey baby, lay some of that good bacteria you got on me.

    It’s lame, but I bet it would work at the check-out line at Whole Foods.

    Reply
    • I just stick with…. “Did you get those pants on sale? If they were at my house they’d be 100% off.”

      Reply
      • Good one Matt…LMFAO!!!! Speaking of Soy sauce, what do you think of the Soy replacement called Coconut Aminos? It tastes like soy sauce but it is made using fermented coconut nectar and sea water and it is yummy with white rice :)

        Reply
  10. Hey Matt,
    Good post as always. Do you still (I think you did in the past) hold the view that soy is bad for you? Is that mostly because of the PUFA content (low in soy sauce however)? I’ve read that soy contains trypsin inhibitors which don’t allow the enzyme trypsin to utilitze the proteins that you get from soy. Is this different for soy sauce, or do you think it’s negligible? Thanks.

    Reply
    • It is my understanding that the lengthy fermentation process neutralizes the plant toxins in soy that are estrogenic and that inhibit trypsin. There is a negligible amount of fat in soy sauce, so there’s no PUFA issue there. So natto, miso, and tamari (soy sauce) are probably safe, and thought to have a lot of potential health benefits.

      Reply
      • Great! That’s good to hear. Thanks Matt!

        Reply
  11. I ‘won’ a soy sauce eating contest as a kid. Ugh, turns my stomach to even think about it.

    Reply
    • That is so awesome. Really.

      Reply
  12. My three-year old loves soy sauce. She always asks for more on her rice and I’m sure she’d drink it out of the bottle if she could. Her brother hates the stuff. He’s the one with low metabolism, while hers is ON FIRE! Might be yet another reason I felt so well living in Japan. I used to have rice and miso soup for breakfast. I assume miso has similar properties?

    Reply
  13. What about soy being on of. The causes of hypothyroidism?of which you wrote a lot lately so this is kinda contradictory.

    Reply
    • Quoting Ray Peat makes me feel like a nutrition geek :)

      “Japanese women’s relative freedom from breast cancer is independent of soy products: traditional soy foods aren’t the same as those so widely used in the US, for example, soy sauce doesn’t contain the so-called soy estrogens, ………..”

      Reply
  14. Hey, Matt, do you have any thoughts on Bragg Amino Acids? I’ve been using that stuff a lot lately and I just LOVE it! But if plain old soy sauce is better for you, I’d like to switch back to that.

    Reply
    • I would also like some thoughts on that. I bought a big bottle of Braggs liquid aminos a long time ago because of the formerfatguy.com dude.

      Reply
    • My undertanding is that Braggs Amino Acids is an unfermented soy suace, so it probably doesn’t offer the same benefits as the fermented Tamari types of soy sauces do.

      Reply
  15. Miso is a good way to get some extra salt, and it’s quite tasty to eat on its own. For example, one tbsp of the Genmai Miso I have here has 780 mgs of salt. Mind you, 1/4 tsp of salt has only 280 mg sodium, and I can’t eat that much salt on its own. So, in one tbsp of yummy miso, I get around the equivalent of 3/4 teaspoon of salt.

    Reply
  16. Makes sense why sushi buffets have been making me feel so good, until the next day when the raw vegetables are tearing my guts up…

    Reply
  17. I have been eating more salt and feel such a difference in body temperature. However, when does salt cause Kidney Stones? Is that when not enough water is consumed with the salt?

    Reply
    • I don’t think salt, acting alone, causes kidney stones.

      Reply
      • Is there a post about the kidney stones? Elaborate! I’m guessing its genetics and another metabolic dysfunction.

        Reply
  18. By the way, I was travelling for work and decided to stay on a ranch B&B outside of the city. The lady running the ranch was going on 76. She was taking care of a ranch and B&B with 7 horses and chickens and 2 dogs, completely alone. She actually started the B&B at age 74, when her husband passed away to keep busy. I stuck around for a bit longer to keep her company and help her out, as she just had been kicked by a horse and was limping. She was telling me all about her plans to raise cattle this year. She was also telling me how she was expecting to keep this thing running until maybe 86, when according to her, things should start to get tough physically. I was so astounded by her energy and vitality, at that age! And by spending a day with her I realized she is the embodiment of Matt’s theory. She called herself an “overeater” and ate twice as much as I did of whatever she wanted. Mostly good stuff, with lots of cheese, crackers, farm eggs, butter. She didn’t seem picky. She put sugar in her coffee, and used a LOT of salt. More than I ever have seem someone do. Now maybe it was normal, but coming from an ex-disordered perspective, I was surprised! She seemed in great shape, and didn’t mention anything to contradict my assumption. She has also been active on the ranch for many years.

    Reply
    • @Goosie What an inspirational story! Do you perhaps know if she has a website or emailadress? bc I’d like to mail her and ask some more about how she all started it….(though she probably already had a lot rearding animals and stuff….I assume she already lived there with her husband).

      Reply
      • Yes, she had the ranch for many years with her husband, for leisure. At some point they even had 40 cattle too.

        Reply
        • Do you know if this lady perhaps has a website of her B&B? or other way to contact her?
          (Where’s the B&B located btw?:))

          Reply
  19. Matt, interesting post, but you are clearly talking about the benefits than can be derived from traditionally brewed soy sauce. These are like 10% of the market. The bulk nowadays of commercial soy sauce are produced in 24 hours by hydrolization of soy proteins that contains still all the shit like enzyme inhibitors, estrogen and large volume of man-made MSG in the process. A few cancer promoters substances have been found in those cheap commercial soy sauce, and of course our common friend Dr Kaayla Daniel has largely covered the topic with numerous scientific fact. So they are not all created equal…

    Reply
    • San-J organic tamari was my most recent purchase. I would like to buy the true kine soy sauce some day. There are pretty much cancer promoting substances in everything I eat though, like heterocyclic amines and acrylamide, so I’m not going to lose too much sleep over the bonus carcinogens in soy sauce. But I will buy better grade stuff. It tastes better and is obviously a higher quality product that only costs and extra 2 bucks or so.

      Reply
      • I have an old bottle of San-J organic + gluten free lying around from my health food days. Just checked and I had also bought the “reduced sodium” version.sigh..

        Reply
        • Awww!! Wok blocked with the low sodium version! Ouch.

          Reply
          • Wok-blocked! Haha- awesome.

            San-J is pretty good- definitely head and shoulders above Kikkoman in my opinion, even if the latter has that amazing cartoon about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz-mJed_bP0

            Never tried any of the unpasteurized stuff (nama), because I could only find the wheaty shoyu, not the wheat free tamari when I used to go looking. Now I’ll piledrive me some shoyu, no problem.

            I wonder what the sodium content in fish sauce is. In Thailand, I had lots of that, and man, was it ever salty. Tasty, though. What’s your take on fish sauce vs soy sauce, Matt?

      • I recently broke a full mondo-sized San-J bottle on our kitchen floor. Stained the tile and stunk for days. Now that I have read this blog post though, I think I will have to replace it and go on a soy sauce spree. I need to warm up and haven’t figured out what makes me hot, so maybe this will do it.

        Since this is a condiment post, I have to ask another burning question… Any thoughts on hot sauce addiction? I cannot get enough Frank’s Red Hot and put it on everything plus I down an order of hot wings at least once a week.

        Reply
        • That’s nothing… I spilled half a bottle in my car. Now that gave it a lovely aroma for some time indeed.

          Reply
  20. I love the idea of increasing my salt intake but I would really like to know if too much salt causes cellulite ? I’m sorry if this is a stupid question.

    Reply
    • I’ve never heard anything like that before. It’s my understanding that high salt consumption with no other variables can prevent fat accumulation.

      Reply
      • What do you mean with no other variables?eating salt in itself of the spoon or what?

        Reply
        • I’m guessing he means: if you eat a diet that is identical to another, same foods, same quantities, etc, and the only variation if how much salt, then the higher salt diet will prevent fat accumulation.

          Reply
      • I have heard that high salt intake causes water retention, which makes the appearance of cellulite worse. I don’t go for that theory, but “cut down on salt” seems to be the favourite piece of conventional anti-cellulite advice (along with “reduce saturated fat intake”). I wish I could figure out how to ACTUALLY get rid of cellulite.

        Reply
  21. I think Ray Peat said cellulite was caused by PUFA and lack of collagen.

    Reply
    • Obviously estrogen plays a role in cellulite or women wouldn’t be so much more likely than men to have it.

      Reply
      • Except we don’t get it on our boobs…

        Reply
      • Estrogen and PUFA have a synergistic action. If you have decent amount of estrogen and are eating PUFA food you will get worse result if either was low.

        Reply
  22. that stirfry sounds good. I’m going to make it this week. was wondering if someone could help me find the post that tells you how to cure hashimotos. I was diagnosed with it years ago, then it miraculessly went away and now 18 yrs later, its back. thanks for any info (I dont like to take synthroid).

    Reply
    • Nothing specific, just trying to increase thyroid and decrease stress hormone exposure to reduce the autoimmune tendency, and in turn beef up things like testosterone to combat estrogen, which is central to autoimmune disease.

      Reply
      • thank you matt. but I’m a girl “Joey”. Do I still want to beef up my testosterone? LOL Idk… maybe I do.. what do I know right? and how do I ” increase thyroid” I feel like crap on a daily basis and am so tired of i.t also, my child has autism and would be interested in taking a poll just to see how many moms of autistic kids had autoimmune issues when they were pregnant. would be interesting to see the results. well anyway, really really enjoying your blog. Finally helping me reach a turning point/shift with this dieting hampster wheel I’ve been on my whole life. I finally feel free. you rock, you really do.

        Reply
        • Autoimmune disease is the top risk factor for having a kid with Autism. I think I’ve written that somewhere before. Not sure where. Yeah, let’s stick to beefing up the progesterone eh? The female testosterone equivalent.

          Reply
    • Low-dose Naltrexone dropped my TPO antibodies to under-range within months.

      I still take levothroid though because I feel so much better on it.

      But if I were doing it all over again, I would wait on the levo and start with the Naltrexone for 6 months or so.

      Personally I think diet will only take you so far… and not far enough.

      Reply
      • Tierney, did you track your hormone levels when doing the LDN? Any issues, like elevated prolactin, etc? Also did you take it prior to sleep or did you take it in the morning (as some people do who tend to get insomnia from it)?

        Reply
        • I did not really conciously track anything except antibodies while on LDN, but I did have a hormone panel done a year or so into taking it and my prolactin was at lower end. Everything else was normal except testosterone which was slightly low. I used a bioidentical T cream for a few month but all it did was make me break out, so I don’t thnk I really needed the T.

          I always took it in the evening or right before bed, whenever I remembered it.

          Reply
    • Synthroid is crap, but honestly there is no cure for Hashis. I have seen so many people waste years of their lives and dollars of their savings on ‘cures’. You can certainly control the illness – my antibodies were raging for years, but are suppressed now. However, Synthroid is definitely not gonna be enough. If you have been hypo long enough, you can have thyroid receptor issues, which means that T4 only is completely useless. I myself tried combination therapy for years and I was only half well. I have now been on T3 only since February and I am a completing different person. My antibodies are suppressed and for the first time in years I understand that one can be too hot.

      Also, bear in mind that thyroid medications are not medicines; they are bioidentical hormones and you are simply taking a hormone that your body does not produce enough of.

      I know that you would have to pry my T3 out of my cold, dead hands.

      Have you ever tried any type of GAPS or GFCF diet with your child?

      Reply
  23. Seems like you Americans use close to no salt. Here in Germany many Chinese and other Asian friends have complained about the food being too salty.

    Reply
    • There’s lots of salt in American food. But a lot of people are scared to add salt to their cooking and their food in general. This is especially problematic for people that read health books and health websites, as they don’t usually eat American food.

      Reply
      • True if you check the sodium content, but I always found that the food doesn’t *taste* salty. How is that? Like in processed foods.

        Reply
      • One of my problems is that my appetite is less than what I would need to fulfill my caloric needs. Salt seems to help me with appetite and digestion, which is pretty great. Are you back to using sea salt? Or still table salt?

        Reply
  24. I also like to toss in some rice vinegar. YUM!

    Reply
  25. Another question: If salt stimulates the metabolism why does Dr. Stephen Langer recommend minimizing salt consumption in his book “Solved: The Riddle of Illness”?

    Reply
  26. I’m glad the comments led to the mention of high-quality, fermented type of soy. I’m going to get some next time I’m at my local co-op.

    Americans have been trained to be totally salt-phobic, mostly because the substance sold at grocery stores as “salt” is crap. Kind of like commercial, “24 hour” soy sauce.

    I know Matt tries to steer people away from food obsessions, but I really do think quality of ingredients makes a huge difference. I can barely stand the taste of “iodized salt” but I looooooooooooooooooove himalayan salt. Real salt is also nice, and I like trying different kinds of natural salts. Saltworks.us is like a playground for me.

    Quick anecdote: I was car-camping in Oregon recently with wife & friends. I was brewing up my morning beverage and wife said sugar was in the green lid tupperware, but it was actually himalayan salt, which to groggy morning eyes looks close enough to the organic evaporated cane juice we use, that I put a teaspoon of it into my brew. The taste wasn’t pleasant, but I compensated with a bunch of sugar, and ended up with a kind of salt water taffy taste. Within 20 minutes, my body was kicking out major BTUs. We walked on the beach later, and despite cold, windy conditions, I was totally comfortable in a t-shirt without a jacket.

    The point of the story is that good salt is good for you, and makes the body warm. :-)

    Reply
    • Hey man. Don’t be dogging on the Morton’s canning and pickling salt. It’s legit. Up there with you and all your Fleur Du Sel snootiness!!!

      Reply
      • Snooty salt is the way to go…just don’t snort it up your snoot.

        Reply
  27. Hi Matt,

    I’m new on the blog and just want to share my experience with your advice rgarding nutrition.
    I have crohn’s disease since 2005 and had a major surgery two years ago with two major complications….I’d end up with a weight of 56 kilos….and my height is 2 meters.
    Following your advice I went from 56 kilos to 97 kilos in less than one year!!
    My weight is now stable and despite the removing of almost my entire colon, I have no diarrhea even my surgeon was amazed…..
    My diet is based mostly on white bread, white rice, cheese, ice cream, coke, pizza, lasagna, meat, butter, cream, fish and meat. My point is that during my “healing” phase nothing made me warmer than salted Sprite and those so easy to digest food.
    You are definitely onto something….

    Reply
  28. Since we are on the topic of salt, asian cuisine and getting more salt, umeboshi plums would be a good way to get more salt. I think you can get about 700-800 mgs per plum. If you buy them at a Japanese grocery store (instead of getting ripped off at Whole Foods) they aren’t expensive at all.

    Reply
    • I love umeboshi plums! More memories of Japan. I have to say the diet there really suited me. Loads of rice, sushi and soba noodles dipped in raw quail eggs! It helped that I lived on my own and could eat whatever I wanted. And stay in bed all weekend if I wanted! Pity my then boyfriend dragged me back to marry me. It’d still be there if it weren’t for that. Hard to find decent Japanese food on Ireland. Might have to start cooking my own. Off to track down those elusive umeboshi…

      Reply
    • I LOOOOOOVE umeboshi plums!!

      Reply
  29. Can eating salt cause a decrease in body temperature for some people? I ask this because according to the article down bellow, a study found that the ingestion of salt and water lowered body temperature more than the ingestion of water by itself.

    http://case.edu/medicus/breakingnews/causeofhypertension.html

    Reply
    • If I remember correctly, this can happen if your body heat is generated by adrenal output. When you add salt the adrenal output will go down and in turn your body is not catabolizing itself for energy any longer.

      I know that by increasing salt I had to increase my food intake.

      Reply
  30. can you please write a post about how babies need salt? all of my friends brag about not putting salt in their babies’ food- because they are raising such “healthy” eaters. ugh… i hate conventional nutritional advice!

    i on the other hand slightly freak out if i forget to put sea salt on my little one’s food. ok, slightly freak out is an exaggeration, but i am still very intentional about salting everything (except for maybe fresh cut fruit).

    Reply
    • Was actually going to do that tomorrow if I get a chance. I was going to do a post on seizures in infants and children.

      Reply
      • awesome thanks! :)

        Reply
  31. Hey Matt, unrelated topic here, but I’m doing an experiment on myself I thought you might find interesting so I figured I’d post on the most recent thread. I was reading on the Primal Blueprint forum about the “potato diet”/hack/thingy, which is exactly what it sounds like–eating nothing but potatoes for a given period of time. Anyway a bunch of people seemed to be losing weight very easily doing this, to the tune of a pound a day in some cases, with few negative side effects and apparently little or no immediate rebound effect when resuming normal eating.

    So long story short, I’m trying it out to see what happens. I bought 16 lbs of white potatoes and 4 lbs of orange sweet potatoes and have been eating nothing else since Saturday, to continue until I run out of potatoes, at which point I will resume eating normally and evaluate results. I’m using plenty of salt and spices and drinking mainly Pellegrino to make sure I don’t run short on any critical minerals. I’m not worried about any vitamin deficiencies because I should be done in less than 7 days total and I’ll go back to eating varied and nutritious foods right quick. Oh yeah, I’m also having a bit of coffee with cream in the morning because I’m a caffeine addict, LOL.

    I’m tracking weight daily in the AM, taking body measurements every few days (neck/waist/hip/thigh/biceps/forearm) and taking my temperature regularly. I figure if I notice signs of serious metabolic slowdown or muscle loss, I’ll stop early, but the interesting thing is that so far, I’m seeing no such thing. Despite eating less than 1000 calories a day (I’m not restricting consciously, plain potatoes are just extremely satiating) for 4 days in a row, my waking temperature has been holding nice and steady in the high 97s, immediately rising to 98.5 or 98.6 within a few minutes of getting up, and usually peaking around 99.0-99.1 in the afternoon. My mood and energy feel good–not totally bursting with energy but not tired or foggy at all–and my libido is normal. Bowel habits have slightly sped up if anything. I haven’t been unusually hungry, no discomfort, bloating or anything, and no cravings for particular foods so far. Sleep is good, getting plenty of that as well.

    I just figured you might be interested–there seems to be something about potatoes that makes it extremely easy to eat way below maintenance calories without a lot of the negative side effects–I know from experience that if I simply tried to eat my normal diet scaled back to 1000 calories a day for 4 days I would be super-grumpy and crazy and cold. I’ll report back in a few days when I’m done if anyone is interested.

    Reply
    • Sure, definitely interested.

      Reply
    • Yes, please keep us updated! I have been increasing my consumption of potatoes over the last week since I saw a Youtube video from John McDougall talking about an experiment done in 1925 involving a married couple eating nothing but potatoes for 30 days and it reports very good results with no negative effects or nutritional deficiencies (as far as they knew back then). BTW, I’m writing this as I’m pounding down a large plate of Hash Brown potatoes with salsa :)

      Reply
    • Very interested.

      Reply
    • Yes , I am interested too.
      So no fat on the potatoes I assume?

      It must get boring?

      What is your normal calorie intake?

      I cant drop calories without suffering- so this makes me curious.

      Reply
      • “So no fat on the potatoes I assume?”
        Correct. Nothing but salt and spices.

        “It must get boring?”
        Somewhat. I actually prefer monotonous diets, though (not usually this monotonous!), so it’s not too big a stretch. I got used to it pretty quickly. If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like to eat leftovers because you want something different each meal it would probably drive you crazy in a day. I am not one of those people.

        “What is your normal calorie intake?”
        Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000. Eating 85% white potatoes and 15% sweet potatoes, I’ve been eating about 1100 calories per day (my <1000 comment earlier was a miscalculation but pretty close–I did the math properly last night by weighing out my remaining potato sacks and subtracting from the 20 lbs I started with).

        I estimate 2 days' worth of potatoes remain to be eaten, so I will report back when I have finished them.

        Also, as an aside and in the interest of full disclosure, I went out to lunch with coworkers for a semi-mandatory working lunch that I didn't want to put up a stink over. So today I also had Thai fried rice with chicken and egg. But I had a 4-day unbroken potato streak since Saturday and shouldn't need to eat anything else non-potato until Potato Experiment, Round One is finished.

        Reply
        • Thanks for the updates!

          From 3000 cals to 1100 is a huge drop, and it is very surprising that you still felt good with this.
          I am thinking I would not be able to feel the same!
          And that I might try a day of potatoes out of curiosity just to see how it feels.
          But with adding some coconut oil for palatabilty, and coconut cream for hot drinks.

          I would also be inclined to try the same thing keeping calories at my maintenance ( around 3200),
          to see if weight loss comes from eating potatoes, or just from calorie reduction.

          I also do resistance training, and can very quickly tell if something is adversely affecting my strength and energy.

          Reply
          • “From 3000 cals to 1100 is a huge drop, and it is very surprising that you still felt good with this.”

            To be clear, I was not doing any strenuous exercise during this time. Only walking. So my caloric and protein needs were certainly lower than normal. But probably only by 300-400 calories so it’s still a huge deficit.

            “I am thinking I would not be able to feel the same!
            And that I might try a day of potatoes out of curiosity just to see how it feels.
            But with adding some coconut oil for palatabilty, and coconut cream for hot drinks.”

            I will warn you that you might not get the same level of satiation if you add fat. It seems like there’s something about eating such a high proportion of starch that makes them more filling than they would be if you added fat (probably just makes them a lot more palatable). But try it and see!

            “I would also be inclined to try the same thing keeping calories at my maintenance ( around 3200),
            to see if weight loss comes from eating potatoes, or just from calorie reduction.”

            I would have a hard time getting 3000 calories of plain potatoes down my throat in one day. I would just be stuffed. That’s like 5-6 pounds of potatoes.

            “I also do resistance training, and can very quickly tell if something is adversely affecting my strength and energy.”

            I am guessing that had I been doing any resistance during that time I would have been craving meat and fat badly by the end of day 2. As it was they seemed to supply the short-term needs of a more leisurely routine quite nicely.

          • Actually 3000 calories would be more like 8.5 pounds of potatoes. Yikes. Although on the upside that would net you a hefty 150g of high-quality protein as well, if you could manage to eat that much. I wouldn’t want to try it!

          • Damnit, I can’t do math properly today! It would net 75-80 grams of protein, not 150g. Certainly not deficiency territory but not a whole lot.

          • lol ..
            The deficiency in protein might be made up by having so many carbs!

            I dont know if I could stomach that many potatoes without some fat.
            I read up on Voights (spelling?) experiment- the man who ate potatoes for 60 days;
            and he had 2 T of canola oil a day with his potatoes. Which isnt much, granted..

            I probably could eat 3000 cals of potatoes in a day- I can eat a very great deal more than the average person!

            If I try it I will write it down here.
            I am trying something else at the moment and dont want to interrupt it-
            (eating more calories in an intermittent fashion).

    • So, I’m wrapping it up for round 1. Results are mixed. On the one hand, it was a very easy way to restrict calories without any apparent loss of energy or major downsides. Weirdly, I lost a couple of pounds the first two days, then my weight crept halfway back to where it started. I am guessing this was mainly due to water balance or glycogen or something–no way I was depositing fat at 1100 calories a day intake and normal body temperature.

      I am thinking now that I might try a modification after a week or two of normal eating. I’d rather make a dietary change that I can easily stick to and observe for several months rather than a week. So I might start using potatoes as the main starchy staple of my diet and adding in more protein- and fat-rich foods around them. Maybe two meals a day of mostly potatoes, and at dinner adding in foods like eggs, liver, gelatin, fish, meat, broths, fruits and vegetables, etc. I don’t want to do all-potatoes long term since I’d still like to be building muscle and I don’t think there’s enough protein and fat in potatoes to support resistance training. Ice cream smoothies on workout days too, of course! :-)

      Reply
      • My own experience has been that if I am full all the time, I lose weight and if I am hungry I will gain. Calorie intake probably changes, but if I consciously interfere (even by counting/observing) then there is no telling what will happen. I think it is the equivalent of Schrodinger’s cat experiment.

        Reply
        • I find that fascinating.
          I assume that being full all the time means eating more calories than when you are hungry;
          and this causes you to lose weight rather than gain?!

          I wish it was so for all of us.
          But i guess it is some mechanism of the body registering that it is being well fed and doesnt need to hold onto fat/weight.

          Or do you mean just being mechanically full from high volume/lower calorie foods means you can lose weight while still retaining the sensation of fullness/satiation?

          Reply
          • Ah ignore that last question, I can see that is not what you meant..

            It is hard not to consciously count and observe. Especially if you are a long term dieter who does it all automatically.. lol

          • Calorie counting makes me hungry and not just a week later, but within a couple minutes.

          • lol, yes,
            I guess it sends an immediate message to the psyche –
            “food is about to become under restraint”,
            and the body reacts by instigating hunger to fight back..

          • Maybe, my guess is that it is an anxiety reaction. I’m incapable of purposely restricting my caloric intake. I’m trying to err on the side of eating too much as opposed to not eating enough of late.

        • Yeah, I’m not sure what was going on exactly. I was eating until full, 3-4 times a day, and never letting myself get REALLY hungry, just waiting until I was hungry enough that some more baked potatoes started sounding good instead of boring, then I’d nuke some and eat. So I wasn’t restricting the amount of food I was eating at all, just the type.

          Reply
  32. Random Observations:
    * Eating lots of MSG (as in in stir-fry) usually makes me pretty anxious.
    * Eating a fair amount of sodium citrate (> 10g) makes me very cold.
    * Eating 8 giant slim jims (4g of sodium) makes me warm/relaxed. Though my stomach isn’t real happy about it.

    Reply
  33. Ok so the most expensive soy sauce is good for you because of high salt and good amino acids? Sounds cool. Where would you buy that tho since I guess you should still stay away from commercial brands like kikkoman? I would love to add some high quality soy sauce to rice and chicken dishes.

    How about soy hot dogs, burgers, milk and whatever? I would presume it’s crap because it hasn’t been fermented?

    Reply
    • As long as it is naturally fermented, the pasteurized -less expensive- brands like Lima, etc. are going to have the salt and amino acid profile without the high estrogenice component. The expensive, unpasteurized kind is going to have the living, “good” bacteria. I think that’s the only difference. I will just stick with the pasteurized kind.

      Reply
      • Cool, not sure I can find it here in Sweden but I’m gonna give it a go

        Reply
        • you can find naturally fermented soy sauce in sweden. Malmö has plenty, probably stockholm and gbg too, otherwise mosy grocery stores carry renee voltaire brand and others. Everything, ofcourse, is more expensive here than in the us..

          Reply
          • Yeah I live in Gbg right now so I’m gonna have a look in the asian supermarket. Maybe I could make it myself but it’s supposed to be a time consuming process with lots of mold, my family would go crazy haha

          • Ok, but don’t think that it is naturally fermented just because it’s in an asian supermarket. In fact, you are very likely to find cheap, industrialized product there. You should definitely ask. You are more likely to find good stuff in a health food store, in this case.

  34. I am so making that stir fry next week BTW!! This reminds me that I used to make a killer stir fry with a marinated sauce, years ago. I had forgotten all about it. Yum….

    Reply
  35. I love soy sauce and don’t care whether it’s good or bad for me! :D

    Reply
  36. Although I do try to stick to organic soy sauce to avoid GMO soy…

    Reply
  37. For those who fear The Bean – worry not. Yes, there has been a substantial amount of anti-soy information floating around the internet the last few years and most of it is well deserved. With possible exception of certain spiritual orders, soy has never been used as a replacement for animal protein in Asia. Never. The Chinese eat a varied, omnivorous diet and regardless of what the so-called China Study pretends to report, soy is not a main course mainstay. Neither is it in Japan, where lots of fish (at least before Fukushima) and beef and pork are widely consumed. Soy has always been fermented with lots of salt and consumed as a condiment with the notable exception of tofu, which, again, was not used historically as a meat substitute.

    Contrast that with America: Vegans (a sub group with no historical precedent), vegetarians, and the chronically healthy, using it in high amounts and largely unfermented, as a meat substitute. As one researcher pointed out “American’s are engaging in a vast, unprecedented experiment.”

    So simply use it as it was used traditionally, as Matt suggests: miso, tamari/soy sauce, and natto, if you go for that. Many of the anti-nutrients have been altered by the long fermentation of quality soy products and I would imagine – though I have not seen actual evidence of this – that the amount of phytoestrogens in a spoonful or two of tamari is much less than a normal serving of tofu….

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. MonkeyFood » Turo kokkaa - [...] vanhan suosikkini: kookosmaito salaatin (ja minkä tahansa ruoan) kastikkeena! Ajatus sai alkunsa Matt Stonen soijakastiketta ylistävästä postauksesta, jonka seurauksena …

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>