Home / friendly / processed / spreads-and-sauces / pastes / Is Tauco Keto-Friendly?

Is Tauco Keto-Friendly?

Tauco on a kitchen counter

Navigating the compatibility of various foods with a ketogenic diet can be tricky, and it's no different when it comes to Tauco.

The question "Is Tauco Keto-Friendly?" brings us to delve deep into its nutritional profile, particularly focusing on its carbohydrate content.

As we journey through this article, we find that while Tauco, a fermented soy product hailing from Southeast Asia, boasts a strong umami flavor and certain health benefits, its high carbohydrate content makes it a challenging fit for the low-carb, high-fat dietary guidelines of a keto diet.

We also explore some keto-compatible alternatives that can keep your meals flavorful without hampering your keto lifestyle.

As always, remember to consult with a healthcare professional before making any substantial changes to your diet.


  • Tauco, while nutrient-rich and flavorful, is not compatible with a ketogenic diet due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Despite its health benefits such as proteins and essential amino acids, Tauco's high carb content can interfere with maintaining ketosis.
  • Navigating around Tauco in a keto diet can be challenging, but there are flavorful, keto-friendly alternatives available.

Is Tauco Keto-Friendly?

Let's dive straight into the big question: Is Tauco keto-friendly? Unfortunately, the answer is no, and here's why.

In the realm of the ketogenic diet, it's all about the macros. For those who might not be familiar, "macros" are short for macronutrients, your fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. To attain ketosis - the metabolic state where your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates - it's critical to keep your carb intake low, typically around 20-50 grams per day.

Now let's consider Tauco. This fermented soybean product, while delicious, packs a significant carbohydrate punch. Specifically, Tauco contains 19.97 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. It's worth noting that "net carbs" are what you get when you subtract the fiber content from the total carbs since your body doesn't digest fiber into glucose. Unfortunately, even with this consideration, Tauco's net carb content is still quite high.

To give you a little perspective, consuming 100 grams of Tauco would meet or exceed the average daily carb limit for a strict ketogenic diet. That's a hefty carbohydrate contribution from just one ingredient, leaving little room for other nutritious, keto-compatible foods in your meal plan.

Can Tauco be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

When it comes to the prospect of incorporating Tauco into a strict ketogenic diet, the reality is challenging. While Tauco has its merits, the high net carb content makes it less than ideal for those aiming to maintain ketosis.

Understanding why involves delving deeper into the concept of a ketogenic diet. This diet is all about limiting carbohydrate consumption to a very low level, generally 20-50 grams per day, to push your body into a state of ketosis where it burns fat for energy instead of carbs. Given that Tauco contains 19.97 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, it's easy to see how consuming it could quickly consume your daily carb allowance.

Now, you may wonder, "Can I have a small amount of Tauco and still stay within my carb limit?" Theoretically, yes, but it would require meticulous portion control and careful calculation of the rest of your carb consumption for the day. And even a small serving could still represent a significant proportion of your daily carb intake, leaving less room for a variety of other nutrient-dense foods that you could enjoy.

One helpful tool for managing your carb intake is a food diary or a diet tracking app. They can help you keep track of your daily macros and ensure you're staying within your targets. If you decide to use such a tool, remember to double-check the carb content of all your food, Tauco included. It's also important to note that everyone's carb tolerance can vary, so what sends one person out of ketosis might not have the same effect on another.

But for those following a strict ketogenic diet, it's generally more straightforward and less risky to avoid high-carb foods like Tauco altogether. Don't worry, though - there are plenty of other delicious, keto-friendly options available. Stick around as we'll be exploring those alternatives soon!

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Tauco

Understanding the carbohydrate content of Tauco is key to figuring out why it's not suitable for a ketogenic diet. So let's dive in and break down the numbers.

Tauco, in every 100 grams, contains 19.97 grams of net carbs. Now, if you're new to the keto world, you might be wondering, "What are net carbs?" Well, in simple terms, net carbs are the carbohydrates that your body can digest and convert into glucose, which is used for energy. You calculate net carbs by subtracting the grams of dietary fiber (which your body doesn't digest into glucose) from the total grams of carbohydrates.

For example, if a food has 30 grams of total carbs and 10 grams of fiber, your net carbs are 20 grams (30g total carbs - 10g fiber = 20g net carbs). This is an important number to know because it's these net carbs that impact your blood sugar levels and can potentially kick you out of ketosis if eaten in excess.

Now, back to Tauco. With its 19.97g of net carbs per 100g, you can see how quickly it could use up your daily carb allowance on a keto diet. Consider this: one medium-sized bowl of Tauco-based dish might easily contain around 200g of Tauco. That equates to approximately 40g of net carbs - potentially twice the daily allowance for some strict ketogenic dieters!

Nutritional Snapshot of Tauco

Tauco, a versatile ingredient in many Asian dishes, presents a unique nutritional profile. Each 100g serving comes packed with essential macro and micronutrients.

Beginning with the macronutrients, we find it high in net carbs, with 19.97g per 100g, alongside 12.79g of protein and 6.01g of total fats. This composition makes it a substantial source of quick-release energy and bodily repair materials. Furthermore, the fiber content of 5.4g aids in digestion and supports gut health.

In terms of micronutrients, the Sodium content stands out at 3728.0mg per 100g, which can contribute significantly to your daily intake. However, it's recommended to monitor Sodium consumption carefully due to its potential impact on blood pressure.

Tauco also provides important minerals, including Potassium (210.0mg), Magnesium (48.0mg), and Calcium (57.0mg). These play vital roles in muscle function, bone health, and nerve signaling respectively.

The 2.49mg of Iron per 100g serving supports oxygen transportation within the body, while the 2.56mg of Zinc boosts immune function.

Furthermore, Tauco is a source of multiple essential vitamins, like Vitamin A, B-6, and B-12, all involved in various body functions, from vision to energy production and nerve function.

Let's not forget the lipids. Tauco includes a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats which are crucial for brain functionality, hormone regulation, and cellular health.

Finally, with 198.0kcal per 100g, Tauco provides energy-dense sustenance. However, the high water content (43.02g) ensures it doesn’t feel heavy in your stomach.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 19.97g
Carbohydrate, by difference 25.37g
Fiber, total dietary 5.4g
Total fats 6.01g
Protein 12.79g
Sodium, Na 3728.0mg
Potassium, K 210.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 48.0mg
Calcium, Ca 57.0mg
Vitamin A 4.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg
Vitamin B-12 0.08ug
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.01mg
Vitamin K1 29.3ug
Copper, Cu 0.42mg
Iron, Fe 2.49mg
Phosphorus, P 159.0mg
Selenium, Se 7.0ug
Zinc, Zn 2.56mg
Beta-carotene 52.0ug
Thiamin 0.1mg
Riboflavin 0.23mg
Niacin 0.91mg
Folate, total 19.0ug
Choline, total 72.2mg
Calories 198.0kcal
Water 43.02g
Fatty acids, total saturated 1.02g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 1.12g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 2.88g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Tauco' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Miso' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Tauco on a Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet relies heavily on maintaining a state of ketosis, where the body is burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. This metabolic state can have a variety of health benefits, from mental clarity to better control of blood sugar levels, and is achieved by keeping daily carbohydrate intake low.

Including Tauco in a ketogenic diet presents a significant challenge to staying in ketosis. As we've discussed, Tauco has a hefty 19.97 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. This amount can consume a significant portion or even exceed the daily carbohydrate allowance for those adhering to a strict ketogenic diet.

The impact of Tauco on ketosis is pretty straightforward—its high net carb content can potentially kick the body out of ketosis, diminishing the health benefits that come with that metabolic state. But it's important to mention that Tauco isn't a "bad" food. In fact, it has its own set of nutritional benefits.

Tauco, like other fermented foods, is rich in proteins and contains essential amino acids, which are crucial for numerous bodily functions. Furthermore, fermented foods like Tauco can contribute to good gut health. They contain beneficial bacteria known as probiotics, which can help balance your gut flora. Balanced gut flora can impact everything from digestion to immunity and even mood.

Avoiding Tauco in Your Keto Meal Plan

Avoiding Tauco in your keto meal plan might sound daunting, especially if it's a flavor you love. But fear not, there are ways to navigate around it while maintaining the low-carb ethos of a ketogenic diet.

Firstly, it's fundamental to understand what a ketogenic diet entails—consumption of high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbs. Tauco, with its high carbohydrate content, doesn't fit the bill. So, how can you avoid it while still enjoying your food?

Awareness is key. Tauco is commonly found in certain dishes, especially in Southeast Asian cuisine where it's used as a flavor enhancer. It's often added to stir-fry dishes, soups, and sauces because of its robust umami flavor. If you're dining out or buying pre-made meals, it's worth asking about the ingredients, especially if you're adhering to a strict ketogenic diet.

When cooking at home, substitute Tauco with other flavor enhancers that align better with a keto diet. For instance, coconut aminos, a sauce made from fermented coconut sap, is a keto-friendly alternative. It provides a slightly sweet, salty flavor similar to soy sauce but with far fewer carbs.

Cravings for Tauco might pop up, especially if it's an ingredient you're used to having. It's completely normal to miss certain foods when you change your diet. If you find yourself longing for that specific Tauco flavor, try to focus on the variety of other flavors you can enjoy on a ketogenic diet. Spices, herbs, and different cooking methods can introduce an incredible array of delicious tastes and textures to your meals.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Tauco

While Tauco isn't compatible with a ketogenic diet, there are plenty of other flavor-boosting alternatives that fit the keto bill perfectly. Let's explore some of these substitutes.

First up is Tamari. Tamari is a type of soy sauce that's usually gluten-free. It's a good substitute as it provides a similar savory, umami flavor to Tauco. Additionally, it contains only 1.4 grams of net carbs per tablespoon, making it far more keto-friendly compared to Tauco. You could use Tamari in marinades, salad dressings, and stir-fries.

Another option is Coconut Aminos, a sauce made from the sap of coconut trees. It's sweeter and milder than soy sauce but still enhances the flavor of your dishes. Even better, it contains just 1 gram of net carbs per teaspoon. Use it in your stir-fries, soups, and as a dipping sauce.

Lastly, consider trying fish sauce. This condiment, made from fermented fish and salt, delivers a strong umami punch, much like Tauco. Fish sauce is virtually carb-free, making it an excellent option for those on a ketogenic diet. It's perfect for seasoning soups, marinades, and sauces.

Concluding Thoughts on Tauco and Keto

Navigating the world of food and nutrition can be complex, particularly when it comes to following restrictive diets like keto. Tauco, with its robust umami flavor and high carbohydrate content, might be a hard component to give up, especially for those who love Southeast Asian cuisine. However, as we've discussed, its high net carb content of 19.97 grams per 100 grams makes it a less than ideal choice for a ketogenic diet.

Nonetheless, it's important to remember that Tauco isn't a "bad" food by any means. It's rich in proteins and essential amino acids, and being a fermented food, it can contribute positively to gut health. But from a ketogenic standpoint, its high carbohydrate content can interfere with maintaining ketosis, the metabolic state that's the cornerstone of a keto diet.

But don't despair. There are several flavorful, keto-compatible alternatives to Tauco, such as Tamari, Coconut Aminos, and fish sauce. Experimenting with these can introduce new flavors to your meals while keeping your carb intake in check.

One unique idea that hasn't been discussed is the potential of growing your own herbs and spices. You can easily grow herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme at home, even on your windowsill if you live in an apartment. Fresh herbs can enhance the taste of your dishes and diversify your flavor palette. They're also, of course, very keto-friendly.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

Is Fermented Bean Paste Keto-Friendly
Is Pheasant Paste Keto-Friendly
Is Farina Keto-Friendly
Are Pastes Keto Friendly

Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tauco is a fermented soybean paste often used as a flavor enhancer in Southeast Asian cuisine. It has a robust umami flavor but also a high carbohydrate content.

The ketogenic diet requires low carbohydrate intake. Tauco, with its high carbohydrate content, can potentially knock a person out of ketosis, the metabolic state that the keto diet aims to maintain.