The most popular soy sauce is soy sauce, but many consumers are using a variety of substitutes, from lime juice to soy milk, that can replace the ingredient, said a panel of nutritionists from the World Health Organization.
The panel reviewed more than 1,000 studies on soy sauce substitutes from 2013 to 2020, the most recent year for which data are available.
A handful of the replacements, like soy milk and soy yogurt, did not provide a statistically significant advantage over the original ingredients.
Soy sauce substitutes are often made from a variety, including soybean oil and soy protein isolate, to provide protein to the margarine, which is then mixed with soy sauce and other ingredients.
The manufacturers claim soy sauce to be high in essential fatty acids and other nutrients.
But the panel found that some of the substitutes contained as little as 2 percent to 5 percent of the essential fatty acid content of the original soy sauce.
That’s the amount that would be required to equal the amount of added sugars in a serving of the margarita.
Soy milk substitutes have also been touted as healthier than soy sauce for children and adults.
The FDA has been warning that soy milk has been linked to health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
“The FDA and other health authorities are concerned about the increased consumption of soy protein supplements, particularly among young children,” the panel said.
Soy products have also come under scrutiny for the chemicals they contain, which are linked to cancers.
“There are many ingredients that contain compounds that have been linked with cancer, including arsenic, and it has been widely reported that many of these compounds are toxic,” the FDA said in a statement.