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  Is it safe to eat soy sauce during pregnancy?

  Soy (or soya) sauce, also called tamari or shoyu, is a salty condiment made by fermenting soy beans mixed with grains in a salty brine.

Most of the commercial soy sauce sold in the United States is a non-fermented, synthetic product made from defatted soybean meal and grains, mixed with chemicals. A harmful group of chemical contaminants known as chloropropanols (3- monochloropropane-1, 2-diol or 3-MCPD) is produced as a byproduct during the synthetic method of soy sauce manufacture. There are mixed reviews regarding the safety of chloropropanols during pregnancy.

True tamari or shoyu is an aged product, which takes almost a year to ripen and form its characteristic flavor. This natural process does not produce chloropropanols.

Therefore, it is best to select natural soy sauce. Remember that because of its high salt content, soy sauce can cause fluid retention and swelling. Whether or not you're pregnant, consume soy sauce in moderation.

Tanya Jolliffe, Babyfit healthy eating expert

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