ARE COCONUT AMINOS PALEO?
Coconut aminos are a savory, salty and a delicious flavor enhancer for a variety of dishes. Coconut aminos are made from raw coconut tree sap and sea salt, then naturally aged. It’s also a fermented product. Used as a substitute for both soy sauce & tamari, as well as Worcestershire sauce, even a few dashes can deepen the flavors of many kinds of foods, from soups to egg dishes to stir-fries. The soy-free sauce also contains 17 different amino acids and is low on the glycemic index. While a relatively small amount of this sauce is used, the amino acids it contains can rebuild and repair muscle tissue. It can also enhance the immune system and increase our energy.
SO, IS IT PALEO?
Did our Paleolithic ancestors take the time (or have the knowledge) to make coconut aminos? Probably not. Staunch Paleo purists advocate that fermented foods are not part of the Paleo diet. Fermentation is only datable back to the Neolithic Era. But as the two key ingredients in coconut aminos are naturally-found coconut sap and sea salt, others would argue that they beg a nod to the Paleo plate.
WHAT DO THE PALEO GURUS SAY ABOUT COCONUT AMINOS?
Diane Sanfilippo says: “If you’re like me—sensitive to both gluten and soy—try coconut aminos. It is one of the best substitutes I have found in years and I now actually prefer the taste of it to soy sauce.”Mark Sisson says: “…tastes somewhat like soy sauce. It’s not an exact match, but it’s not really trying to be an exact match. Coconut aminos are their own beasts, and these happen to be tasty beasts. Trace amounts of certain amino acids in a sauce that you’ll consume by the tablespoonful probably aren’t going to amount to much of anything. Consume it for the unique taste and the lack of soy and wheat.Nell Stephenson says: No, it’s not paleo for two reasons – it’s got salt and it’s fermented. For athletes, some added salt to the diet is permissible, however, fermented items wouldn’t be. I will say, that I’d prefer to see a client use a small amount of that if they chose to do so, over even a trace of soy!
Not Paleo…but a good accompaniment to foods on a Paleo diet. While they don’t fit the strict definition of Paleo because of the fermentation process, a few coconut aminos can add taste and variety to a Paleo menu without harm, say most experts.