Is fish sauce bad for you?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Is fish sauce bad for you?” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not fish sauce is bad for you. Moreover, we are going to discuss what the purpose of fish sauce is. 

Is fish sauce bad for you?

Although the fish sauce is not harmful to your health, it, like every product or sauce, if ingested in excess, it may have an adverse effect on your digestive system. To reach a more certain judgment, let’s discuss the pros and drawbacks of fish sauce.

Fish Sauce, or Nam Pla in Thai, is a sauce that is prepared in various Southeast Asian countries; for instance, Vietnamese fish sauce is called Nuoc Nam. These dressings are based on garum and are one of the earliest fermented fish sauces.

One of the principal properties of fish sauce, also known as anchovies’ essence, is to salt various culinary preparations into which it is introduced, similar to how soy sauce is used.

In fact, in the lack of good soybean crops, some Asian kitchens chose fish sauce to prepare their sauce. Both sauces contain umami, the so-called fifth flavor.

This sauce is created with raw and dried fish, mollusks, and shellfish; a paste is made with all of them and blended with a small amount of salt (between 10% and 30%).

The fish sauce takes about 24 months to ferment, but this preparatory work produces a fish paste that can be used in cooking in about a month.

What is the purpose of fish sauce?

In Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, fish sauce is a common component. It’s also gaining popularity in western cuisines as a way to boost umami taste without adding calories or fat.

The earthy, sweet, and savory flavor of fish sauce is historically used to add complexity to marinades and glazes. 

It’s also good for dipping and pairs well with virtually anything. Salad dressings, stir-fries, roasted or braised meats, and soups all benefit from the addition of fish sauce.

Fish oil may be used as a saline substitute to help you cut down on your sodium intake. Fish sauce imparts a taste that salt alone cannot. Just a drop or two to your dishes would suffice. However, keep in mind that fish sauce has a strong flavor that may not be to your liking.

As a result, you should gradually incorporate it into your diet to establish a partnership. With practice, you’ll develop a taste for it and be able to incorporate it into your dishes more frequently.

The advantages of fish sauce

Fish sauce not only enhances the flavor of food but also has numerous health benefits.

It has a lot of protein

We all know that fish is high in protein. If you’re aiming to lose weight or maintain your present weight, fish sauce’s high protein content is ideal.

Omega-­three fatty acid-­rich

Anchovies have a high omega-3 content, which is beneficial to heart health. Omega 3 aids in the reduction of blood fat as well as brain growth. It also aids in the development of children’s nerves and vision.

Adding heat to your food

Fish sauce, though popular in Asian countries, is also used in western cuisine, such as pizza making. Chefs in Italy drizzle the sauce over the cakes to enhance their flavor and charm. Some individuals use the sauce to flavor their coffee.

Eliminating the smell of seafood

Delicious fish sauce masks strong fishy odors in internal organs while maintaining the dish’s inherent flavor. Mix pure fish sauce with warm water to keep the flavor, then use the solution to wash the food to get rid of the odor.

It has anti-inflammatory effects

Anti-inflammatory characteristics in the fish sauce can help to lower the risk of heart disease and several cancers. This is related to vitamin B9 (folate), which aids in the formation of DNA.

Vitamin and iron-rich

Our bodies require vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B12, which are found in fish sauce. Vitamin B12 helps to prevent birth abnormalities in prenatal children. Vitamin B3 is involved in the production of energy and the reduction of weariness. 

The iron micronutrient in the fish sauce helps to lower the risk of anemia, which can lead to premature birth.

The fish sauce flavor

Fish sauce has a salty, umami flavor that is similar to that of miso but not as intense. Due to the fermenting process, it also has a little fishy flavor that is sour and stinky at the same time. 

When compared to other condiments like sriracha, most people perceive the flavor as mild. The saltiness, sourness, and bitterness of fish sauce will all help to balance out too sweet, salty, sour and bitter recipes.


In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Is fish sauce bad for you?” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not fish sauce is bad for you. Moreover, we discussed the purpose of fish sauce.


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