Oyster Sauce Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Oyster sauce in the bowl

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A salty sauce created from oysters and used often in Asian cuisine, oyster sauce contains little calories, no fat, and a healthy dose of calcium for bone strength. The sodium content comes from its soy sauce component, something individuals on a low-sodium diet should take note of.

To create oyster sauce, you start by boiling oysters in water and adding caramel for coloring and flavoring and cornstarch to act as a thickening agent. The oysters are done when the shells are open; you should remove any oysters that don't open. For the non-cookers, you can purchase oyster sauce in bottles at grocery stores worldwide.

Oyster sauce is used in meat and vegetable dishes, the most popular of which are stir-fries, as well as Kung Pao Chicken, Sichuan Noodles, and lo mein.

Oyster Sauce Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for one serving of oyster sauce (15 grams), is available from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) FoodData Central.

Oyster Sauce Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 15
  • Fat: 0
  • Sodium: 670mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 1g

Carbs

The carbs in oyster sauce come from thickening agents, soy sauce, and flavor enhancers. A serving contains one percent of the recommended daily value of carbs.

Fats

Oyster sauce contains no lipid fats and no trans and saturated fats.

Protein

Oyster sauce contains one gram of protein, which comes from the oysters. Certain brands use more shellfish and this will raise the protein count. If you prefer a heavy oyster flavor, be sure to read the ingredient label to see the where oysters fall on the ingredient list—if oysters are listed near the top, the seafood flavor will be stronger.

Vitamins and Minerals

The main mineral found in oyster sauce is iron—0.36 milligrams per serving, considered two percent of your RDA. Other vitamins and minerals include calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B12.

Calories

Many individuals may not eat a full serving of oyster sauce; some may eat multiple servings in one sitting. There are 15 calories in each serving.

Health Benefits

The nutrients in oyster sauce provide a variety of health benefits, but it's important to note that the ingredient's small serving size means most people will not consume enough of it to see major health improvements. A more guaranteed way to see those benefits would be from eating whole oysters themselves.

Still, the nutrients found within oyster sauce have noteworthy benefits, including:

Boosts Immune System

Eating oysters may reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms due to their zinc content. Oysters contain more zinc than any other food on the planet, according to the National Institute of Health. Zinc is so powerful in improving your immune system that the mineral is added to lozenges and major cold medicines throughout the world.

Healthy Brain Function

Oyster sauce contains vitamin B12 which, according to Harvard Health, plays a key role in the function and development of brain cells. People who avoid animal products are at
risk of becoming deficient in vitamin B12, as it’s only available in animal products. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause memory loss, confusion, and dementia.

Increases Energy

The iron in oyster sauce can help increase energy levels from this macronutrient’s participation in oxygen transport. In a review on iron and its importance for human health published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, researchers say almost two-thirds of the body’s iron is found in the hemoglobin in red blood cells, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.

Relieves Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The omega-3s found in seafood can help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. In a scientific literature review published in The British Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that participants taking fish oil experienced less morning stiffness, stiff joints, joint pain, and a need to take anti-inflammatory medications. The researchers suggest this presents evidence that consuming seafood and fish oil is moderately beneficial in alleviating symptoms to this health issue.

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

The manganese in oyster sauce might play a role in glucose equilibrium. In a study involving almost 4,000 participants on manganese levels in a diabetes group compared with a non-diabetes group, researchers found this mineral’s levels were significantly lower in the diabetes group.

Optimal manganese intake is 1.8–2.3 milligrams per day, and the mineral is found in oysters, mussels, whole grains, and nuts.

Allergies

Anyone allergic to shellfish should avoid oyster sauce. A shellfish allergy is the most common allergy in adults and one of the most common in children, and it usually lasts for life. About two percent of the population report allergic reactions to shellfish.

Symptoms of a shellfish allergy include itching, hives, pale or blue skin, swelling of the face and lips, trouble breathing (wheezing), dizziness, nausea, and abdominal pain. A severe reaction could lead to anaphylaxis.

You should speak with a medical professional immediately if you think you have a shellfish allergy. 

When It’s Best

Oyster sauce has decent lasting power, making this sauce a favorable investment to your kitchen's condiment selection. You can leave a jar of oyster sauce unopened on your kitchen shelf or in the pantry for 18 to 24 months. The product will last in the refrigerator for three to six months after opening.

According to foodsafety.gov, an official website of the U.S. government, you should discard oyster sauce if its left out for more than eight hours at a temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or you risk spoiling the food.

How to Prepare

You can make the sauce yourself by mixing oysters, water, caramel flavoring, cornstarch, and soy sauce together, or you can purchase oyster sauce pre-made at a grocery store or Asian market.   

You don’t need any fancy cooking techniques when using the sauce. You can pour it directly on top of ingredients and stir it around or drizzle the liquid over steamed vegetables to add extra flavoring.

The most popular way to use oyster sauce is to incorporate the product into stir-fries. The soy sauce component will give your dish an Asian flavor.

Recipes

 

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12 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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