What Is a Soy Allergy and What Foods to Avoid?
Allergy to soybeans is a very common type of food allergies that affects thousands of people. The problem could be easily solved, if it was enough just to avoid soy sauce and tofu. However, soy is an important ingredient of many processed foods, and avoiding it is more difficult that it may seem.
Below, we will go through foods that are based on soy or contain soy, so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from an allergic reaction.
What Foods Contain Soy?
If you are allergic to soy, you should stay away from soy-based products. These are edamame, miso, natto, soy sauce/shoyu sauce, tofu, soy-based fiber, flour, grits, nuts, or sprouts, as well as mil, yogurt, ice cream, or cheese, soy protein, tamari, tempeh, and (TVP) textured vegetable protein.
There are also many other foods that contain soy, including baked products (such as bread, cookies or crackers), canned soups, canned tuna and meat, processed meats, cereals, high-protein energy bars, low-fat peanut butter, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, as well as infant formulas.
The list of ingredients of a product is should always state the actual content of a food, and if you don’t see the word “soy”, look for other terms that are sometimes used instead. Thus, such terms as glycine max, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), mono-diglyceride or monosodium glutamate (MSG) all mean the same thing – soy.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
It is very important to always read the labels of foods you buy. Companies are obliged to list all the ingredients of their goods, so you can easily find soy among the ingredients of a product.
If you like Asian food, you should be careful when you eat at Asian restaurants. Since soy is very commonly used in this cuisine, your food might contain some soy, even if you order a soy-free dish. Using the same utensil for soy and non-soy dishes is enough to transfer it from one dish to another.
Sometimes, people allergic to soy have immunity to soy oil and soy lecithin, often contained in chocolate sweets, peanut butter, and margarine. Discuss your case with your doctor, who will let you know whether you can eat these foods.