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Health Library : Allergy and Asthma

 

Soy Allergy Diet

General guidelines for soy allergy

The key to an allergy-free diet is to avoid all foods or products containing the food to which you are allergic. A soy allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in soy. Soybeans are classified as a legume. Other foods in the legume family are navy, kidney, string, black and pinto beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, carob, licorice, and peanuts. Sensitivity to peanuts is the most common, but soybean sensitivity is also prevalent. Sensitivity to one legume can often be in association with sensitivity to another legume.

FoodsAllowedNot allowed
Breads &starchesBreads, baked goods, cereals not containing soy ingredients

Potato chips or popcorn cooked in soy oil (Note: Most soy oil does not contain soy protein, which causes soy allergy, because the soy protein is removed during processing. Thus, soy oil generally does not cause allergy symptoms. However, those with soy allergies should check with their doctors about consuming products containing soy oil or processed with soy oil.)

Plain macaroni, rice, barley, rye, wheat, oats, or grits

Breads, crackers, cakes, rolls, or pastries containing peanuts, peanut oil, soy flour

Processed and "natural" cereals that contain soy ingredients

Soy pasta

VegetablesFresh, frozen, or canned vegetables (except those listed as not allowed) without sauces or breading containing soy ingredientsSoybeans, soybean sprouts

Any vegetables prepared with sauces or breading containing soy products

FruitAll fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and juices processed without soy productsFruit drink mixes or sauces/toppings for fruit that contain soy ingredients
BeveragesSoft drinks

Tea, coffee

Fruit juice

Soy-based formulas, coffee substitutes with soy, instant coffee, hot cocoa mixes, malt beverages, fruit drink mixes made with soy ingredients
Meat & Meat SubstitutesAny fresh or frozen beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, veal, or fish served without prepackaged sauces, breading, or gravyPork link sausage, deli/luncheon meats made with soy

Commercially prepared meats where soy is used as a meat extender

Meat or cheese substitutes that contain soy: tofu/bean curd, natto, miso

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Milk & Milk ProductsMilk, cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt without soy productsMilk drinks or milk substitutes that contain soy
Soups & CombinationFoodsHomemade soups and commercial soups that do not contain soybeansSoy is used in many canned soups, commercial entrees, and combination foods
Desserts & SweetsIce cream, gelatin, cookies made without soy ingredientsBaked goods, such as cakes or cookies that contain soy flour

Soy products may be used in some commercial ice creams and other frozen desserts

Hard candies, nut candies, fudge, and caramels made with soy flour

Fats & OilsButter, margarines, shorteningMargarine and butter substitutes

Some salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, or gravies containing soy products

Roasted soybeans or "soy nuts"

Condiments & MiscellaneousSugar, honey, molasses, catsup, mustard, jelly, jam, plain sugar candies, syrup, picklesCommercial vegetarian products and meat substitutes

Heinz Worcestershire sauce, Lea & Perrins sauce, fermented soybean pastes (miso and natto)

Soy sauce, tamari sauce, granola, or breakfast bars made with soy

Imitation bacon bits made with soy

How to read a label for a soy-free diet

Be sure to avoid foods that contain any of the following ingredients:

  • Hydrolyzed soy protein
  • Miso
  • Shoyo sauce
  • Soy flour
  • Soy grits
  • Soy nuts
  • Soy milk
  • Soy sprouts
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Soy sauce
  • Tempeh
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Tofu

Other possible sources of soy or soy products

  • Flavorings
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Natural flavoring
  • Vegetable broth
  • Vegetable gum
  • Vegetable starch
  • Flavorings may be soy-based 
  • Vitamin E contains soybean oil
  • Hydrolyzed plant and hydrolyzed vegetable protein are likely to be soy

Contact the manufacturer to identify the natural flavorings in foods. Ask if soy is used as a carrier protein for the natural flavoring.

Contact the company to identify the vegetable broths, gums, and starches, as they have the potential to be soy.

Studies show that most soy-allergic individuals may safely eat products that contain soy lecithin and soy oils. These substances are fat-based, and people with allergies react to the protein portion of the food.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Allergy & Asthma


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