Soy Vey

Soy allergy? Bummer. Soy is a plant-based protein that food companies have managed to add to tons of products, even ones you wouldn’t suspect. The reason? $$. Soy can be easily made into a stabilizer (soy lecithin) that can help products stay on grocery shelves longer than you thought possible. Actually it kind of freaks me out when foods that have fat and protein (mayo and chef boyardee meatballs, I’m talking to you) can be sitting on a room temperature shelf for months. That doesn’t seem natural.

Soy allergy is quite common. It’s one of the 6 main allergies found in children alongside wheat, milk, eggs, seafood and nuts. When babies are allergic to cow’s based formulas it’s not recommended to switch to a soy based formula because if there milk allergy, there is a higher chance of a soy allergy. A lot of kids “grow” out of their food allergies, while others discover theirs later in life. My good friend only recently discovered her soy allergy after 25 years. She struggles with soy being EVERYWHERE.

Lucky for you since 2006 FDA’s (Food & Drug Administration) allergen labeling laws demand companies state “contains soy.” But unlucky for you soy is in SO many products and there are some foods that are not covered by the law, so label reading is key. Especially in some Asian products whose ingredient list may be  foreign.

What sparked this post was last week I picked up Celestial Raspberry Zinger tea on my way to work. Reading labels is habit for me, but I wouldn’t think to look at tea’s label.  I quickly glanced at it and look what I found

Seriously?! Soy lecithin in tea?! 

Here’s some “hidden” sources of soy or soy derivatives. If you see these on the label, steer clear:

Contain Soy:

Hydrolyzed soy protein
Kinnoko flour
Kyodofu (freeze dried tofu)
Okara (soy pulp)
Shoyu sauce
Soy albumin
Soy bran
Soy concentrate
Soy fiber
Soy flour
Soy formula
Soy grits
Soy milk
Soy miso
Soy nuts
Soy nut butter

Soy protein, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate
Soy sauce
Soy sprouts
Soya Flour
Soybean granules
Soybean curd
Soybean flour
Soy lecithin*
Soybean paste
Teriyaki sauce
Textured soy flour (TSF)
Textured soy protein (TSP)
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Yuba (bean curd)

May Contain Soy:

Artificial flavoring
Hydrolyzed plant protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Natural flavoring
Vegetable broth
Vegetable gum
Vegetable starch

Soy oil and vegetable oil derived ffom soy are generally regarded as safe to those with soy allergies and are NOT required to be labelled as a soy allergen.  Also be warned there are no labeling laws on non-food items like cosmetics, lotions, supplements, soap, dish soap, so definently check the labels.

Great resources for food allergies:

Happy Monday!


2 thoughts on “Soy Vey

  1. This is an important post. I learned just recently that having a milk allergy increases your chance of having a soy allergy. I once heard that there is a difference in the way a body reacts or handles soy products that are fermented (i.e. soy sauce) and ones that are non fermented (i.e. tofu). Do you have any further information regarding this? Thanks!

  2. I just read on a fellow nutritionist’s blog that the israeli health ministry issued a warning against soy formula for babies and to reduce soy consumption in children under 18. Did you hear that ?

    There is tons of conflicting info out there about soy. From what I know fermented soy (miso, tempeh, soy sauce, tamari) has probiotics (“healthy bacteria”), which helps digestion. Fermentation can also help our bodies absorb a little more of soy’s protein. Unfermented soy (soy milk, edamame, tofu, other “junky” soy that’s usually in veggie burgers, meat/cheese replacements) does not have probiotic benefits.

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