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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 one legume can often be in association with sensitivity to another legume.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires U.S. manufacturers of packaged food items to state clearly on the label if it contains soy or a soy-based ingredient.
Breads & starches
Breads, 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
Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables (except those listed as not allowed) without sauces or breading containing soy ingredients
Soybeans, soybean sprouts
Any vegetables prepared with sauces or breading containing soy products
All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and juices processed without soy products
Fruit drink mixes, sauces or toppings for fruit that contain soy ingredients
Soy-based formulas, coffee substitutes with soy, instant coffee, hot cocoa mixes, malt beverages, fruit drink mixes made with soy ingredients
Meat & meat substitutes
Any fresh or frozen beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, veal, or fish served without prepackaged sauces, breading, or gravy
Pork 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 products
Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt without soy products
Milk drinks or milk substitutes that contain soy
Soups & combination foods
Homemade soups and commercial soups that do not contain soybeans
Soy is used in many canned soups, commercial entrees, and combination foods
Desserts & sweets
Ice cream, gelatin, cookies made without soy ingredients
Baked 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 & oils
Butter, margarines, shortening
Margarine and butter substitutes
Some salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, or gravies containing soy products
Roasted soybeans or "soy nuts"
Condiments & miscellaneous
Sugar, honey, molasses, catsup, mustard, jelly, jam, plain sugar candies, syrup, pickles
Commercial vegetarian products and meat substitutes Some Worcestershire and other sauces, fermented soybean pastes (miso and natto)
Soy sauce, tamari sauce, granola, or breakfast bars made with soy
Imitation bacon bits made with soy
Avoid foods that contain any of these ingredients:
Hydrolyzed soy protein
Soy ice cream
Soy bean (curd, granules)
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Soy protein hydrolyzed
Hydrolyzed plant protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
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.
Please note: The risk for an allergic reaction to soy lecithin and soy oils is low, but a reaction can occur. Studies show that most people who have an allergy to soy may eat products that contain soy lecithin and soy oils. This is because these substances are fat-based, and people with allergies react to the protein portion of the food.
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