KidsMD Health Topics

Soy Allergy

  • A soy allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in soy.

  • In-Depth

    Soybeans are a legume. What are the other foods in the legume family?

    They include navy, kidney, string, black, and pinto beans, plus chickpeas, lentils, carob, licorice, and peanuts.

    • Sensitivity to peanuts is most common, but soybean sensitivity is also prevalent
    • Children are often sensitive to more than one legume

    Which foods and ingredients must a soy-allergic person watch out for?

    Avoid foods with 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
    • Tofu

    Other possible sources of soy or soy products include:

    • Flavorings
    • Hydrolyzed plant protein
    • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
    • Natural flavoring
    • Vegetable broth
    • Vegetable gum
    • Vegetable starch

    The following table gives guidelines about which foods are generally safe, and which should be avoided.

    Foods Allowed Not Allowed
    Breads & Starches

    Breads, baked goods, cereals not containing soy ingredients

    Potato chips or popcorn cooked in soy oil

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

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

    Processed and "natural" cereals which contain soy ingredients

    Soy pasta
    Vegetables Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables (except those listed as not allowed) without sauces or breading containing soy ingredients

    Soy beans, soybean sprouts

    Any vegetables prepared with sauces or breading containing soy products
    Fruit All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and juices processed without soy products Fruit drink mixed or sauces/toppings for fruit which contain soy ingredients

    Soft drinks

    Tea, coffee

    Fruit juice
    Soy-based formulas, coffee substitutes with soy, instant coffee, hot cocoa mixed, 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 which 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 which 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

    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
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