Almost every day I receive a message from someone who has just been diagnosed with a soy allergy… or from someone whose child has just been diagnosed with a soy allergy. These messages usually have a common theme… for these people, eating almost anything has become a scary unknown… and especially so if their allergic reaction is severe. Unfortunately, because soy is in so much of our food and masquerades under so many different names, it is extremely difficult to avoid. However, it CAN be done. Here are some ideas that I hope will help.

  • Bread… Unless you have access to an unusual bakery, you will not be able to find any bread that does not contain soy. The label may not list soy as an ingredient (even with the new allergen guidelines), but the bread will probably contain lecithin or various dough conditioners, and these are just other names for soy. The alternative is to make your own bread and immediately slice it and freeze it to keep it fresh. With a bread machine, making bread is almost effortless, and you will find that your homemade bread tastes better than any you could buy. You can also use the bread machine to make dough for pizza, rolls, bagels, pretzels, or any other yeast bread.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables… The assumption would be that you can’t get much more natural or soy-free than fresh fruits and vegetables. But be careful with these too, because some vegetables have been coated with a waxy coating that is almost pure soy. Often fruits such as apples are sprayed with a soy oil to make them look shiny and more appealing. Peeling the fruit or vegetable helps to remove some of the wax or oil, but it is possible that some has been absorbed into the food. Look for fruits and vegetables that have not been treated, or buy locally as much as you can… the fruits and vegetables may not look as attractive as the glossy ones in the stores, but they will be safer for you to eat.
  • Prepared foods… Foods like canned soups or any of the convenience foods that just need heating or to be quickly mixed, cake mixes, boxed dinners, bottled salad dressings… the list is almost endless… will almost always contain some form of soy, but again, soy will not always be listed as an ingredient. Three ingredients to always watch out for and avoid… natural flavor, vegetable oil, and vegetable broth. Almost without exception these terms mean soy.
  • Frozen vegetables… Unless you buy the kind with sauces, frozen vegetables are almost always soy-free and are an excellent food choice. Sometimes frozen vegetables are even a better choice than fresh vegetables because the vegetables are processed so quickly. Also, frozen vegetables have not been “prettied up” with oil or wax to make them look more appealing.
  • Canned vegetables… These are usually soy-free as well if you purchase the type processed with only salt or no salt and no other flavorings. Personally I don’t like the taste or texture of canned vegetables, but they are a soy-free option.
  • Dried beans, lentils, peas… These are a great high-protein choice UNLESS you purchase them in a bulk food store in bins. In this situation you run the risk of cross-contamination with soy-containing foods if they are stored or displayed in close proximity, or if the store uses the same bins or scoops. Even though the price is often less in these bulk purchase stores (but not always), to me any savings are not worth the risk. Also avoid the multi-bean mixes… most will contain soy in the form of natural flavoring.
  • Pasta, rice, etc… You will be able to find both rice and pasta that is soy-free, but always check the labels for ingredients, especially with the pasta. Rice mixes can be a problem because of the added flavorings.
  • Canned or processed meats… Almost all the prepared meats contain some form of soy. If you’re extremely lucky, you may find a luncheon-style meat, bacon, ham, or hot dogs without the “natural flavor,” “liquid smoke,” or other soy ingredients. If your allergic reaction is severe, be very careful with these products and don’t just trust the allergen labeling. Tuna fish is also a problem… even tuna packed in water will have vegetable broth or something similar as an ingredient. Avoid it. An alternative to tuna fish is canned salmon, which contains only salmon and salt.
  • Fresh meat… When an animal is fed a soy-based diet, does the soy “come through” in the meat? How about eggs and soy-fed hens? I have never seen research on this subject. I have, however, had one of the worst allergic reactions of my life after eating a small amount of chicken (and nothing else) from a certain famous company. A call to this company revealed that the diet fed to these chickens was entirely soybeans. It is a given that most food animals are fed a diet high in soy… we discovered firsthand how difficult it is to find soy-free commercial animal feed when we first started feeding our pig, goat, chickens, ducks, and geese. (For the record, these animals were all pets and not for food.) Not everyone will want to do as we have done… we have almost entirely eliminated meat from our diet, and we have done this for a variety of reasons besides soy… but if you’re still having reactions and can’t trace the cause, meat from soy-fed animals could be the hidden culprit. Also, with the holidays coming up, self-basting turkeys or any turkeys that have an ingredient list with “natural flavors added” may contain soy.
  • Oils… Olive oil is fine and is a healthy choice, but watch out for the oil blends that are often advertised so cleverly, it is hard to find the soy they contain. Definitely avoid anything labeled vegetable oil. Also avoid solid shortening (like Crisco) and margarine… they will always contain some form of soy. Some doctors are still insisting that soy oil is safe for an allergic person to ingest because “all of the protein has been removed.” I wish I could show them all the mail I have received from people who have had a life-threatening reaction to soy oil.
  • Fast food, restaurant food… Almost certain to contain soy, although some restaurants now promise a soy-free meal. Again, I think the severity of your allergic reaction will determine if you want to take the risk. I would not.
  • Everything else… From chocolate, which is almost always something to avoid, to tea, which can be OK or not… assume everything has soy until you have proven that it does not. Read labels carefully and call the companies for more information if the labels aren’t complete. Start slowly and know that although it seems very discouraging at first, it IS possible to eat a varied diet and most of the foods that everyone else eats… you will just have to work harder than the rest of the world to find or make them.
  • Most importantly, remember… over time, it DOES get easier.

Comments for this post are closed.

Comments

Mia L.

Thank you thank you thank you! You have been such a huge help to me with your encouragement and great information. You have no idea how grateful I am.

Harvina Essex

I have a soy reaction it directly effects my thyroid. My pulse rate is rapid and I have an irregular heart beat from soy. It’s terrible that there is nothing that we can do to stop the production of soy in our foods. I am a vegan and wondered why I felt bad more often than I should. Until I went to a nutritional Dr. who tested me for soy, I was at a lost.

I hope that something can be done to have less soy and more of the good oils like olive oil in our food.
Thank you
Harvina Essex

Jessica

Thank you for posting allergen information on your site. Just wanted to make a note that some of us with a soy allergy have reactions with other legumes (peanuts, peas, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, lentils, lima beans, kidney beans, black-eye peas, green beans, etc.). It’s something to watch for if you’re noticing reactions and aren’t sure what’s triggering them. Soy can also be found in in vitamins, chewing gum, cough drops and other medicines. It is also used in “vitamin E” capsules, makeup and other beauty products. Be careful when you light that fragrant candle — your instant headache might be triggered by soy in the candle! I’m allergic to more than two dozen other food items, but soy (and its relatives) cause the worst reactions for me — and unfortunately it’s everywhere!

Jennifer

Thank you…this site really helped..im allergic to soy and others..can some tell me what i can eat…

Leah

Wow! thanks. I recently found out I am allergic to soy, along with being allergic to all fruits, most vegetables, and all nuts. Having asthma and eczema all my life is tough. When I found out I was allergic to soy it made it much harder to shop for food. Your entries really helped me as to what to look out for! I have still yet to find breads and shampoo’s I can use without having a reaction.

Cheryl Smith

You have been so much help, yes I am 61 and have become allergic to Soy, tomatoes and nuts. Is there a book out there to help me on what I can eat. I live in Alaska 200 miles from the nearest large town so fresh veg in the winter are very hard to come by and expensive but right now it will be worth it. Please get back to me on any information that can help me

Thank You
Cheryl Smith

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Cheryl, the only advice I can give you is to eat unprocessed natural foods, always read labels on anything you eat, and cook from scratch. Check out my other posts about hidden sources of soy, as well as the two book reviews about living with soy allergies.

jason

This is a great list Shirley. My wife has soy allergy and we have found that not only animal meat, but also most commercial dairy products are a trigger even if soy is only a “small” portion of the feed. Your’s is one of the few sources to note the animal feed aspect which hopefully someone will choose to reserch eventually. Eggs and butter for some reason seem not to be a problem.

We have had good fortune to find a local dairy farm who exclusively grass feed and another that feed only grass or corn. I would encourge anyone with a soy allergy to get to know your local farms. Possilbly you will find one that uses no soy as well.

beckyb

I am SO happy to have found this site. This summer, at age 31 I was diagnosed with peanut, soy, watermelon, hazlenut, almond, corn, peas, and carrots allergy after a site reaction. Needless to say, the dietary changes are astounding, and grocery shopping takes me three times longer as it did before. Thanks for the information posted here- I’ll be sure to check back!
Becky B

KN

I can’t thank you enough for this post! With traveling all over an three moves to diff states and was very active an healthy at 30.. Now 32 and feel yrs have been taken away.. an health immune system horabel,from ear infections to my throaght swelling and miss medicated for infections brocial and namona ,plurisy ect!! thousands of Dr. visits and E.R visits (looking at me like what is going on??) From fant to thought asthma going extreem,to nausha,chest heavy ect you name it that a bad reaction could be.. including changing numerous dr. laugh at me or sayng I have M.S! can you believe! lucky to be abel to catch now, an not have ended in a terrabel situation!! death! thinking back jogging… and eating before, soy protien bars! Over, an unesisary medicated and miss diagnosed extremly!! an numerous dr bills! for at least the past three yrs. To the pont was on 3 enhalers,staroid shots,breathing treatments an an antibiotic for two to three weeks at a time,once a month! They finely found my allergy to soy and other comin things… almost my whole diet! An even now trying to sub and still traviling is hard,lucky when home luv to cook an not eat out.An boy when you want some then sweet ..I pay the price trying eat just a bit! or eating at resturant gatherings, hotels ect. even when they say no soy! like are family vacation an payed the price feeling bad most of the time or not eating! tell we could get to a organtic store… still have really bad reactions an dnt knw what it was due to trusting labels or things dint even think of,as you list in your post. So thank you! As i am in tears from a bad reaction to tea and had tuna in water thinking was safe! last night! your artical has helped stay clear an save another bad attack. cant thank you enough!!!!!!!!!!!

Laura

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am still in the shock stage of finding our we have added soy, watermelon, kiwi, apple, green beans and a latex allergy to our list of food allergies! Soy and latex are the ones really throwing me! They are everywhere. Those are my older son’s, younger has five, I have one! Now I REALLY have to do everything from scratch too.

Fred Greeson

I just can’t believe how soy has permeated our diet. Something must be done, but I don’t know how considering the number of farmers dependent upon soy bean production. Thanks for your informative advice, but I really miss the meat and eggs.

Christina

Thank you for the information, it has really helped me. I am allergice to peanuts/ tree nuts and most recently found out I am allergic to soy and peas and now I think black beans also. When the soy allergy came back positive I was so overwhelmed with what to eat. Although I had practice reading labels ( I was dairy free for a year thinking that was the problem) and am very familiar with it, I find it harder to find soy ingredients than dairy. I wasn’t sure if I should stay away from chicken and turkey because of the soy feed that is fed to them. I haven’t reacted yet to eating chicken. I wish they had studies done on how much if any protein from soy is in the meat.
I agree with you about the soy oil. My doc said I could have soy oil but I know better. I reacted to a piece of bread that had no chance of cross contamination from nuts and I couldn’t figure out what caused the reaction. Until I tested positive. I reread the label and it has soy oil in it (no soy flour). I also realized that my coffee that I was drinking wasn’t giving me heartburn feelings. It was the creamer that had soy oil. I stay away from soy oil. But haven’t had problems with Lecithin.

Denise

This is very eye opening. I have just found out I cannot eat soy. My body is a mess from it. Sady, I am also allergic to gluten and lactose intolerent. There isn’t much left to eat. I guess it’s fresh fruits and vegetables for me!

Vela

This sight opened my eyes to new ways I might be getting soy. Although I noticed that dairy makes the soy reaction worse, I have found that without soy I am not lactose intolerant. I did also find that one popular company does not use soy to roast their peanuts. I have my entire family and friends reading labels for me. I didn’t know that salad dressings and mayonnaise were made with soybean oil until a couple of months ago. learning new things every day ;-)

Lisa

Thank you so much! You’ve given me so much information and hope! We are a bit overwhelmed at the moment. We have just found out my 8yr old daughter has a soy allergy. She’s always get “tingles” in her throat. Now we understand why. As you said we will start out slowly and go from there. I just wanted to thank you for this all this information!

Anna

I found out last summer about my soy allergy, after many visits to the doctor and hospital. My doctor I think thought I was crazy. I thought I might be going crazy but I finally asked her to humor me after getting so sick from gravy and send me for testing. By this point my body had been in such a state (my thyroid is still swollen) I had, had enough. Its been a year and it has not gottin any easier. I have made the effort and found a nutritionalist hopefully this will make it easier. I spend more time reading labels then I do eating. I cut out everything and started from scratch my diet to date is very limited. A yr later Im still learning, like I had no idea they coat apples or about what is in the tuna thanks for saving me the trouble of finding out the hard way lol . I am glad to have found this sight I dont feel so alone anymore with what I thought to be such a strange allergy. lecitin does not bother me either my allergist says that it is because it is not a high enough consentrate of the protien to make me sick as it is highly processed. I have found pre bagged saled to contain soy. oh p.s I have written a thousand letters to ask that they stop putting soy in all the food, I have seen a few things change like craft now has a salad dressing with canola oil instead . so maybe if we write more they may listen and we will be able to enjoy a oreo cookie again!

Rayna

Thank you for posting this. I have a 3 year that has a soy allergy that seems to be getting worse and worse. I didn’t think that the allergy would get worse, especially since we were told that most kids grow out of it. We have found we have to buy mainly organic now. It is very expensive buying completely soy free. We were never one of those family’s with quick fix meals, but I never realized how stuff was in everything else we buy, even the vitamins that I buying my son. Vitamins are very hard to find soy free.

sally cloud

Less than a year ago I began to have severe reactions to food, had no idea what the problem was but through the process of elimination,determined it was soy. Having been healthy for all of my 57 years this was quite a shock. Especially since I had never had problems with soy previously. The only food I can eat with no reaction is natural, whole food that I have cooked myself. It has been interesting to see others react to my problem. Some are convinced it is my imagination, that I REALLY have candida, gerd,etc or that I just need to get over it!

caroline

so glad to see that you have taken the time to set up this important site! It has been 10 years that I have been learning how to eat with a very sensitive soy allergy.(instant swelling in lower abdomen/low blood pressure/headache) Yes, as you say, the labels are very tricky! The list of foods to avoid that have been mentioned are great.. would love to try to help out by sharing a few ideas to look out for/or to inform yourself about:
licorice, any type of non-stick spray in a can (even the 100%olive oil can), any word on the back of a vitamin bottle that says “vegetable coating” :sometimes see “cellulose”,which seems to be ok. best to call company, orange juice that says added omega!!!(learned that the hard way:) medicines/asprins, iron pills etc.. with artificial colorants on exterior coating. if necessary, can often request DR’s prescription in liquid form with no dye of many common antibiotics.(pharmacist usually helpful) be careful, and research, if it applies to you, with label words such as “guar gum” and “pectin”
Along with all of the already good advice already mentioned on
this site about eating from scratch- not out of a box….would like to share simple muffins that I treat myself to from time to time(only thing is that my 3 kids/and now the neighbour kids are addicted to them!!)
preheat oven 325
in medium size bowl, mix 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour(make sure of ingredients before using), 1 tsp. baking soda,
1 1/2 baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
in another medium bowl, mix 1/3 cup oil (we use canola, but use whichever one you need to), 2/3 cup sugar (organic raw our favorite),
and 1 cup orange juice, can add 1 tsp pure vanilla if works for you.
combine juice mixture into flour mixture bowl.. stir well. should be smooth and creamy. if too liquid, add flour. if too hard to stir, add orange juice. pour batter into muffin tins or cake pan at 325F for about 12-15 minutes. enjoy!

Angel

I’m also allergic to soy. I have been on a soy free diet for 9 years. Soy is in EVERYTHING! It is not just food you have to worry about it is every where! My rule is if I can not say the ingredient and I do not know what that ingredient is the I treat it like it is soy. Almost always it is soy is some form. I make everything from scratch and do not trust anything until I research it. I have noticed the label warning may not say soy is in it but after reading the ingredients a soy form is in the food. I read what you said about your reaction to chicken. Chicken is nothing more than a soybean with wings. My family is a farming family and all animal feed has soy in it unless it is straight corn. We raise our own cow to eat. It is feed only grass and corn. We do buy a pig and keep it one month and feed it only corn. Before we buy it it is feed soy. We talked to our vet and he said feeding it corn for a month before we butcher it will get the soy out of it. So far I have not had any problems doing this. We also have the butcher shop process our meat first so there is no cross contamination from the other “soy” meat. I have noticed this year that all cough drops that I can find now have soy. Just one more thing I will have to make from scratch!

joanne cromp

it’s all about them poisoning us and making profit..i too have a soy allergy.. i wish something would be done!

Karen

Thank you for this site. My 16 year old son is allergic to nickel. Nickel is in the soil and is absorbed by most if not all plants including fruits and vegetables. I have read that the nickel floats around in the plant but tends to concentrate in the seed or bean portion of the plant. The soybean has a large concentration of nickel and hence I have learned to stay away from any product containing soy. This website has been very helpful because I now realize how many more foods I need to eliminate for my son. Nickel is not defined at all in our foods, so your website is more helpful than any I have found. His esophagus reacts to the nickel content in food and swells. I would be curious to know if any of your readers also have a nickel allergy.

Cindy

I just sent in an inquiry to Trader Joe’s about their Harvest Whole Wheat Bread (which lists no soy or soy derivatives) asking about any possibility of cross-contamination. I have an autoimmune reaction to soy (ulcers, headaches, feeling of doom, etc.), but have been able to eat this bread with no problems. However, I am inquiring for the benefit of others who experience more severe attacks.

Please fill me in, if you have any prior knowledge of any of the ingredients (listed below) as possibly being sources of soy contamination that I am not aware of. I’ll let you know what Trader Joe’s says, as well. (Unless of course, you have already contacted them.)

Also, I have heard that sometimes, an intolerance to soy can later develop into a full soy allergy. Have you heard anything about this, and is it possible? Of course, both involve autoimmune attacks, perhaps it’s all in what part of the body it is attacking?

Trader Joe’s Harvest Whole Wheat Bread
Ingredients: Stone-ground whole wheat flour, filtered water, honey, cracked wheat, sea salt, fresh yeast, whey (milk protein).

Made in a facility that processes eggs and tree nuts.

Diane

I have a nickel allergy since age 12. I’ve had dermatitis from makeup due to the nickel in it since 32. At 61 I have also developed 22 intolerances including gluten, soy, wheat, barley, rye, safflower oil, some nuts and beans, chicken, turkey, etc. I was told I was allergic to everything outside by a DO doctor years ago. I recently had an allergic reaction to shampoo containing plants and had to take antibiotics since it gave me 3 infected head bumps and a swollen lymph node in my neck which is connected to the scalp. I eat grass fed meats now, wild caught fish, and I’m switching to frozen vegetables after reading this site. Having Candida prevents me from consuming fruits, etc. I’m on an austere diet. I wonder if gluten is responsible for everything I’m going through now. It destroys you slowly but surely.

Shine

I’ve also reacted to eggs that are from hens fed on a high-soy protein diet. Here in Asheville small-business health conscious restaurants are usually my best bet for eating out like a normal person… now I know why sometimes I’ve had a reaction despite their best assurances as to the content of their food.

Cheryl

I have just recently found out that I am allergic to soy, beef, tomatoes, cantaloupe, carrots, bananas, and salmon. I have been throwing up for several years now. I have had endoscopes done, they’ve stretched my esophogus, xrays, and several other tests. Finally went to an allergist and discovered the problem. It has been very difficult finding foods, never gave it a thought about the natural flavoring until I seen it in a post on here, or even the coating on the fruits and especially in the meats we eat. I didn’t think it would be this hard, but it is very difficult especially when you are feeding a family. Thanks for all these ideas!!!

Lillian

Thank you so much for this post! We have just discovered that our 19 month old daughter has a legume allergy (including soy, of course) so we have just started down the path of being soy-free. It all seems so overwhelming at first, but reading this post actually made me feel hopeful that there are still foods we can eat. Thank you!

WL

Soy is the most difficult it avoid! Learned recently that it is in lemonade and lemon flavored drinks (including tea) with ingredient “natural flavor.” Also many inexpensive cheeses such as “American Cheese” is mostly soy. Nearly all salad dressings and the spray they use in restaurants to fry, saute, or grill.

WL

I forget to mention that in addition to problems with gel caps, it took me 5 years to discover that the reason I was “sick and exhausted” every day was my hormone replacement was made from soy. In fact, 99% of the bio-estrogen is made from soy.

HD

Thank you for the information. I was diagnosed last year with a soy allergy. Last night while out with friends I order my meal and 15 minutes after eating it my lips and tongue was swelling. I was floored because this is something I have ordered before, come to find out after I was taken to the hospital they changed to Soy Oil and there was no warning of any type on the menus or posted in the Restruant. The last thing I remembered was the ambulance crew saying to the driver ” run it hot we are losing her”, 3 hrs later I came around and I was in the ER. It upsets me that restruants don’t post that they are cooking with peanut or soy oil. Luckily I am home now resting and will not be eating back there again. Once again, thank you for the information it really helps

Brenda

Soy and I don’t work anymore. If I ingest it, I get very fatigued and always develop an itching reaction on my left jaw, complemented by little bumps all along there. I can barely keep my eyes open when soy fatigue kicks in. I can’t even use aveeno on my face because it causes the same fatigue, gives me a headache and blurry vision. I never thought I’d be the type to develop that kind of aversion to soy, but who knows how long I’ve had this before I started actually realizing what the cause was.

Kelly

Just got some really disturbing news from Pirate Brand snacks. I had eaten some of the Pirate’s Booty white cheddar puffs and had a reaction. There is no soy listed in the ingredients or anything else listed that would make me think there is soy in the product. However, I emailed the company just to check and they said, yes, the product does contain soy. Very upsetting to me that you cannot even trust food labels.

Sarah

I have seen soy warnings this past week on frozen organic vegetables. The bag had only four types of common vegetables in it and yet it had a soy warning. I presume it is from cross-contamination of their other frozen vegetable products (other products had flavors or sauces added and so it contained soy). Clearly they must run it all on the same machinery. This really is frightening, as even a bag of frozen organic peas, carrots, corn and green beans can contain soy. It seems you can’t even trust frozen vegetables. I haven’t bought any in years – just buy the fresh stuff – so I was very surprised and dismayed to see an allergy warning of “contains soy” on a bag of four organic veggies. Maybe it was for the corn, as corn is often contaminated with soy…?

When it comes to stuff like apples, i buy organic ones from my local co-op. Never had a problem with them. The ones in the local stores…they WILL give you reactions. They made my joints very stiff and painful. I also avoid nightshade veggies most of the time, especially peppers. I seem to be OK with potatoes and once in awhile will eat a few cherry tomatoes.

For oil I use sunflower oil. It’s 100% pure and provides Vitamin E. I get it at my local Asian store and a huge bottle is $12. It’s from Korea and I never had a problem with it. Been using it for years. I also buy the Peanut-Seaweed snack from Korea, the “Nice Choice” brand. Never had a problem with that or the sesame cake (snack) they make. The small sesame snack provides 100% of your daily calcium needs (it is hard like a rock so hard to bite). I do find it very odd that I can find a few soy-free snacks from Asia more easily than I can in the US. Asia is known for soy and yet they have these safe snacks (safe at the moment anyway – always read ingredients as they can change without notice). If I go to a summer festival here, I carry a peanut-seaweed bar in my purse and can eat it if I get hungry, as finding anything to eat at those places is near impossible! My Mom is allergic to olives, hence we use sunflower oil. We both have soy allergies.

Oh, I have also seen soy warnings on bread lately that did not have any suspect soy ingredients. Having this allergy 6 years now, I know most of the names it hides under. I think the suspect ingredient was “yeast”. Another loaf of bread by the same company was yeast-free and did not have the soy warning, so ..?. I know stuff like Nutritional Yeast and Autolyzed (SP?) Yeast is another name for MSG and those allergic to soy would react to it, but I thought plain baking yeast was different? Guess not. I hardly ever eat grain anymore but I do sometimes look at stuff to see what it contains.

I also saw “soy flavor” on some kind of cake and thought that was truly bizarre! Did they make a cake that tastes like soybeans or were they admitting that “natural flavors” is soy? Getting people / companies to admit that natural flavors is soy is like pulling teeth: they won’t admit it and just say “it’s not soy”…but then why do we react to it?

I should add that I NEVER ate soy, not tofu or soy sauce or anything. I think I developed this food allergy due to all of the hidden soy in the foods. You buy a loaf of bread and think you’re eating wheat, but you’re eating 5 forms of soy. You buy a frozen pizza and you’re eating soy. The problem is it’s in EVERYTHING. Even half or maybe more than half of the food at the organic co-op has “natural flavors” added to it. People just don’t realize this until they are either told by someone or else they get the allergy. I once told someone about all of the hidden soy in food and he said it sounded like a conspiracy theory! I guess he did not believe me. These days I cook from scratch and rarely get reactions.

Sarah

And watch out for loose bean sprouts in the produce section of the supermarket. One of my supermarkets here had those for many months and as I result I could not buy any produce from them at all. I had no idea what type of bean it was, as the sign did not state, so I had to presume it was soybeans. The thing is people would grab the beans with their hands to put them into a bag and then they would go touch other produce, thus spreading the soy protein around (possibly). It was not a chance I was willing to take. I tried to ask store employees about the bean sprouts but they were clueless and couldn’t grasp was the “fuss” was about.

I do react to soy from touch. I once got a reaction from a sticky handle on a supermarket shopping cart and once from some tacky residue on a banana: in both cases I think it was kids eating candy and spreading it around the store.

I also react to soybean oil. It can give me diarrhea in about 10 or 15 minutes and if its a big dose, my blood pressure can drop.

Jackie

Alright. Let me break it down. I am 25 years old, and I have had a peanut allergy since I was 1. Recently ive gotten really sick felt like I was having a allergic reaction to anything I ate. Went to the doctor and they said i am very allergic to soy. Thats why I had been feeling so horrible. Reading this has made me feel a little better. I mean my family eats a lot of soy its just what we have always eaten. So I write down everything I can and cannot eat in a little journal that I am gunna keep with me. Even write down what soy can also be called. I feel like what really gets everyone through the hard times is the support of others who are going through the same thing. Unfortunately, it is something that we are all suffering from. But we can help pick each other back up.

Shannon

Hi. Thanks for you article! I too am soy allergic, but also am to all other legumes, which includes peas, chick peas (humus), lentils and peanuts. Something to maybe mention. Soy is a legume!

Shannon

P.S. I also found out today that honey can be contaminated if the bees get pollen from soy plants. (Still recovering from this problem. Found out my local apiary is next to a soy field!) Be careful where your honey comes from. Mexico is all over the new right now with that problem with their honey.

Janan Dean

I just began my soy allergy in March of 2013. My reaction to soy is a little more extreme. I have epilepsy, so whenever I consume soy, knowingly or unknowingly, I will have a breakout seizure. I had all types of allergies beginning when I was 5, food & airborne, which almost killed me. For the most part, except for dust, penicillin and sulfa, they are gone because of allergy shots. Is it possible to treat the soy allergy the same way?

Michelle

I am 38 years old and never realized I had a problem until 1 years ago when my first daughter was born. I nursed her and she couldn’t have dairy, so I tried Soy milk. BIG mistake. Throat closed, vomit, asthma attack. Then I started noticing it more and more with other foods. Avoid it like the plague. But, Man that stuff is hard to avoid.
I recently had another baby, and during my pregnancy I ate something with SOY and not one problem, not one!! So, my entire pregnancy I ate with reckless abandon. PURE bliss. Best pregnancy EVER!! Bread, I think I miss you most of all.
Anyway, she needed to supplement with formula for a few feedings because I hemmoraged after she was born and all the drugs they used to stop me, kept me dry a few days. Did you know formula is made with soy protein?
I was on soy formula as an infant until 1 year old because I couldn’t “tolerate” milk the Drs told my mom. I am convinced it is because I was being feed all that Soy as a baby that I am allergic now.
I never knew about the Tuna and now it totally makes sense why I can NEVER eat pork or lunch meat. Thanks for this post and all the comments.