Did you know that Soy is considered a priority allergen by Health Canada?

If you have been diagnosed with a Soy allergy then you know how challenging it can be.

Some of the common symptoms of a Soy allergy include:

  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Hives; itching; or itchy, scaly skin (eczema)
  • Swelling of lips, face, tongue and throat, or other body parts
  • Wheezing, runny nose or breathing difficulty
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Skin redness (flushing)
Soy - A challenging allergen

If you suspect that you might be allergic to Soy what do you do?

Ideally you get an allergy test to confirm it. Or, you can try to avoid eating Soy for 30 days and see if your symptoms go away. Seems like an easy enough thing to do right? Well, unfortunately, it’s not that easy because Soy is found in many products that you would never suspect. Soy comes from soybeans, a type of legume. Soybeans can be made into flour, soymilk, tofu, oil, and other products.

Other foods in the legume family include peanut, navy beans, kidney beans, lima beans, string beans, pinto beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, peas, black-eyed peas, and licorice. Some people with soy allergies may have a reaction after eating other legumes.

Over and above the obvious like miso soup and Soy sauce, other food products that have Soy in their ingredients include:

  • Dressings, gravies, marinades, mayonnaise
  • Seasonings, seasoning salt and seasoning blends
  • Soups, broths and soups mixes
  • Deli meat and processed meats e.g. burgers, meat substitutes, patties, wieners
  • Baby formulas
  • Baked goods and baking mixes like breads, bread crumbs, cereals, cookies
  • Breaded foods
  • Beverage mixes
  • Chili, pastas, stews, taco filling, tamales
  • Canned tuna, minced hams
  • Chewing gum
  • Chocolate candies and chocolate bars
  • Cooking spray, margarine, vegetable shortening, vegetable oil
  • Diet drinks, imitation milk
    Imitation crab and other imitation fish
  • Snack foods like candy, candy bars, popcorn, energy bars
  • Spreads, dips, mayonnaise, peanut butter
  • Thickening agents
  • Vegetarian dishes

This means that you must read the ingredient label every time you buy or eat a product if you want to avoid consuming Soy. When reading the ingredient list in products keep in mind that Soy goes by other names including:

  • Vegetable protein. Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP), hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Bean curd (dofu, kori-dofu, soybean curds, tofu)
  • Edamame
  • Miso
  • Nimame
  • Okara
  • Tempeh
  • Yuba

If you suspect that you have a Soy allergy or it’s been confirmed through an allergy test than we hope this post has been helpful. Unfortunately eating out can be very challenging because Soy is hidden in so many foods. Try to avoid soups, sauces, and salad dressings at restaurants unless the server can confirm that they make everything from scratch, and the chef can confirm that the dish is Soy-free.

MCLEAN takes pride in having allergy friendly deli meat. All of our deli products are free of common allergens like gluten, soy and dairy. Our Vice President, Michelle Neilson makes sure of it, since she has an allergy to Soy and Wheat.

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