For those suffering from soy allergy, avoiding foods that contain soy proteins or derivatives can be overwhelming. Between fifty to sixty percent of all foods sold on the market today contain soy. As a further complication, soy may go by one of several different names when reading the list of ingredients on a food label. Soy may be listed as diglyceride, glycine max, lecithin, monoglyceride, natto or tamari. Monosodium glutamate is soy. Not only foods, but many over the counter and prescription drugs, lotions and cosmetics contain soy. Vitamins, vitamin E in particular, contain soy.
What Contains Soy?
While knowing the words that translate into “soy” helps, not all products that contain soy are required to list it as an ingredient. Meats often contain soy for water retention and preservation. Many restaurants and fast food chains contain soy in the meat, the cooking oil and in breads, as well as other bakery items. Some of the most common food products used on an everyday basis, such as vegetable oil, butter substitutes, canned tuna and cereals contain soy.
People who suffer from soy allergy symptoms often have cross-allergies, or more than one type of food allergy. Non-dairy products, such as milk substitutes, non-dairy creamers and yoghurt are made from soy. Approximately thirty percent of those who suffer soy allergy symptoms also suffer milk allergies. For someone suffering milk allergy symptoms, reverting to soy is not always the best solution.
As a member of the legume family, those who suffer from these alarming symptoms, may have a cross-allergy to other legumes, as well. An allergy to soy may also entail an allergy to
navy beans, garbanzo’s, string beans, carob, lentils, licorice and peanuts.
What Proteins Cause Soy Allergy Symptoms?
It’s not known exactly which proteins cause these allergic symptoms, although as many as fifteen possible soy allergins have been identified. The protein value is as high as the quality found in animal proteins, which could indicate large concentrates of soy are in excess of human requirements. Soy allergic reaction symptoms in adults can be caused by over-exposure to soy over a period of time, or by soy exposure during a stressful period.
People who suffer from soy allergy symptoms will not necessarily react to all soy products. A person with a tofu food allergy, which is made from soy bean curd, may be able to use Worcestshire sauce or salad dressings, which are made from soy oil. Some people may find they suffer no allergic reactions from fermented soy, but are unable to consume foods comprised of raw soy beans. Soy oil is found to cause fewer allergic reactions than cold-pressed soy oil. The differences in soy tolerance depends largely on the individual.
A good dietary recommendation is to withdraw from all food sources that contain soy products for a few days. Once the soy has been flushed from the system, experiments can be made in testing one product at a time for soy allergy symptoms. Soy allergen may be in the type of processing used, or amount of soy found in the product.