An allergy to soy is fairly common, particularly among children and babies, with around 0.4 per cent of children being allergic to soy. Usually, a soy allergy is outgrown by the age of 10, however it can continue into adulthood.
Due to the health problems posed, some people must therefore adhere to a soy-free diet.
What is a soy-free diet?
Soybeans are a part of the legume family, which includes beans, peas, peanuts and lentils. An allergy to soy does not mean you are any more likely to have an allergy to other legumes than someone who is not allergic to soy.
There are a number of food products that should be avoided on a soy-free diet, with these including:
- Soy Sauce, Shoyu Sauce, Tamari
- Tofu/bean curd
- Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
- Anything with the word “soy” in it (e.g. soy nuts, soy flour, soy crisps, soymilk, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate)
Aside from foods that are made from/contain soy, there are a number of ingredients that include soy, such as:
- Natural and artificial flavourings
- Hydrolysed plant protein
- Hydrolysed vegetable protein
- Vegetable broth
- Vegetable gum
- Vegetable starch
On top of this, substitutes for meat and dairy tend to contain soy, as do baby formula and Asian foods.
The Food Allergen Labelling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), requires manufactures to list soy in the ingredients due to its status as an allergen.