Soy Allergies


An allergy to soy is among the eight most common food allergies that affect children and adults in the U.S. Soybeans are a legume, closely related to beans, peanuts and peas, and are a popular additive in many different processed foods. Allergic reactions to soy vary widely, from very mild hives to the much more severe anaphylaxis. Fortunately, children with a soy allergy are not more likely to be allergic to any other legume.

About 0.4 percent of American children are allergic to soy. It is usually an early childhood condition, and the majority of soy allergy sufferers outgrow it by age three, and nearly all by age 10. Technically, it is one or more proteins in soy which cause an allergic reaction. The exact allergenic protein may vary between cases, but scientists have identified 15 different soy proteins that could cause a reaction.

Like other food allergies, a soy allergy involves a specific immune system response whenever the soy protein is present. Perceiving the soy protein as a threat, the body’s immune system overreacts, releasing immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies in turn cause symptoms like hives, watery eyes, digestive problems and, in rare instances, a fatal drop in blood pressure. Soy allergies are easily diagnosed through a skin prick or blood test which identify the IgE antibodies.

Ingredients to Look for When Avoiding Soy


Edamame, Miso, Natto, Soy (in all forms), Soya, Soybean, So protein

Shoyu, Soy sauce, Tamari, Tempeh, Tamari, Tempeh, Tofu, Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Also, be aware of the possibility of soy in the following

While you should always check labels for allergens, keep these in mind as items that may have soy more common than other items.

Vegetable broth, Vegetable gum, Vegetable Starch, Asian Cuisine

The FDA does not label highly refined soybean oil as an allergen. Studies show that most people who have a soy allergy can safely eat soy oil if it has been highly refined. Most people with a soy allergy can also safely eat soy lecithin. However, you should consult your doctor before consuming these ingredients.


Soy Alternatives


There are many alternatives to soy so that you and your family can still enjoy making recipes that used soy without triggering your child’s allergy. If you have any concerns about the alternatives, ask your child’s allergist.


Lentils, Quinoa, Broccoli, Carrots, Asparagus, Coconut Aminos

Be sure that the vegetables aren’t served with breading or sauces that contain soy.