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Allergies Health Center

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Living With a Soy Allergy

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If all you needed to do for a soy allergy was skip the soy sauce and tofu, it would be a breeze! But soybeans are a big part of processed foods too. Keep this soy food cheat sheet handy to protect yourself or your child from an allergic reaction.

Soy Foods to Stay Away From

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  • Edamame
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Soy sauce and Shoyu sauce
  • Soy fiber, soy flour, soy grits, soy nuts, or soy sprouts
  • Soy milk, soy yogurt, soy ice cream, or soy cheese
  • Soy protein
  • Tamari
  • Tempeh
  • Textured vegetable protein (TPV)
  • Tofu

Foods That May Contain Soy

  • Baked goods (breads, cookies, and crackers)
  • Canned broth and soup
  • Canned tuna and meat
  • Cereals
  • High-protein energy bars and snacks
  • Infant formula
  • Low-fat peanut butter
  • Processed meats, like deli meats
  • Vegetable oil
  • Worcestershire sauce

Other Names That May Mean Soy Ingredients

  • Glycine max
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Mono-diglyceride
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

3 Tips for Soy Allergies

  • Always read labels. In the U.S., "soy" must be listed on the label of foods that have it in it.
  • Be careful about eating at Asian restaurants. Even if you order a soy-free dish, you could still be exposed because soy is used so often in Asian cooking.
  • Ask your doctor about soy oil and lecithin. Studies show that eating soy oil is safe for most people with soy allergies. Soy lecithin -- often used in chocolate candy, peanut butter, and margarine -- is also safe for many people. Your allergist can help you figure out if they are safe for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on November 16, 2014
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