Skip to content

Allergies Health Center

Soy Allergies: Spotting Problems on Food Labels

Font Size
A
A
A

With a food allergy, it’s always important for you to know what you’re eating. Reading labels is your best way to stay safe. Here are tips for spying out food allergens.

Any packaged food has to show on the label if it contains milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans. Look on both the food label -- "Contains: Soy" -- and the ingredients list. The FDA does not consider highly refined soybean oil an allergen (found in many processed foods).  Check with your doctor about whether or not you should avoid soybean oil.

Recommended Related to Allergies

Staying Active and in Control Despite Their Allergies

For people who have allergies, the challenges of remaining physically active can easily outweigh the benefits to their health and mental well-being. Running, swimming, and even gardening -- how enjoyable can these activities be when just taking a breath is so exhausting? But having seasonal allergies doesn't mean you have to become a shut-in. Nor does it mean, even in environments where pollen and other irritants are plentiful, that you have to give up exercise. "Allergies are not a disability,”...

Read the Staying Active and in Control Despite Their Allergies article > >

Soy Words to Watch For

  • Edamame
  • Kinako flour
  • Kyodofu (freeze-dried tofu)
  • Lecithin (sometimes in cooking sprays)
  • Miso
  • Mono diglyceride
  • Natto
  • Okara (soy pulp)
  • Shoyu
  • Soy or soybean or any soy product
  • Soy sauce
  • Soya
  • Supro
  • Tamari
  • Tempeh
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Textured soy flour (TSF)
  • Textured soy protein (TSP)
  • Textured vegetable protein
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Tofu
  • Yakidofu
  • Yuba

Where Soy Hides

  • Baked goods, which may use soybean flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Meat products, such as sausages and hamburgers
  • Meat substitutes
  • Protein bars
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tamari sauce
  • Imitation bacon bits
  • Baby foods and cereals
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Frozen dinners
  • Ice cream
  • Canned broth and soups
  • Canned tuna
  • Low-fat peanut butter
  • Salad dressings, mayonnaise, gravy, and sauces  
  • Some snack foods

 

How to Choose Safe Foods

  • Stick with packaged and labeled foods. Foods from salad bars, deli counters, and bakeries are more likely to accidentally contain your allergy triggers.
  • Read food labels every time you buy a product -- even if it's something you buy every week. Food manufacturers change ingredients all the time. A food that has been safe for you and your family may not always be.
  • If you see an ingredient you're not sure about, be careful. Look it up first. Consider contacting the manufacturer if you need more info.
  • Buying a different size or low-fat version? Read food labels. Low-fat or reduced-calorie versions of familiar foods may have very different ingredients. Sizing (like snack-sized packs) or packaging (a can vs. a carton) can affect ingredients. Some products may have different ingredients in different parts of the country.
  • Check labels on medications and toiletries. Food allergens can show up in drugs, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, and lotions.
  • Do ask and tell. At restaurants, let the staff, servers, managers, cooks, or chef know about your food allergy and special accommodations that you might need. Don’t be afraid to ask how a dish is prepared. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell everything that is in a dish based on how it is listed on the menu.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on October 30, 2014

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

woman sneezing
Slideshow
Bottle of allergy capsules and daisies
Article
 
Urban blossoms
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with itchy watery eyes
Slideshow
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Tools
woman with duster crinkling nose
Quiz