There's no way to prevent a food allergy. If you have an infant, breast-feeding instead of using a soy-based or milk-based formula may help.

If you're allergic to soy, the only way to avoid a reaction is to avoid soy products. It's not always easy to know which foods contain soy, a common ingredient in many foods.

Read food labels carefully. Soy is often present in unexpected foods, including canned tuna and meat, baked goods, crackers, energy bars, low-fat peanut butter, and canned soups. Read labels every time you buy a product, because ingredients can change. Also, check for the statement "contains soy" or "may contain soy" on product labels.

Highly refined soy oil may not cause a reaction because it doesn't contain soy proteins. Similarly, you might not react to foods that contain soy lecithin. But generally, if a label includes the word "soy," avoid it. Products to avoid include:

  • Soy milk, soy cheese, soy ice cream and soy yogurt
  • Soy flour
  • Tofu
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Shoyu
  • Tempeh
  • Soy sauce, shoyu and tamari
  • Edamame
  • Vegetable oil, vegetable gum, vegetable broth and vegetable starch

Besides "soy," "soya" and "soybeans," other words on food labels may indicate that the product contains soy, including:

  • Glycine max
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Monodiglyceride
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
July 11, 2014