Soy Allergy Basics

Quick Facts:

  • According to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, soy allergy is among the nine most common food allergies.
  • Most processed food in the U.S. contains soy—in other words, if you live in America, soy is everywhere!
  • Many fast-food chains, such as McDonald’s and Jack in the Box, use soy in their buns, meats, and sauces.

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What’s Soy?

Soybeans belong to the legume family, which includes peanuts, kidney beans, peas, and lentils. Originally from East Asia, today they are grown all over the world for their edible beans which has many uses such as providing alternative sources of protein for vegetarians; flour for baking, texturizing, or extruding food; oil for fry cooking; instant formula for babies; and food for animal feedlots. Also, soybeans are a primary ingredient for many Asian cuisines.

What’s Soy Allergy?

People with a soy allergy have a hypersensitive reaction to dietary substances that contain soy. Soy causes an overreaction of the immune system to those who are allergic and can lead to severe physical symptoms. These symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, swelling, eczema, asthma, and at worst, anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction and when one goes into anaphylic shock, the release of histamine causes throat swelling, breathing difficulty, heart failure, circulatory collapse, and sometimes death.

What to do, What to eat!?!?!

Avoiding soy would be a cinch if all you needed to do was to skip soybeans, soy sauce, and tofu—unfortunately that is not the case. Soy is hidden in a vast variety of foods. They can be found in processed foods, sauces, meats, broths, starches, natural and artificial flavorings, vegetable oil, cereals, peanut butter, infant formula, and baked goods; thus, making soy one of the most difficult foods to avoid and an exclusion diet requires absolute vigilance.

How Fitsme Can Help

One of the few ways to be absolutely sure about what goes into your food is to cook at home. Fitsme helps you discover recipes that fit your lifestyle. With our Food Personality Builder you can tell us the foods you like, the foods you could do without, and the foods you must avoid, and our app will curate a set of recipes that accommodate your allergies, diet restrictions, and taste buds.

As for those who don’t eat soybeans, make sure to note that in your food personality. See how we can help make your life a little easier by signing up today

-By Brian Van

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