All About Soy-Free Diet

All About Soy-Free Diet

Mar 25, 2021Johns Hopkins University

According to a study published in 2019, soy is among the 8 most common food allergies. A soy allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in soy. But it isn’t that simple when it comes to this allergy as there are many forms of soy found in dressings, ready to eat meals, cereals…

This allergy often affects children. Children with a soy allergy may have nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, difficulty breathing, and or a skin reaction after eating or drinking soy products. These symptoms can be avoided by following a soy free diet.

Studies show that most people who have an allergy to soy may eat products that contain soy lecithin and soy oils. This is because these substances are fat-based, and people with allergies react to the protein portion of the food.

Food to avoid on a soy-free diet:

If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, chances are that you consume a lot of soy-based products (soybeans, cheese made of soybeans, dressings..)

Below a list of food that you should avoid in case you are following a soy-free diet:



Breads & starches

Breads, crackers, cakes, rolls, or pastries containing peanuts, peanut oil, soy flour.

Processed and "natural" cereals that contain soy ingredients.

Soy pasta.


Soybeans, soybean sprouts

Any vegetables prepared with sauces or breading containing soy products


Fruit drink mixes, sauces or toppings for fruit that contain soy ingredients.


Soy-based formulas, coffee substitutes with soy, instant coffee, hot cocoa mixes, malt beverages, fruit drink mixes made with soy ingredients.

Meat & meat substitutes

Deli/luncheon meats made with soy

Commercially prepared meats where soy is used as a meat extender

Meat or cheese substitutes that contain soy: tofu/bean curd, miso

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Milk & milk products

Milk drinks or milk substitutes that contain soy

Soups & combination foods

Soy is used in many canned soups, commercial entrees, and combination foods

Desserts & sweets

Baked goods, such as cakes or cookies, that contain soy flour.

Soy products may be used in some commercial ice creams and other frozen desserts.

Fats & oils

Margarine and butter substitutes

Some salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, or gravies containing soy products

Roasted soybeans

Condiments & miscellaneous

Commercial vegetarian products and meat substitutes Some Worcestershire and other sauces, fermented soybean pastes (miso ).

Soy sauce, tamari sauce, granola, or breakfast bars made with soy.

How to read a label for a soy-free diet

Avoid foods that contain any of these ingredients:

  • Hydrolyzed soy protein, Miso, Edamame, Natto
  • Soy albumin,Soy cheese,Soy fiber,Soy yogurt,Soy ice cream,Soy bean (curd, granules)
  • Shoyu sauce
  • Soy flour,Soy grits,Soy nuts, Soy sprouts
  • Soy milk
  • Soy protein concentrate, Soy protein isolate,Soy protein hydrolyzed
  • Soy sauce, Tamari sauce
  • Tofu, Tempeh
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Other possible sources of soy or soy products

  • Asian food
  • Flavorings, Natural flavoring
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Vegetable broth,Vegetable gum,Vegetable starch

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