Monday, July 2, 2007

Eating Like a Normal Person

Can you eat like a normal person with a soy allergy? Yes. And no.

By yes, I mean you can eat most foods you used to eat, like macaroni and cheese, tuna casserole, taco salad, and chocolate-chip cookies.

By no, I mean you are probably going to have to make them yourself (there are exceptions.)

When I first was diagnosed with a soy allergy, I was shocked by how many processed foods contained soy, especially when you take into account soy oil and lecithin. Many soy-allergics can handle soy oil and lecithin, but I can't. Here's a list of foods that surprised me with their soy content:
-- canned tuna (oil, or "vegetable broth")
-- canned soup (soy protein)
-- sweetened chocolate products (lecithin)
-- peanut butter (soy oil)
-- candy corn (soy protein)
-- orange or grapefruit-flavored soda (brominated vegetable oil, for that "citrusy" mouthfeel)
Soy oil is ubiquitous (I blame price supports.) Some foods are predictably off-limits, if you take into consideration that they are made with vegetable oil, margarine, or shortening:
-- most supermarket breads, including English muffins, biscuits, tortillas
-- most packaged cookies
-- most packaged crackers
-- cake mixes and supermarket cakes
-- breakfast cereals
Some products basically are oils, so they are often made from soy oil:
-- salad dressings
-- mayonnaise
Not all versions of any of the foods above contain soy. What it boils down to, is you have to read every label, every time, and make things from scratch.
I intend to write about recipes, tips, and products I have found so that I can "eat like a normal person."

1 comment:

amy.backs said...

Out of curiosity, how widely is soy flour used over there. I've a feeling it's more widely used over here in Oz than over there (oddly enough)!!

It seems to me that there is an enormous difference over there on how restrictive a soy free diet is between when one can or can't tolerate soy oil and soy lecithin. I'd imagine soy is actually not to hard at all to avoid when soy lecithin and soy oil are allowed in one's soy free diet over there?

Unfortunately, not the case for me either :(, but I have pretty much found alternatives for foods (that I can get near me that I don't have to order in) that generally or virtually always contain soy lecithin (incl. soy free full-cream milk powder, soy free chocolate, soy free cooking spray, etc.)!

All the best. Amy