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, but are not limited to:
- Soy milk, soy cheese, soy ice cream and soy yogurt
- Soy flour
- Soy sauce and tamari
- 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)
- Hydrolyzed plant protein
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Artificial flavoring
- Natural flavoring