For some allergy sufferers, avoiding certain food groups is more straight-forward than others. Staying away from peanuts, shellfish, and dairy, for instance, is relatively easy. But what happens if you’re allergic to a common substance like soy? Fortunately, there are ways to avoid soy products, too. While you should always check the label of a particular food before eating it – or ask the waitstaff at a restaurant if you’re dining out – some food groups are safer than others if you’re looking to steer clear of soy. Best of all, sticking with these food groups can still give you a healthy and nutritious diet.
Products made from whole grains are generally nutritious and delicious. Many items in this family are safe to eat for people with soy allergies. However, be sure to read the label before you buy things like bread, crackers, pancakes, and waffles. Some companies use soy flour or oil made of soy to produce their products.
Vegetables are traditionally one of the healthiest and most nutrient-packed of all food groups. And best of all, most of them are soy-free! Many fresh, canned, and frozen vegetables are free of soy and soy products. However, if they are mixed with sauces of any kind, you should check first to make sure the sauce doesn’t contain soybeans, soybean sprouts, or any other soy product.
Similarly, most fruits are naturally soy-free. As with vegetables, most juices, canned fruits, and fruits that are fresh or frozen are usually soy-free. Be aware, however, that sauces, fruit-based toppings, and fruit drinks can contain soy products.
For people who follow a vegetarian diet, avoiding soy can be tricky. At a minimum, tempeh and tofu are off-limits for soy allergy sufferers. These ingredients are common in most processed vegetarian foods (like veggie burgers) and meat alternatives. However, there are some healthier solutions that you can consider to avoid soy and still have a healthy, balanced diet. Foods on this list include beans, eggs, milk, nuts, seitan, whole wheat, quinoa, oat bran, and flaxseed.
Milk and Eggs
An advantage of dairy (and eggs) is that they are a vital source of the vitamin B12, which is not found in plant-based products. One point of concern, however, is that these products are also common allergens. Therefore, before incorporating them into your diet, you might want to consult an allergy doctor in Las Vegas to perform a skin test. This lets you know right away whether or not you’re allergic to a specific substance.
If you’re looking for another good source of protein, beans are a great option. One cup of beans generally provides about 15 grams of protein. Beans are packed with other nutrients too, such as magnesium, iron, and folate. Furthermore, they’re among the least expensive and most filling options for meat alternatives.
Nuts are also a great source of protein and nutrients. However, they are also a common allergen, especially among children. If you have any doubts about whether you (or a child) are allergic to nuts, it’s best to consult a Las Vegas allergist first to rule out potential adverse reactions.
Seitan is a popular meat alternative. It has a distinct flavor and has the hardiness of meat. It can even be made at home, which ensures you control the ingredients and saves money! Most seitan products are made from wheat flour. If you’re buying a seitan-based substance, however, check the label first to make sure there are no hidden soy ingredients.
These days, it’s easy to find whole wheat versions of your favorite foods made of traditional white flour. Best of all, most whole wheat products are soy-free. By choosing whole wheat, you’ll get somewhere between seven and eight grams of protein per cup. You’ll also get about three grams of protein in a three-ounce serving of whole wheat bread. Other nutrients in whole wheat are manganese, selenium, and fiber.
Quinoa and Flaxseed
At 23 grams per serving, quinoa packs more protein than just about any other type of food. It is also high in magnesium, phosphorous, and fiber. As an added incentive, quinoa is easy to make. With a slightly nutty and neutral taste, it is similar to rice in the sense that it pairs well with many vegetables, spices, sauces, and most meats. Similarly, flaxseed – which is rich in protein and fiber – has a slightly nutty but neutral taste. It works well with yogurt, salads, as a topping for baked goods, and more.
Soy allergies can be a pain, but there are many great alternatives if you have to eliminate this category from your diet. Additionally, many soy alternatives like fruit and vegetables are healthy and nutritious, too. If you suspect you have a soy allergy, contact Tottori Allergy, the best allergist in Las Vegas, to get tested. Only then will you be sure of what you’re allergic to and how you can avoid exposure to allergens in the future.