Tips for Staying Safe When Eating Out With a Soy Allergy

At home, it’s easy to prepare delicious meals that are also allergy-free. But when you go out to a restaurant, how do you know what’s safe to eat? If you have a soy allergy, you are probably aware that soy is a common ingredient used in many popular dishes. Unless you’re carefully reading food labels, it can be hard to avoid. While some restaurants have information about soy-based items on their menus, knowing what foods contain soy can help you make smart choices when dining out, too.

Common Sources of Soy

Unfortunately, as a Las Vegas allergist will tell you, it’s impossible to avoid developing a food allergy. However, you can at least learn about the food sources that contain soy to ensure safe dining.

If you see these items on a restaurant’s menu, steer clear:

● Soy-based cheese, yogurt, milk, and ice cream
● Tofu
● Miso
● Tempeh
● Soy sauce
● Edamame
● Bean sprouts
● Vegetable-based broth, oil, and starch

Soy can also appear in unexpected places such as canned meat, crackers, peanut butter, canned soup, and baked goods. Additionally, some types of natural and artificial flavoring may contain soy, too. If you have questions, you can also ask a staff member at the restaurant if a dish includes soy.

a variety of nuts that are off limits for someone allergy testing with a nut allergy

Soy-free Alternatives

Even though some foods are off-limits for those with soy allergies, there are some safe and delicious alternatives to consider instead. Dairy-based milk and eggs are an excellent substitute for vegetarians with a soy allergy. Beans are protein-rich and full of iron, magnesium, and folate. Nuts are also high in protein. Seitan, which is made from wheat flour, is often used as a meat substitute. If you order seitan from a restaurant, however, check to make sure it doesn’t have added soy. Whole wheat and quinoa, which are grains, are also good soy alternatives.

Ask for Restaurant Recommendations

Today, more restaurants are providing information about allergens on their menu. Some restaurants even have allergy-free menus or allergy-free variations of their most popular foods. Compiling a list of soy-safe restaurants, which can include input from friends, family, or an allergist, is another excellent way to ensure safer dining outside the home.

woman ordering from an allergy menu at a restaurant after completing allergy testing

Know the Signs of an Allergy

Soy allergies affect thousands of Americans each year. While soy allergies often develop during infancy or childhood, they can appear in adults as well. At any age, it’s essential to know the symptoms of an allergy. In many cases, soy allergies produce relatively mild symptoms. Tingling of the mouth, swelling of the lips and face, skin redness, and congestion are some common reactions to soy. Digestive symptoms may be present as well. Rarely, a soy allergy produces a more life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

woman in discomfort from swollen face and seeking allergy testing

See an Allergy Specialist

If you or a child has symptoms of a soy allergy, it’s important to visit a Las Vegas allergist. If symptoms of a food allergy appear shortly after a meal, your doctor may recommend tests to identify the allergen. A skin test is most frequently used to diagnose an allergy. A blood test may be used in cases where an allergy produces more severe reactions. A specialist will also want to know about your symptoms and check for a family history of allergies.

As many allergy sufferers know, dining out can be a challenge. Knowing what foods contain soy and which ones don’t helps, as does managing your symptoms with the help of a specialist. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Tottori, the best allergy doctor in Las Vegas, for relief. Call us today at (702) 240 4233 or visit our website to learn more and make an appointment.