If you are allergic to soy, you know that the use of soybeans is widespread. Soybeans belong to the legume family. This food family is quite large, because, simply-stated, legumes include plants with seeds that develop in pods. Alphabetically, our legume list includes black beans, black-eyed peas, cowpeas, fava beans, garbanzo beans (or chickpeas), great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, peanuts, pinto beans and split peas. Not surprisingly, if you have a soybean allergy, you might be allergic to another legume. Talk to your allergist.
Soybeans are often found in processed foods, such as cereals, crackers and protein bars. Soybeans may be eaten fresh, ground into flour, pressed into an oil, drank as soymilk and consumed as soybean granules. Fortunately, due to the federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), “soy” must listed as an allergen on food labels.
When eating out, tell your server about your soy allergy. Avoid Asian restaurants or use extra caution. Several Asian products contain soybean proteins and should be avoided by those with soybean allergies. These food products are miso, natto, soy sauce, tamari, tempeh and tofu. Cross contamination may result from common cooking utensils. Also, it may occur either in the grilling area or in the food preparation area.
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