A special note about this annoying ingredient:

The “no soy” part of this diet is by far the hardest to do.  I’ve found dairy to be a pretty straightforward ingredient.  Butter, cheese, milk, sour cream, etc. are all pretty easy to look out for.  Soy, on the other hand, is like a food landmine – it’s hidden.  For example, many fast food restaurants will serve meat that has a soy paste mixed in for texture.  Sounds yummy, no?

To make matters even more confusing, soybean oil and soy lecithin are generally safe.  I say generally because it depends on the sensitivity of your baby.  Basically, when they crush the soybeans to make the oil or lecithin, the proteins are usually broken down enough for easy digestion.  One exception is expeller pressed, which means it’s crushed instead of treated with heat or chemicals.  Without getting too much into it, refined oils, like those found in most restaurants and processed foods, are first crushed then treated with intense heat or chemicals to get more oil out of the yield.

So anyway, here’s a list of some hidden sources of soy I’ve discovered.  Remember to always read food labels and ask LOTS of questions when dining out.  And remember I’m not a doctor, just a mom who’s learned a thing or two and wanted to pass it along.

Sauces: Soy sauce is a very popular ingredient, and not just for Asian-inspired cooking.  For example, I’ve noticed it in a few barbeque sauces and even jerk sauce.  If you’re in a restaurant, it’s always a good idea to ask the server specifically if the sauce contains soy sauce (or butter for that matter).

Meat: Nothing is safe from this highly-subsidized food additive.  I’m not entirely sure why they add soy to meat, but I think it’s a cheap way to add texture and flavor.  Either way, it’s something to watch out for in fast food joints (and other cheap restaurants).  Just use your best judgement.  Check restaurant websites for allergen information or quiz your server, who will probably look at you like you’re a little crazy.

Packaged Foods: Packaged food is not your friend on this diet because soy is in virtually every box.  But that’s okay because from a health standpoint, packaged foods are nobody’s friend.  It’s now federal law to clearly label food that contains common allergens such as soy, but be sure to read everything. For example, I’ve noticed soy in things like canned tuna.  I once discovered a Wal-Mart brand of chicken broth that contained egg, milk and soy.  Are they just trying to make life difficult?  As if I needed another reason to hate that place…