Avoiding Soy Can Be Tricky

May 14, 2015 / Thyroid Health / Source: Health

SoybeansIf you have done any research about hypothyroidism and/or thyroid disorders you've probably stumbled upon article after article stating the negative effects of soy.  There are several reasons why it's best to avoid soy, but the fact that it contributes to low thyroid function and it interferes with hormones should be enough to convince us that it's not worth eating.   Not to mention, it's estimated that over 90% of soy production is genetically modified...which leads to a whole new discussion.  So, the issue now lies in all of the foods that contain soy and how to avoid it.

Do you read labels...or even know some of the other names for soy? With soy being very common in  Asian foods we expect to find it in things such as soy sauce (or even Tamari), but we may not realize that it's in items like bean curd or bean sprouts or soy products as well.  Other soy names/foods are: Edamame, Kinako, Miso, Natto, Nimame, Okara, Shoyu, Soya, Tempeh, Tofu, and Yuba.  To make it even trickier soy ingredients are not always easily recognizable.  Here is a list of soy ingredients that I found a while back on ingredients that are created from soy: 

Hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP)

Mono- and di-glycerides

MSG (monosodium glutamate)

Soy (albumin, cheese, fiber, grits, milk, nuts, sprouts, yogurt, ice cream, pasta)

Soy lecithin (see above)

Soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)

Soybean oil (see above)

Teriyaki sauce

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Plus, we could potentially find soy in these additonal ingredients too...so a little research might be necessary to determine the source.

Bulking agent

Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP) or hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)

Gum arabic

Guar gum


Mixed tocopherols

Natural flavoring



Vegetable gum, starch, shortening, or oil

Vitamin E

Lastly, in light of this information, I would highly recommend that you check all labels.  Also, just because a food is organic or considered healthy it doesn't guarantee that they will be soy-free...and you might be surprised at how many foods contain the above ingredients. So, the key is to read labels and start learning which foods contain them in order to avoid eating soy unknowingly.