Food allergies generally start at a young age. In most cases, they wear off as a child becomes older, but in some instances they linger. Soy is a common allergen that is derived from soy beans and used as an ingredient in various products. If you have an allergy to soy, or do not consider it a healthy option, you have many other foods to choose from.
Vegetables do not contain soy, but they do contain a high amount of nutrients. They are also high in water content, low in calories and with the exception of corn, potatoes, squash and carrots, low in carbs. If you eat prepared vegetables at a restaurant, be aware of any toppings that come with them. Breading, for example, might have soy ingredients. It is always best to ask your server beforehand.
Fruit is another high-nutrient food group that contains no soy. Fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits all contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and naturally occurring sugar. Fruit juices also fall into the soy-free category, but be on guard for pre-made fruit toppings that might contain soy. If a food has soy, it will be noted in fine print on the ingredients label.
Whole grains, such as barley, rice, millet, quinoa, rye and oatmeal do not contain soy. Most breads and cereals made from these grains are soy-free as well. However, certain products might contain soy flour or soy ingredients. Again, you need to refer to the ingredients label for clarification. From a nutritional standpoint, whole grains have a lot to offer. They contain B vitamins, iron, phosphorus and vitamin E. They also contain high amounts of dietary fiber, which is beneficial for high cholesterol.
Beef, poultry and fish are high in protein, low in carbs and soy-free. Be aware of sauces, toppings and processed versions of meat. Pork sausage and lunch meats for example, often contain soy ingredients.
Aside from soy beans, all other forms of beans are soy-free. You might also hear of beans referred to as legumes. These foods have seeds inside a pod. All forms of beans contain high amounts of complex carbs, fiber and iron, and they have moderate amounts of protein.
Nuts and seeds contain no soy and they are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Both of these are beneficial to your health, and monounsaturated fats in particular, help lower the risk for stroke and heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Oils that are derived from these foods are also soy-free such as walnut, flax seed, sunflower and sesame oil.
Pasta is a soy-free food option that is also high in carbs, low in fat and moderate in protein content. The only exception would be a pasta made from soy or soy flour.
Dairy products contain high amounts of calcium and protein, and they have moderate amounts of carbs. A lot of soy-containing dairy alternatives exist in the marketplace, but all regular dairy products are soy-free.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.