Last Updated on April 22, 2022
Today, we’re going to be answering the question: is soy gluten free? And taking a look at whether the most popular soy products such as soy protein, soy milk, and soy sauce may contain gluten. Soy is one of the most common allergens, alongside other foods such as gluten, dairy, eggs, fish, and peanuts. However, what is soy? And is it bad for those who live with celiac disease? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Soy?
Soy simply describes foods that are made from soybeans. Soy is a variety of legumes which you’ll usually come across in East Asia. Soybeans (or soy) have a huge variety of uses and it’s more popular in everyday foods than you may think.
There are many products that derive from soybeans, including foods like tofu, soy milk, and edamame.
Nutritional Information For Soybeans
Soybeans contain the following nutritional value per 100g:
- Calories: 172
- Protein: 18g
- Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 8g
- Sugar: 3g
- Fiber: 6g
Health Benefits Of Soy
If eaten in moderation, as part of a healthy balanced diet, soy can bring a whole host of potential benefits to your life. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of adding soy to your diet.
- May help cholesterol levels. Research has shown that if you eat foods that are rich in soy, it may help lower the bad levels, but elevate the good ones
- Heart Health. Legumes are known for being an anti-inflammatory, so if you’re looking for a way to maintain a healthy heart – including soy in your diet is a good idea
- Blood Pressure. The amino acids that you find in soy are thought to help balance out your blood pressure levels
- Strengthening Bones. As it’s a good source of calcium, soy can be a good way to maintain muscle and promote bone strength.
Dangers Of Soy
Like with most foods, if you eat too much, it can become dangerous. Unfortunately, soy is no different – this is why it’s important to enjoy soy in moderation. The dangers of soy can be:
- Digestive issues
- Your body’s ability to absorb nutrients
- GMO. Soy is definitely not non-GMO
However, eating soy as part of a balanced diet is healthy, and good for you.
Read more about: Is Soybean Oil Gluten-Free?
Is Soy Gluten Free?
When we talk about soy, we are talking about soybeans or the protein you’ll find in soybeans. However, both of them are completely gluten-free and safe to consume when following a gluten-free diet.
Is Soy Sauce Gluten Free?
No. Traditional soy sauce is not gluten-free. However, it isn’t unsafe because of the soy. It’s unsafe as wheat is usually one of the main ingredients in soy sauce. Wheat is a gluten protein and should not be consumed on a gluten-free diet. However, there are plenty of gluten-free soy sauces available, which are made with rice, as opposed to wheat. And there’s also tamari which is a naturally gluten-free soy sauce.
Learn more about: Does Soy Sauce Have Gluten? ( GF Soy Sauce Recipe)
Is Soy Flour Gluten Free?
Soy flour is naturally gluten-free flour. Many gluten intolerant individuals or celiacs use soy flour as an alternative for wheat flour – and it’s a great substitute! However, it’s important to mention that if you’re buying soy flour, please always buy from a brand that carries a clear gluten-free label.
Varying types of flour are usually harvested and milled in the same place…this includes wheat flour too! This means that if your soy flour isn’t certified gluten-free, or doesn’t carry a gluten-free label, it may have been a victim of cross-contact. Cross contact is when a non-gluten product comes into contact with a product that does contain gluten. Therefore means that the final product may contain traces of gluten, after all.
Don’t be too disheartened though – there are plenty of gluten-free soy flour options available! Bob’s Red Mill is my go-to brand.
I hope this article has helped to answer the question: is soy gluten-free? And also gives you an idea of which soy products you need to be wary of when following a gluten-free diet. Just be mindful of eating too many foods rich in soy, and always check the ingredients labels of anything you buy (which I’m sure you’re doing anyway!).
Do you know of any other gluten-free soy flour brands? Or have anything you’d like to share? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Sharing is caring!
Is Soy Bad for Celiac Disease?
Absolutely not. As we've seen, soy is naturally gluten free; therefore completely okay for celiacs to eat. Something that is worth noting however, is that many celiacs (particularly when their gut is recovering from the gluten) may have other intolerances or foods they're sensitive too. It's worth keeping this in mind if you're still experiencing symptoms after removing gluten from your diet.
How do You Know if You’re Allergic to Soy?
If you're allergic to soy, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms after eating it: tingling mouth, itchy skin, hives, swelling (particularly around the face), breathing issues, coughing, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and flushing. If you suspect you have an allergy to soy, your doctor will likely be able to test this with either a blood test or a skin prick test. Both of which are relatively pain free, and give quick results.
Is Soy Protein Gluten Free?
Soy protein is found in soybeans. And of course, we know that soybeans are naturally gluten free. So we can safely conclude that soy protein is gluten free too.
Is Soy Milk Gluten Free?
The answer to this is a little more tricky. The answer is: mostly. While soy milk is naturally gluten free, sometimes brands will add flavorings or additives to the milk to either make it taste better, or give it a longer shelf life. If this is the case, the soy milk may not be gluten free. If you're unsure, check the ingredients label. If there's any gluten containing products in the milk, it will clearly state so on the label.
Hi, my name’s Zoë. I’m 28 years old and live in London, UK. I work full time as a freelance writer and critic for West End theatre. Writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I spend most of my free time at the theatre, or at conventions. I’m married to the love of my life, and live in a small apartment with my fur baby, Lillie. I run two of my own blogs: No Safer Place and Stage to Page: both of which have won awards. I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about all things stagey.