Just What Is Soy Lecithin and Why Is It In Just About Everything?

If you scrutinize food labels like me, you’ll probably recognize the name Soy Lecithin. It’s in everything from cereals to snack foods to energy bars. It’s included in as an additive in hundreds of food products including pastas, soy milk, breads and even some meats.

soylecithin
Soy Lecithin in granule form.  It’s also sold in capsule form as a dietary supplement.

If you have an allergy to MSG and/or soy (I’m allergic to both), seeing it listed as an ingredient is an automatic alarm to put whatever it is you’re holding, down.

So what is Soy Lecithin? It’s actually a waste product. It’s the gummy, waste residue left over after Soybean Oil is processed. It’s whitish/yellowish in color when cooled, and has the consistency of soft plastic. It also contains solvents and pesticides.

It’s used as an additive in such foods as dark chocolate, and as a supplement in any food  product you see marked, “protein enriched.” It is most commonly used as an emulsifier to keep water and fats from separating in foods such as margarine, peanut butter, chocolate candies, ice cream, coffee creamers and infant formulas.  It also helps prevent product spoilage, extending the product’s shelf life in the marketplace.

While Soy Lecithin is supposed to be a way to add soy to a product, in reality, there are only minute traces of soy in it. But you should note that just the presence of any soy product can trigger an MSG allergy.

Remember, ANY soy product can trigger an MSG allergy whether it’s an additive or just cooked in soybean oil.

Studies have linked Soy Lecithin to breast and pancreatic cancers, and a deterioration of brain cells.

One of the best ways to avoid having it in your diet is to avoid ANYTHING that is marketed as protein enriched and doing your best to eliminate processed foods from your diet. Soy Lecithin will usually appear as either the first, second, or next-to-last ingredient on the package.

Continue to check your labels!

NEXT: The oils you should NEVER cook with if you have an MSG allergy.

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