Q&A: Allergic to Soy and Beans

Posted on July 21, 2008

The first person to write in with a request is Chung Nyet Lee, who is facing some difficulty:

I try to advise my sister to go vegan. But she told that she & her daughter are allergic to beans & tofu. If she eat those food, she and her daughter will have skin rashes. I don’t know how to advise her to go vegan, please advise.

Hi Chung.

Many vegans have this issue. Luckily there are many other healthy foods that contain more than enough protein besides beans and tofu. These include lentils, peas, potato, oats, whole grains (wheat etc). Quinoa (“keenwa”) especially is a good alternative to tofu with a high protein content and a balance of amino acids. A good way to eat Quinoa is pasta or spaghetti.

If someone wants to be vegn, this is not a problem. So, you have to make it easy for your sister to want to be vegn, by firstly informing and secondly showing her.

Firstly make sure she has all the information she needs. Show her that it’s possible so that she doesn’t doubt. Let her know that the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and many other serious health problems are lower for veg*ns.

Secondly show her practically. You know what food she likes – find some dishes that will suit her and fulfil her nutritional needs. I’ll make sure that among the next few dishes there are a few that don’t rely on tofu or beans.

And if I were you, I’d be saying something like… “Hey – you’re my sister! Just try for one week, I’ll help you all I can. If you feel good you can keep going, if you feel bad you can stop!

Best of luck my friend!