Q&A: Soy and gas?

Consumer Reports News: October 15, 2009 10:59 AM

Whenever I drink soy milk I experience gas, cramps, and bloating. Would other
soy foods cause similar distress? —J.K., New York City

You may find certain soy foods easier to digest. The body lacks the necessary enzyme to completely digest the type of carbohydrates in soy milk, soy flour, soybeans, and other legumes, producing uncomfortable gas in susceptible people. However, edamame, or boiled green soybeans, is harvested before the carbs form. And processing removes the carbs from certain other soy foods like tofu, tempeh, miso, and an ingredient called soy protein isolates. You may still be able to enjoy soy milk and flour by taking an alpha galactosidase supplement (Beano), which reduces gas by facilitating digestion of the troublesome carbs. (People with diabetes should check with their doctor before taking Beano, since it produces a type of sugar that might hinder blood-glucose control.)

Read more grom one of our Health Experts on how to reduce intestinal gas and find out if soy foods can help prevent breast cancer.

Photo courtesy of malinki

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