Is Soy Lecithin Vegan?

Is Soy Lecithin Vegan

Soy lecithin is a common ingredient in many processed foods. Being one of the most commonly used food additives on the market today, you’re unquestionably already consuming it, whether intentionally or unintentionally. And because of its high nutrient content, some people use it as a supplement.

If you’re a vegan, you’re probably concerned about the ingredients in soy lecithin. Soy lecithin and sunflower lecithin are the two most common lecithins encountered by vegans.

Both of these, as the names suggest, are derived from plants (soy and sunflowers). However, just because a product is derived primarily from a plant does not imply that it is vegan.

Then the question becomes, is soy lecithin vegan? That is what we will discuss in this article how soy lecithin is made and whether you should include it in your vegan diet.

What is Soy Lecithin?

Lecithin is a food additive derived from a variety of sources, one of which is soy. When added to food, it is commonly used as an emulsifier or lubricant, but it also serves as an antioxidant and flavor protector. Dietary supplements, ice cream, dairy products, powdered milk, breads, margarine, and other processed food contain soy lecithin.

What is Soy Lecithin made of?

What is Soy Lecithin made of

The most debatable part among the vegan is usually “what is soy lecithin made of”. Lecithin occurs naturally in many foods, lecithin supplements are typically derived from eggs, soy, or sunflower seeds. Lecithin is also obtained from canola, cottonseed, or animal fats.

Soy is a cost-effective source of lecithin. Chemicals, including acetone and hexane, are used to extract lecithin from soybean oil.

Also Read: Is Canola Oil Vegan?

Major Concerns Vegans should consider before using Soy Lecithin

When people choose to live a vegan lifestyle, they must adhere to a number of rules. Some adhere to strict veganism and will not support businesses that exploit animals in any way, whereas others simply look at the ingredient list to determine whether a product is vegan-friendly or not.

So there are some concerns that vegans should consider before deciding whether or not to make or add any changes to their vegan lifestyle.

1. Health Risks

In terms of protecting animals and providing numerous health benefits, soy lecithin has a few potential risks that vegans who are concerned about their health should be aware of. Among these are the following:

  • Diseases and nutrient deficiencies: The majority of today’s soy comes from genetically modified (GMO) crops. Throughout the GMO manufacturing process, allergens, toxins, and carcinogens are produced. These toxins can have a number of negative effects on your health, including pregnancy complications, infertility, and an increased risk of cancer.
  • Toxic buildup: Hexane is used in the filtration of soy lecithin from soybeans, which causes toxic buildup. Over time, an accumulation of this chemical can lead to nausea, fatigue, neurological conditions, and even liver and kidney problems.

2. Labelling

Check for Soy Lecithin Labelling

Food manufacturers are becoming more conscientious about labeling ingredients these days. Here’s how it might be labeled by manufacturers.

  • Soy lecithin
  • Lecithin (from soy)
  • Soy lecithin
  • Lecithin (derived from soya)

There are several minor differences on this, but it is clear that the lecithin used in this case is derived from soy instead of eggs or anything else. Similar labeling is used for sunflower-derived lecithin, which is also vegan-friendly but much less common.

In Europe, lecithin is labeled as E476, which refers to animal-based lecithin, or E322, which refers to a plant-based alternative. However, E322 can be derived from eggs as well.

3. Allergies

Many people are allergic to soybeans, despite their popularity among the vegan community. Soy is one of the top eight allergenic foods. The allergens are found in the protein component of soybeans.

Soy lecithin is developed using a hot-solvent extraction method, which ensures that most, if not all, allergenic proteins are removed. However, there will still be tiny amounts of soy protein in lecithin. Those with severe soy allergies may still react to soy lecithin, despite the low risk of reaction.

4. Deforestation

Another growing concern about soy is its environmental impact. To begin with, the overwhelming bulk of soy plants grown in agriculture today are genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It comes to a plant-based product being vilified because of the negative environmental impact of its cultivation.

This is particularly concerning when biologically diverse forested land is completely cleared to plant hundreds of hectares of a monocultural clone. In addition, while clearing forests, many animals are cruelly killed and displaced from their habitat.

5. Genetically Modified

Is Soy Lecithin Vegan?

Soy is one of the most widely used genetically modified crops in the world. The GM type is thought to account for roughly 80% of total production.

There are numerous ethical issues associated with GMO practices.

One common criticism leveled at GMO products is that they have not even been exposed to enough long-term research to determine their safety for human consumption. Soy, on the other hand, is said to be second. Furthermore, pesticides are commonly used in the cultivation of soy in most parts of the world. A high level of pesticide use is harmful to the environment.

Conclusion

Soy lecithin powder and pure sunflower lecithin are the only forms of lecithin that you can be certain are vegan at first glance. Check the ingredients label on all other lecithin products to ensure there is nothing else included, as non-vegan ingredients are frequently included.

However, the information is available for you to make that decision. If you are not a strict vegan practitioner, then it might be suitable for you, and the same goes the other way. Since this is entirely up to you to decide.

FAQs

Soy Lecithin is free of dairy. Soy cannot be derived from milk or any other food. And since soy lecithin does not contain milk, it should be safe for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.

E322 is the designated E number for lecithins in Europe. Whenever you see E322 listed as an ingredient, you are in the same situation as if it just said “Lecithin.”

E322 includes lecithin derived from soya as well as lecithin derived from egg, dairy, or anything else. It would be incorrect to assume that it is vegan because it may contain eggs unless it is clearly labeled as such marked on the packaging.

Since soy lecithin is derived from soybeans, people who are allergic to soybeans have reported allergic hypersensitivity to soy lecithin. In addition, studies show that lecithin supplementation can help lower low-density cholesterol while not lowering high-density cholesterol.

However, soy lecithin is not unsafe to consumeIt is also used in health supplements and is being studied scientifically for a variety of health benefits.

Also Read: Vegan Diet and Cholesterol | How Do They Relate?

Some people take lecithin supplements to help them lose weight. The primary function of lecithin is to act as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers have the power to break down fats from food and aid in the reduction of dietary cholesterol absorption. As a result, using lecithin promotes fat splitting, absorption, and digestion.

Many soy products, including soy lecithin, are highly processed. Soy lecithin is not a keto ingredient. Soy products contain a lot of phytates, which are other soy-derived substances that can trigger gut inflammation. For these reasons, experts advise that people on the keto diet avoid soy lecithin.

People with kidney disease should limit their consumption of egg yolks and avoid taking lecithin supplements. They are more likely to be the result of a choline deficiency. Choline, also known as lecithin. Choline deficiency is uncommon. However, it can cause a variety of kidney problems or infections.


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