What is Soy Lecithin?

Find out the details on soy lecithin, which you've probably seen on quite a few ingredient lists when you've purchased packaged foods.

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Soy lecithin is a commonly used food additive found in many packaged and processed foods such as baked goods, pasta, bread, ice cream, chocolate, margarine, dressings and creams because of its ability to preserve and emulsify. It keeps oil and water from separating, solidifies, delays rancidity, reduces spattering in a frying pan and keeps dough from sticking, which leads to fluffier baked goods.

Soy lecithin is a by-product of the production of soybean oil and is extracted from soybeans either mechanically or chemically. There are a couple of reasons to beware of soy lecithin: Approximately 93% of the soybean crop in the US is genetically modified (yep, more GMO talk) and it is one of the cheapest crops to produce, making it an extremely popular (and processed) food emulsifier used in packaged foods. It’s best to avoid foods containing soy lecithin because of the processing it undergoes and consume organic soy in its natural state instead.

Registered dietitians Tiffani Bachus and Erin Macdonald are the co-founders and creators of URockGirl.com, a website dedicated to promoting wellness and a healthy, balanced lifestyle.