Is Soybean Oil Good for You?
Also known as vegetable oil, soybean oil is one of the most popular plant oils in the United States. However, with so many different edible oils on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. In addition, due to common misconceptions about soy and soybean oil, some consumers have lingering doubts around it. Contrary to these beliefs, soybean oil is good for you and carries an FDA-approved heart-health claim.
SOYBEAN OIL AND HEART HEALTH BENEFITS
In 2017, the FDA approved a claim about the heart-healthy benefits of soybean oil. According to scientific research, consuming 1.5 tablespoons of soybean oil every day can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease—a dangerous form of heart disease that prevents your arteries from delivering enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Around 18.2 million Americans are living with coronary heart disease, making it the most common form of heart disease in the U.S.
WHAT MAKES SOYBEAN OIL HEART-HEALTHY?
Soybean oil is a great source of unsaturated fats, such as Alpha-Linoleic Acid (ALA), a plant-derived Omega-3 fatty acid. Our bodies don’t produce Omega-3 fatty acids, so we need to get our daily intake from the food we eat. Unsaturated fat, unlike saturated fat, lowers the cholesterol levels in your blood and may prevent stroke and heart disease.
Studies show that consuming Omega-3s regularly may moderately lower your risk of developing heart disease. ALA Omega-3s may also reduce blood pressure levels. If you’re looking to incorporate more unsaturated fats into your diet, soybean oil is one of the most accessible and affordable sources of Omega-3.
IS SOYBEAN OIL INFLAMMATORY?
In addition to Omega-3 fatty acid, soybean oil is also high in Omega-6 fatty acid, or linoleic acid. According to the American Heart Association, the Omega-6 fatty acids found in soybean oil may reduce the risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol levels when replacing saturated fats.
However, due to older beliefs around Omega-6, there are some lingering fears that soybean oil might increase inflammation in certain populations. In the past, researchers believed that Omega-6 increased inflammation while Omega-3 decreased it. However, the ways in which Omega-3 and Omega-6 interact with inflammatory systems aren’t fully understood and require more research. Instead of telling consumers to prioritize Omega-3 over Omega-6, health organizations around the world now encourage consumers to incorporate a balanced amount of both kinds of fatty acids into their diet. In addition, recent studies on soybean oil and inflammation haven’t been able to find a link between the two.
HOW IS SOYBEAN OIL USED?
Soybean oil boasts a neutral flavor, so it can be used in many different applications in the food industry. It blends well with other fats and oils, making it a common ingredient in margarine, shortenings, dressings, baked goods, and more. Chefs and food companies have been using soybean oil as a budget-friendly replacement for olive and peanut oils for years.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SOYBEAN OIL
Visit our Soy Production page to learn how your favorite soyfoods are made. Debunk some common soy misconceptions and learn why soyfoods deserve a spot on your table by visiting our Soy Myths and Facts page.
Connect with us through our social channels