Nutrition

Shopping for Soybean Oil

Have you ever been overwhelmed walking down the aisle of cooking oils at the grocery store? You are not alone. With so many options and the abundance of information available, it can be hard to choose.

Most consumers are looking for a options that provide good fats for their family. Soybean oil is a choice that more than fits the bill. You may not think of soybean oil as an option because it is not often labeled as such on the store shelves. Did you know that most “vegetable oils” are 100% soybean oil? Take a look at the ingredients label next time to see for yourself.

Soybean oil is praised for its versatility. Here are just a few uses for soybean oil at home:

  • Sautéing: Soybean oil has a neutral flavor profile and high heat stability.
  • Deep frying: This oil has lower levels of polymerization, which can cause buildup on cooking equipment such as fryers (at home or commercially).
  • Baking: Soybean oil provides favorable and desirable end products.
  • Dressings: The neutral flavor of soybean oil serves as a vessel to let the intended dressing flavors shine through.

On top of its flexibility, soybean oil also contains many health benefits that consumers are looking for. It is a heart healthy option because it contains poly- and monosaturated fats. It contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is one of the few non-fish sources of omega-3s, which some studies suggest that people who get more omega-3s may have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.

Soybean oil is also a good source of vitamin E that can be included in the U.S. diet. Most Americans do not meet the estimated average requirement (EAR) for vitamin E, even though it is important for vision, skin, and brain health. Additionally, soybean oil does not promote inflammation.

In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even recognized soybean oil for its cardiovascular health benefits with a qualified health claim. It states, “Supportive but not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1½ tablespoons (20.5 grams) daily of soybean oil, which contains unsaturated fat, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. To achieve this possible benefit, soybean oil is to replace saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.”

Some may be concerned about food allergies since soy is one of the top nine allergens in the U.S. However, even those with a soy allergy can safely consume highly refined soybean oil without having an allergic reaction because it does not contain the soy protein (which is what causes the allergic reaction).

High oleic soybean oil (HOSO) is a newer innovation of soybean oil that commercial operations have been utilizing. HOSO, which is higher in monounsaturated fat, provides several benefits such as extended shelf life for processed foods and extended fryer life for the food industry. It also provides heart health benefits while delivering a neutral taste profile.

Lastly, both soybean oil and high oleic soybean oil are U.S. grown. The soybeans used to make these oils are grown by U.S. farmers, making them an economical choice. With the heart health benefits and ability to support our soybean farmers, soybean oil is a winning choice for you and your family.

Sources and references:

  1. https://www.qualisoy.com/food-industry-solutions/fats-and-oils-ingredient-portfolio
  2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/#h7
  3. https://thesoynutritioninstitute.com/soybean-oil/
  4. https://www.soyconnection.com/docs/default-source/brochures/soybean-oil-for-health-fact-sheet.pdf?sfvrsn=845aa1b9_0
  5. https://www.soyconnection.com/uses-of-soybeans/soybean-oil
Kaci Vohland

Registered Dietitian

Communique, Inc.