Soybean is a legume that is used by many across the globe. It contains several beneficial nutrients that can benefit your health in many ways. It can also be made into oil that has impressive benefits in terms of health.
Soybean oil is not as common as other vegetable oil. It is produced by extracting the oil from the seeds of the soybean plant. According to a study that reviewed world soybean oil production, about 56 million metric tons of soybean oil were consumed around the world between 2018 and 2019 only. This makes one of the most used cooking oils. It can be used in baking, frying, and roasting. Soybean oil has been linked to many health benefits, including improved skin and heart health. this article looks at the potential health benefits and side effects of soybean.
1. High Smoke Point
When fats are heated to a point where they start to break and oxidize, then it is said that they have reached their smoke point. This is not any better as it can result to formation of harmful compounds called free radicals. When free radicals accumulate in the body that can lead to oxidative stress. Soybean oil, however, has a high smoke point of about 230 degrees Celsius. For comparison, extra-virgin olive oil has a smoke point of about 191 degrees Celsius while canola oil attains its smoke point at 220-230 degrees Celsius. For this reason, soybean oil can be used in cooking methods that require high heating, such as baking, sauteing, frying, and roasting. This is because it can such temperatures without breaking down or oxidizing.
2. High In Heart-Friendly Fats
Soybean oil consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are a type of fat-friendly to your heart health and can benefit your health in several ways. As a matter of fact, studies indicate that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. It is claimed that it can lower risk for heart disease by 10 percent. Swapping saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats can also lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) “bad” cholesterol, which is a contributing factor to the development of heart disease.
3. May Support Bone Health
As per the Food Data Central of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 15 ml, which is 1 tablespoon of soybean oil offers 25 mcg of vitamin K. This is equivalent to 20 percent of your recommended daily intake for vitamin K. This vitamin is mostly known for its role in blood clotting. However, it may also have effects on the regulation of bone metabolism. Studies suggest that vitamin K plays a role in the formation of certain proteins, such as osteocalcin that are used in the maintenance of bone mass. Researchers believe that including foods rich in polyunsaturated fats in your diet can reduce bone loss that comes with advanced age. Similarly, taking foods rich in vitamin K can reduce bone fracture risk. What’s more, soybean oil may reduce inflammatory markers and help put blood and bone mineral levels in harmony. This strongly suggest that it can reduce bone loss. However, most of these findings are limited to animal studies. Therefore, more human studies should be conducted to isolate its effects on treating bone problems in humans.
4. High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Soybean oil contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in just a single serving. Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with numerous health benefits and are involved in heart health, brain function, development of fetus, and immunity. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce inflammation, which is believed to precipitate the development of many chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis. Soybean oil contains an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). However, ALA is poorly converted to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Considering this, soybean oil is not a perfect option to source DHA and EPA, which are the important for proper functioning of cells. Additionally, even if soybean oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, it also contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. While your body needs both of these fats, omega-6 fats may cause inflammation and lead to chronic diseases. To help balance these fats, you can alternate or pair soybean oil with other foods rich in omega-3 fats like salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds.
5. Promotes SkinHealth
Manufacturers of beauty products often include soybean oil in products like serums, lotions, and gels. Studies suggest that soybean oil may promote skin health. according to the National Institutes of Health, applying soybean oil to the skin can improve its natural barrier that helps hold water and maintain moisture. It has also been found that topical application of soybean oil can reduce skin inflammation that is often caused by ultraviolet radiation. Additionally, soybean oil is high in vitamin E, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This may help reduce skin inflammation and support its health. Similarly, vitamin E has been shown to prevent skin damages and treat specific skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis and acne.
6. Easy To Add To Your Diet
Soybean oil is versatile and can be used in nearly all recipes that require cooking oil. It can be used to make a salad dressing by pairing it with vinegar or dash of pepper. Since it has a high smoke point, soybean oil can be used in baking, sauteing, frying, and roasting. You can easily replace vegetable oil or canola oil with soybean oil. It can also be applied directly on the skin as a moisturizer.
While it has impressive health benefits, soybean oil may have some downsides. It contains high amounts of omega-6 fats. Processed foods that are consumed in large amounts contain more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. If they are not balanced, omega-6 fats can lead to chronic inflammation, obesity, and cognitive decline. Soybean oil is also thought to increase markers of inflammation.
Soybean oil is a widely used cooking oil with impressive health benefits. It may promote skin health and prevent bone loss, just to mention a few. Since it has a high smoke point, it is easy to bake and roast with it.
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