Soybean oil is a popular vegetable oil that is valued for its affordability, high smoke point and health benefits. Soybean oil is extracted from the soybean. It often has a dark yellow or faint green color. Standard vegetable oil is often composed of soybean oil. Soybean oil accounts for 80% of all commercial oil used in the United States. This is a good all around oil that can be used for baking, cooking and frying.
Soybean oil is made by extracting oils from the soybean. This is done by cracking the beans and then heating the beans to remove any unnecessary moisture. Next, the beans are sliced and then rolled to extract the oil. Often, commercial brands mix soybean oil with other cheaper oils to make it more affordable. You can also find unrefined soybean oil, which is cold-pressed and expeller-pressed. Often unrefined oils have a stronger flavor, but usually retain a higher nutritional value than refined oils.
Health Benefits of Soybean Oil
Soybean oil contains no cholesterol, which makes it a perfect choice for individuals with heart disease or high cholesterol.
The fats in soybean oil are polyunsaturated which have shown to help reduce total cholesterol, lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels and increase HDL or good cholesterol levels.
Soybean oil has omega-3 fatty acids, which have shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, slow the growth of atherosclerotic plaque, slow the risk of arrhythmias or abnormal heartbeats and decrease triglyceride levels.
Soybeans naturally contain antioxidants, which remain in the oil even after it is pressed. These antioxidants help prevent the damage caused by free radicals, which may help prevent certain cancers.
Per 1 tbsp of soybean oil:
- 120 calories
- 13.6 g fat
- 1.96 g saturated fat
- 7.87 polyunsaturated fat
- 3.17 monounsaturated fat
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 0 mg sodium
- 0 mg potassium
- 0 g carbohydrates
- 0 g fiber
- 0 g protein
One tablespoon of soybean oil provides you with 6% of your daily recommended value of vitamin E.
Negative Effects of Soybean Oil
Many commercial brands of soybean oil are often hydrogenated to help increase their shelf life. By doing this, manufacturers add unhealthy trans fats to the soybean oil, which raises the cholesterol of the product. By using soybean oil with trans fat, you may increase your risk of certain heart diseases.
Uses for Soybean Oil
Soybean oil is often used to make mayonnaise, salad dressing, margarine and non-dairy coffee creamers. Due to the high smoke point of soybean oil, this oil is often used for frying foods. The smoke point of soybean oil is 450 degrees. Soybean oil has a shelf life of one year. It should be stored in a dry, dark place and kept away from heat. Soybean oil can also be kept in the refrigerator.
Soybean oil is a popular oil for cooking because it is so versatile and it has a bland flavor that will not interfere with cooking or baking.
When purchasing soybean oil, consider buying unrefined soybean oil so that you can obtain all the health benefits this oil provides without any of the negative side effects from the added trans fat.