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Soybeans are one of the most popular sources of proteins available for vegetarians and vegans. Soybeans’ combination of protein and high fat make it a sought-after food by health freaks. How healthy is soybean oil for human consumption and is it a better option compared to others? Continue reading to find out.
Nutritional Profile of Soybean Oil
Here are some nutritional facts about soybean oil and why it has health benefits. The values are based on a serving size of 100g.
|Energy||884 kcal||Iron||0.05 mg|
|Protein||0 g||Zinc||0.01 mg|
|Total fats||100 g||Vitamin E||8.18 mg|
|Fatty acids, saturated||15.65 g||Vitamin K||183.9 µg|
|Fatty acids monounsaturated||22.78 g|
|Fatty acids polyunsaturated||57.74 g|
|Fatty acids, trans fat||0.53 g|
How is Soyabean Oil Beneficial for Health and Beauty?
As an excellent source of essential fats, phytochemicals and protein, it is used by many around the world. Here are some of the health benefits of soybean oil for the body.
1. Nourishes and Protects the Skin
Soybean oil is rich in antioxidants, isoflavones, linoleic acid and vitamins that are essential for the skin. Thanks to its nutritional value, the benefits of soybean oil for the skin are plenty. Topical application of soybean oils helps protect the skin from UVB rays of the sun and prevents cancers of the skin and ageing.
It protects the skin from free-radical damage and lowers the transepidermal water loss which keeps the skin soft and moisturised. It also prevents the loss of collagen and keeps the skin elastic.
2. Helps Treat Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disorder which affects millions of old people around the world. Vitamin K has been tied to improving the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and even reversing some of its effects. Soybean oil contains high levels of Vitamin K which is helpful in fighting this disease. Vitamin K is also a powerful antioxidant that keeps the brain and body protected from free radical damage.
3. Supports Healthy Hair Growth
The advantages of soybean oil for hair include controlling hair fall and balding in both men and women. Numerous factors lead to hair fall such as stress, anxiety, genetic predisposition, hormonal imbalances, malnutrition and pollution. The factors contribute to reduced strength in the hair strands and improper growth.
Soybean oil and its products contain essential nutrients required for the growth of healthy hair. The amino acids help in building stronger keratin layers in the hair fibres which strengthen them naturally.
4. Good for Bone Growth
As women age, bone loss takes over their bodies as estrogen levels drop leading to conditions such as osteoporosis. Estrogen is needed for the regulation metabolism of bone tissue, and its deficiency can lead to the loss of bone density, weakness and fractures.
Soybean oil is rich in phytosterol chemicals called isoflavones. These are plant-derived polyphenol compounds that are similar to estrogen in their function. They capture free radicals and bind to the bone’s estrogen receptors to stimulate healthy bone growth.
5. Protects Vision
Soybean oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are needed to maintain cell membranes and help protect them, especially around the eyes and delicate portions of the skin which are easy entry points for microbes.
6. Prevents Anaemia
Soybean oil, being rich in many of the essential nutrients, is a good oil to include in vegetarian and vegan diets. One of the diseases common to groups of people who avoid meat is anaemia. Caused by the lack of iron in the diet, it can lead to weakness and disorders of other types. Soybean oil is rich in iron, and regular consumption of this oil in the daily diet can help supplement the all-important iron.
7. Relieves Menopausal Symptoms
Estrogen levels in women’s bodies drop as they get close to menopause, causing drastic changes in their hormonal levels, body functions and moods. The isoflavones present in soybean oil act similar to estrogen and bind with the estrogen receptor cells in the body.
This eases many of the negative symptoms of menopause that women experience around this time such as mood swings, hot flashes and pangs of hunger.
8. Prevents Certain Types of Cancer
Being rich in antioxidants makes soybean oil an effective tool in fighting cancer of various kinds. Free radicals are molecules that are produced as a natural byproduct of cellular metabolism. When left unchecked, they can cause damage to the body. Antioxidants are compounds that bind with free radicals produced in the body to neutralise their harmful effects. Soybean products aside, the oil is also high in fibre content which makes them effective against colon cancer.
9. Prevents Congenital Disabilities
During the early stages of the baby’s development in the womb, there are essential nutrients such as Vitamin B and folic acid that are critical for the formation of the nervous system of fetuses. A lack of essential nutrients around this time can cause severe congenital disabilities in babies. Soybean oil and its derivatives are rich in both Vitamin B and folic acid. A regular diet consisting of soybean oil before conception can help build enough stores of essential nutrients in the woman’s body to help with fetal development.
10. Helps Fight Sleep Disorders
Regular consumption of soybean oil and soy derivatives can stabilise various aspects of the body’s metabolism. This will help regulate the body’s internal clock and stabilize sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Soybean derivatives are rich in magnesium which is directly associated with improving restfulness, the duration and quality of sleep.
Different Ways to Use Soyabean Oil for Cooking and Eating Purpose
Although soybean oil is used in industrial products for the manufacture of resins, soaps, cosmetics, lubricants and other products, it is also widely used in cooking. Because of the benefits of soybean oil for cooking, it also has plenty of uses.
- Cooking oil
- Oil in salad dressing
- Tenderness agent in margarine and in baked goods
- Emulsifying agent
- Agent in preparing smooth icings and fillings
- Component of crispy crusts, crackers, wafers, bread, etc.
- Ingredient in barbeque sauces and mayonnaise
- High-fat deep-frying process
Are There Any Side Effects of Using Soybean Oil?
Although the oil is versatile with many benefits, it comes with downsides. Here are some soybean oil disadvantages:
- Soy products, including the oil, have shown to hinder thyroid functioning in iodine-deficient individuals. When patients with hypothyroidism consume soy products, the isoflavones in the soy hinder the absorption of synthetic thyroid supplements. It shows a false negative response to the treatment. Therefore the dose can sometimes be unnecessarily increased to bridge the gap.
- During the early 20th century, vegetable oils were mostly unknown; in contrast, they’re everywhere these days, and the increase in obesity correlates with the consumption of vegetable oils such as soybean oil. The consumption of soybean oil is shown to increase weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes as per studies.
- Soybean oil can increases the chances of diabetes. The polyunsaturated fatty acids in oils are broken down by the body, and their derivatives accumulate in some of the organs such as liver and kidneys. This leads to an increase in weight, further leading to inflammation and diabetes. The saturated fatty acids also cause obesity by fat deposition under the skin.
- The complex phytochemical composition of soybean derivatives can cause an allergic reaction in babies. Such children from vegetarian or vegan families can develop nausea, severe rashes and fever when given soy derivatives such as milk or oil.
- Soybean derivatives such as milk and oil have compounds that mimic the female sex hormone estrogen. It can cause hormonal imbalances in men when they consume a lot of soy products. It can lead to disorders such as gynecomastia and other problems such as low sperm count, infertility, sexual dysfunction and a higher disposition to developing certain types of cancers.
- Soybean oil increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Even though the food industry markets soybean oil as good for the heart, science shows that the effect really is the opposite. Soybean oil is mostly polyunsaturated fat. These vegetable oils oxidise when exposed to heat in the process of cooking. Consuming these oxidised fats has a negative effect on blood pressure, cholesterol levels and inflammation.
- Soybean oil is manufactured using harsh chemicals that can be unhealthy. For example, unlike the production of avocado oil which uses cold pressing to squeeze the oil out of the fruit and is bottled, soybean requires multiple stages of heat, solvent treatment, bleach and deodorisers. The enormous amount of chemical refining may have a detrimental effect on the oil.
Soybean oil has plenty of nutritional benefits that are great for vegetarians and vegans. However, people who have a history of cardiovascular disease and obesity should exercise caution before making a significant switch.