Is Soybean Oil Bad For You?

Whether you realize it or not, soybean oil is one of the most widely used cooking oils in the country. Extracted from the seeds of the soybean plant, this oil is found in many products (via Healthline). The answer to whether or not this oil is good for you depends largely on how much of it you eat and how often. According to Healthline, it does have quite a few health benefits. Soybean oil has a high smoke point, which means it can be used to cook foods at a high heat without oxidizing and exposing your body to free radicals that can lead to disease. It also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are good for your heart, and vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone health.

However, there are some potential downsides to this kind of oil. Soybean oil contains a high amount of omega-6 fats, which can lead to inflammatory diseases. A study in mice found that consuming large amounts of soybean oil was linked to increased body fat, high blood sugar, and fatty liver (via US National Library of Medicine). While soybean oil does offer some health benefits, it is best to consume it sparingly.

Healthy oils to use instead

Regardless of what various diet plans will tell you, fat is essential for a healthy diet. "Our bodies need fats in order to absorb certain fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, along with beta-carotene," Christine Palumbo, RDN, told Everyday Health. Many types of oils offer plenty of health benefits. One of the best oils to cook with is olive oil. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, this food can reduce inflammation, help with joint pain, and even fight against Alzheimer's. Choose extra-virgin olive oil when possible, because these are products that have been processed without any chemicals.

Another great oil to add to your diet is flaxseed oil. This oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids. However, it does not cook well and should be used in cold dishes. Finally, enjoy eating walnut oil. This option primarily contains alpha-linolenic acid, which is another healthy omega-3 fatty acid. "Walnut oil is unrefined and has a very low smoke point, so it should not be used for cooking. It has a rich, nutty flavor and is best for salad dressings and as a flavor booster to finish a dish," said Jessica Levinson, RDN. All of these oils offer many health benefits when added to your diet.