Soy oil is the natural oil extracted from whole soybeans. It is the most frequently consumed oil in the United States, accounting for nearly 75 percent of our total vegetable oil intake. Oil sold in the grocery store under the generic name “vegetable oil” is usually 100 percent soyoil. But “vegetable oil” isn’t always soyoil. Be sure to read the label to make sure cooking oils don’t contain fats that are highly saturated like palm kernel oil or coconut oil. Soyoil also is used by the food industry in a variety of products including mayonnaise, coffee creamers, margarine, sandwich spreads and salad dressings.
Using Soy Oil
Use soyoil in any recipe that calls for vegetable oil. Soyoil is light in flavor and has almost no odor. Cooking with soyoil allows the flavor of other foods in a recipe to shine through. Soyoil also has a high smoking point: 440° F. It won’t fill your kitchen with smoke when you are frying at high temperatures.
Like all vegetable oils, soyoil is cholesterol-free. It is also low in saturated fat. Soyoil has a unique blend of two types of fatty acids called omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids in soyoil are similar to the type of fat found in fish oil, which has been shown to support better heart health. Soyoil is 100 percent fat. One teaspoon of soyoil contains about 5 grams of fat and 45 calories.
Although fat is an essential nutrient in the diet, most Americans get too much of this nutrient. Health experts suggest that consumers should get no more than 30 percent of their calories from fat. Many nutritionists feel that fat intake should be as low as 20 percent. Americans currently consume about 37 percent of their calories from fat. The total amount of fat in the diet is just part of the story. When choosing fats to cook with, it is important to choose fats that are high in polyunsaturated and/or monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to reduce blood cholesterol. Soyoil is high in polyunsaturated fat.