Soybean oil is common in most processed foods. It ranks second only to palm oil as the most commonly used in the world. Oils labeled ‘vegetable oils’ in the United States are predominantly made from soybeans.
Most consumers take the soybean oil ingredients for granted in their foods and give it very little consideration. However, new research is showing that it is extremely unhealthy and is one of the leading contributors to degenerative diseases that have become so common in modern society. Overall, soybean oil and virtually every other soy product is detrimental to your health and should be avoided.
Second Leading Crop in the United States
In the United States, soybeans are the second leading crop grown throughout the nation’s Heartland. Approximately 90 percent of the crop is genetically modified. However, it does not matter if the soybeans are genetically modified or grown all natural because they still pose significant health risks
The Top Five Health Risks of Soybean Oil
Even overlooking the numerous health risks and toxins found in soy and soy foods, there are even more increased dangers with soybean oil. Research has been showing that the consumption of soybean oil is far from healthy and should be avoided by consumers.
Here are just a few problems with soybean oil:
- Obesity: Historically, soybeans have been considered a healthy, nutritious snack. However, that viewpoint is dramatically changing as research reveals the starling dangers. In the United States, the vast majority of the crops are genetically modified and contains higher fat levels than traditional crops. With the ongoing obesity problems faced by many individuals, the consumption of additional fatty foods is not advisable. It only contributes to the obesity epidemic. Researchers at the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at the University of California revealed that soybean oils are more fattening than fructose.
- Hormones: Soy mimics estrogen in the human body so upsets the entire hormonal balance in both males and females.
- Inflammation: When consumed in moderation and balance Omega 3 and 6 are very healthy. However, high levels of Omega 6, such as those found in soybean oil, increase inflammation in the body. Diabetes, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, and arthritis are all made worse or caused to some degree by consuming excessive amounts of omega-6.
- Heart Problem: Although soy manufactures want to tout it as a heart-healthy option nothing could be further from the truth. When oils are heated a process known as oxidation occurs. Oxidized fats cause a person’s blood pressure to rise.They also increase cholesterol levels and cause inflammation in the body.
- Carcinogenic: Soybean oil is composed of 51 percent linoleic acid, 23 percent oleic acid, 10 percent palmitic acid, 7 percent alpha-linolenic acid, and 4 percent stearic acid. Linoleic acid has been found to increase the risk of cancer, according to researchers at the Wageningen Agricultural University, Department of Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences in the Netherlands. Also, the oxidation process creates an even greater carcinogenic risk.
Hydrogenated Oil Preservation
The oil obtained from the soybeans must go through a preservation method known as hydrogenation. The process extends the product’s shelf life and heat stability. It involves forcing hydrogen through the oil at a high rate of pressure. Without at least partial hydrogenation processing the oils created using soybeans have a very limited shelf life. The hydrogenated preservation process dramatically alters the chemical composition of the product to create altered trans fats. The altered trans fats pose serious health risks.
Solvent Processing Risks
One of the most overlooked aspects of the processing method is the use of solvents. The soybeans husks are removed and discarded for use in animal feeds. The beans are then crushed to remove all oils. It is further processed using hexane, which is a known neurotoxin. The finished product is then bleached to have a more pleasing appearance for the consumer. Finally, it is chemically deodorized to create a more pleasing aroma. The numerous solvents used to finalize the processing regime is staggering and each one poses its own set of health dangers to the consumer.
Dangers of the Hydrogenated Preservation Process
Here are a few dangers of partially and fully hydrogenated oils such as soybean:
- Immune system impairment
- Autoimmune disorders
- Increased cholesterol
- Reproductive disorders
- Bone degeneration
Recent Studies Reveal the Dangers of Soybean Oil
In 2015, the University of California in Riverside did a study of genetically modified soybean oil to determine its health value and dangers. They found that it induces obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver. All three conditions were also found to be promoted by non-genetically modified. The only advantage of the genetically modified oils was the fact that they do not promote insulin resistance.
In the study, researchers fed mice a variety of oils including GMO and non-GMO soybean oils. It was found that out of the all of the oils, the mice suffered obesity, fatty liver, and glucose. Although GMO soybean oil may have very adverse effects then non-GMO it remains an unhealthy choice especially, when compared to olive or coconut oils. .
Soybeans are Naturally Toxic to Humans
Soybeans in their natural state are toxic to humans. They contain enzyme inhibitors that are key to digestion. When the enzymes are disrupted a person suffers from serious gastrointestinal upset. With frequent consumption, their digestive tract becomes incapable of breaking down proteins and the person experiences malnutrition. Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin which causes blood clots to form. They are also filled with other toxins that cause thyroid disruptions.
Soybean Toxins Remain Even After Processing
Manufacturers like to claim that after manufacturing the final product is toxin free but this is not always the case. Even after processing, the final products often contain toxins that target the thyroid gland. Women appear to experience endometriosis after prolonged consumption. It is even further believed that it may contribute to infertility and miscarriages.
Further Dangers in Unfermented Soy-Based Products
Unfermented soy-based products appear to cause even further physical problems after processing:
- Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease: Soybeans contains high levels of aluminum which is extremely toxic to the central nervous system and the brain. Cognitive impairment can occur.
- Kidney Problems: The high levels of manganese increases kidney problems.
- Carcinogenic: Chemical processing causes the buildup of lysinoalanine and nitrosamines which are highly carcinogenic.
- B12 Deficiency: Soy contains a B12 impersonator. The human body thinks it is real B12 and this can make the person to develop a B12 deficiency.
- Endocrine Function: The plant fiber contains phytoestrogens/isoflavones which play havoc with the human endocrine system. This creates infertility and an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Delayed Maturation: The estrogen found in soy-based products delays puberty in boys and often causes mammary growth.
- Early Menses: Young girls may experience early breast development and menses because of the estrogen.
- Thyroid Disorders: The goitrogens contained in soy-based products have been found to spur thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism.
- Pancreatic Disorders: Trypsin inhibitors found in the plant leads to pancreatic disorders.
- Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies: Phytic acid causes calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc deficiencies. This is extremely dangerous in children who often experience stunted growth and malnutrition.
Soy Milk Dangers
Lactose intolerant individuals and babies have started to turn to soy milk believing that it might be a healthier, and easier to digest option. However, the risks of soy-based milk are startling.
- Women and Estrogen: If a woman drinks just two glasses of the milk drink a day her entire menstrual cycle may be altered due to the estrogen levels.
- Infants and Estrogen: Infants fed soy-based formula end up with 20,000 times more estrogen than infants fed formulas that are soy-free. Estimates vary but it is believed that an infant who drinks soy-based formula is consuming approximately five estrogen filled birth control pills per day.
Unfortunately, consumers do not always know the dangers associated with soy and soybean oils. They often buy into the manufacturer’s hype that it is a healthy choice. Even the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared it a heart-healthy option but consumers should beware and research the risks before opting to use foods containing often harmful and toxic soybeans.