This article is brought to you in partnership with the United Soybean Board through Kitchen PLAY.
Choosing cooking oils can be overwhelming, especially if you care about heart health, flavor, smoke points, healthy fats, sustainable farming, greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting U.S. farmers.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there.
In my house, I use vegetable oil as an all-purpose cooking oil.
Let me tell you why that is and share a few recipes where vegetable oil is the best choice of cooking oil.
I use vegetable oil in most of my cooking for several reasons:
- It has a neutral flavor, letting the other ingredients really shine
- It has a high smoke point, meaning I can cook over high heat and sear meats and other ingredients beautifully without the oil smoking, burning, and imparting any odd flavors to the food
- It can be used in a wide variety of recipes, cuisines, and cooking methods
- It is widely available and affordable, making it great for recipes that require lots of oil, such as in baking recipes as a substitute for butter or for deep frying (make sure you check out the vegetable oil recipes at the bottom of this article!)
- It is a heart-healthy fat (more on that later!)
- It is sustainably produced and grown by farmers in the U.S.
Vegetable oil in the U.S.
Vegetable oil is the most widely available cooking oil in the U.S. Did you know that most of the bottled vegetable oil in grocery stores is 100% soybean oil made from soybeans grown in the U.S?
Soybean farming in the U.S.
Most soybean oil sold in the U.S. is grown in the U.S. by U.S. soybean farmers. So, if you’re trying to shop U.S.-made products and support U.S. farmers, vegetable oil is an obvious choice.
Soybeans are the second largest crop in the U.S., with 80 million acres of soybeans planted.
There are more than half a million soybean farmers in the U.S., and most currently employ sustainable farming practices such as crop rotation, reduced tillage, and sustainable water management. That’s a LOT of people trying to make things better. This leads to water and energy use efficiency as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
You can use this interactive map to see how many soybean farms there are in YOUR state. New Jersey has 762 soybean farms. Who knew!
Omega-3 fatty acids in soybean oil
Soybeans are one of the few non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are recognized as the #1 most healthy fat.
Soybean oil is an excellent source of ALA omega-3s (alpha-linoleic omega-3s), which affect heart health and may reduce blood pressure.
Soybean oil has 0 grams trans-fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat per serving.
All of this is so important to me as my husband and I try to eat a healthier diet and make sure that most of the foods we are putting in our bodies have a healthy nutritional profile.
Other benefits of soybean oil
A tablespoon of soybean oil contains 20% DV of vitamin K, which supports blood clotting. Soybean oil also contains vitamin E, which is an anti-inflammatory nutrient that supports skin health (source).
Soybean oil and the keto diet
There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about vegetable oil not being compatible with the keto diet because it is high in carbs. That is absolutely not true. If you look at the ingredient and nutrition labels on the back of vegetable oils, you’ll see that it is made up of 100% oil (fat) and there are 0 carbs per serving.
So, you can see that soybean oil has many health benefits. You’ve probably used it in some of your favorite recipes already that call for vegetable oil.
Here are a few other ways to cook with vegetable oil:
You can use soybean oil for pretty much all of your cooking needs.
- Most vegetable oil sold in the U.S. is soybean oil
- Vegetable oil is a heart-healthy, all-purpose cooking oil suitable for ALL kinds of recipes
- Buying soybean oil means you are supporting the U.S. farming industry and sustainable farming practices
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