I have long known that soybean oil is one of the least healthy oils for the human body. What I didn’t know is that more than 60% of vegetable oils, in the U.S., are primarily soybean oil. It’s cheap and easily mass-produced. That means it is used widely in processed and prepackaged foods.
In a diet/lifestyle like Keto, this is important. As you are focused on eating healthy whole foods and large amounts of healthy fats to encourage ketosis, a great deal of effort is spent looking at macros of carbs, fats, and proteins. Because we are focused on those, we don’t often differentiate in the quality of fats, just the amount. The polyunsaturated fats (linoleic and linolenic) and Omega-6 fatty acids are part of what make Soybean oil so unhealthy.
For a great breakdown on the science portion, read Brian Stanton’s article at PerfectKeto. He does a great job explaining it.
I want to discuss just one example of the hidden uses of soybean oil. Several years ago (long before I knew about Keto), because I knew Soybean Oil was bad, I switched to Olive Oil based mayonnaise. It must be better, right? Olive oil is good for you! I switched because the brand of Mayo that I used came out with it and I knew it would be good.
The term, from my previous paragraph, “hidden” might be a bit over the top. While the front label touts the wonderful olive oil formula, if you flip it over the first ingredient (besides water) is… Not Olive Oil. Nope, it’s the same soybean oil found in all of their other mayonnaise. There is olive oil, but not as the primary ingredient, despite the front label. Additionally, for those doing keto, our eyes are naturally drawn to the box directly above, which lists our precious macros.
In short, I failed. I failed to actually read the fine print about something that I actually knew about. Many, I am sure, don’t know about the harmful effects of soybean oil. But if you are reading this, now you do!
I did find a great alternative recently, at Costco.
Notice that it is 100% Avocado oil-based. (And, yes, I checked the back too… this time)
Avocado oil, filtered water, and eggs… a much healthier alternative. I am certain that there are others. Learn from my lesson: macros are important, but so are high-quality fats, if you want to remain healthy in your keto lifestyle.
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