After last week’s The Advocate story, “Grocery tour teaches 12 ways to shop and eat healthier,” the Soy Connection reached out to weigh in on the soy-and-inflammation controversy.
During the tour, participants were advised to avoid inflammatory oils, including soybean and canola, often found in store-bought salad dressings.
“All disease is rooted in a state ofl inflammation,” tour guide Kristin West, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Baton Rouge General, told the group.
However, Soybean Connection, the health professional program funded by the United Soybean Board, offered more information and research on the benefits of including soy and its products in one’s daily diet, including:
- The American Heart Association actually rejected concerns about the pro-inflammatory properties of linoleic acid (found in soybean oil), concluding that it is a critical part of a heart-healthy diet. According to the association, the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in soybean oil may help reduce risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol when replacing saturated fats.
- Soybean oil also contains a number of phytosterols, which may help reduce LDL cholesterol (high LDL levels are linked to heart disease risk).
- Soybean oil, the principal source of vitamin E in the U.S. diet, is an especially rich source of γ-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E with specific potential to inhibit inflammation.
Meanwhile, the Arthritis Foundation reports that although the body “needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals.”
Yes, everything in moderation, it seems.