A diet high in soybean oil causes more obesity and diabetes than a diet high in fructose, a sugar commonly found in soda and processed foods, UC Riverside researchers found. Illustration credit: Denise Wolf
A diet high in soybean oil causes more obesity and diabetes than a diet high in fructose, a sugar commonly found in soda and processed foods, UC Riverside researchers found. Illustration credit: Denise Wolf

There was intense marketing of Soybean during last 35 years. From doctors to dietitians to Govt of India. Everyone praised it and promoted it. We ate it bindas! We grow it mindlessly! Even in regions where Soya was never sown! 🙂

At the cost of what?

Our traditional oils. Groundnut, sesame (til), coconut. Blaming them unhealthy.

Read this research. In one diet the researchers used coconut oil, which consists primarily of saturated fat. In the second diet about half of the coconut oil was replaced with soybean oil, which contains primarily polyunsaturated fats and is a main ingredient in vegetable oil. That diet corresponded with roughly the amount of soybean oil Americans currently consume.Compared to mice on the high coconut oil diet, mice on the high soybean oil diet showed increased weight gain, larger fat deposits, a fatty liver with signs of injury, diabetes and insulin resistance, all of which are part of the Metabolic Syndrome.

So called healthy Soya is even more risky than fructose we eat in processed food.

This Soya oil is now part of most if not all fast food, including chocolates and biscuits.

Many Soya defenders argue that Chinese are eating Soya for 1000s of years but they are not fat. 🙂 Well, as I discussed many times, all food sources are valid in their local environments. Chinese have proper environment to help digest Soya. We don’t have! And we don’t even cook soya the way Chinese or Japanese or anyone in cold region cooks.

And what we eat as Soybean is way different than what Chinese and Japanese used to eat. Our Soybean is 95% genetically modified!

Local traditions is solution. Eat what your grandmother cooks or eat. Eat what people of your region generally eat. Do not get trapped under the illusion of fancy ads and adopt exotic food.

Same is the case of Sunflower oil. It is for Europeans. Not for us.

Replace your oil intake with more local options. Unrefined oils.


The study also includes extensive analysis of changes in gene expression and metabolite levels in the livers of mice fed these diets. The most striking results were those showing that soybean oil significantly affects the expression of many genes that metabolize drugs and other foreign compounds that enter the body, suggesting that a soybean oil-enriched diet could affect one’s response to drugs and environmental toxicants, if humans show the same response as mice.

The obesity epidemic in the U.S. has led to extensive research into potential contributing dietary factors, especially fat and fructose. Recently, increased consumption of soybean oil, which is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), has been proposed to play a causal role in the epidemic. Here, we designed a series of four isocaloric diets (HFD, SO-HFD, F-HFD, F-SO-HFD) to investigate the effects of saturated versus unsaturated fat, as well as fructose, on obesity and diabetes. C57/BL6 male mice fed a diet moderately high in fat from coconut oil and soybean oil (SO-HFD, 40% kcal total fat) showed statistically significant increases in weight gain, adiposity, diabetes, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance compared to mice on a diet consisting primarily of coconut oil (HFD). They also had fatty livers with hepatocyte ballooning and very large lipid droplets as well as shorter colonic crypt length. While the high fructose diet (F-HFD) did not cause as much obesity or diabetes as SO-HFD, it did cause rectal prolapse and a very fatty liver, but no balloon injury. The coconut oil diet (with or without fructose) increased spleen weight while fructose in the presence of soybean oil increased kidney weight. Metabolomics analysis of the liver showed an increased accumulation of PUFAs and their metabolites as well as γ-tocopherol, but a decrease in cholesterol in SO-HFD. Liver transcriptomics analysis revealed a global dysregulation of cytochrome P450 (Cyp) genes in SO-HFD versus HFD livers, most notably in the Cyp3a and Cyp2c families. Other genes involved in obesity (e.g., Cidec, Cd36), diabetes (Igfbp1), inflammation (Cd63), mitochondrial function (Pdk4) and cancer (H19) were also upregulated by the soybean oil diet. Taken together, our results indicate that in mice a diet high in soybean oil is more detrimental to metabolic health than a diet high in fructose or coconut oil.


Soybean Oil Causes More Obesity Than Coconut Oil and Fructose