US-Grown Soybean Oil Achieves FDA's Qualified Heart Health Claim

Food manufacturers can promote eligible soybean oil products as US grown and now heart healthy.
The FDA authorized the use of a qualified health claim confirming soybean oil's ability to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Soybean oil is the most widely used edible oil in the United States. Most oils sold as vegetable oil are soybean oil.

The new heart healthy claim, which food manufacturers are encouraged to add to the label of qualified soybean oil and soybean oil-containing products*, states, "Supportive but not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 1/2 tablespoons (20.5 g) daily of soybean oil, which contains unsaturated fat, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. To achieve this possible benefit, soybean oil is to replace saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories eaten in a day. One serving of this product contains [x] grams** of soybean oil."

The claim is supported by a comprehensive review of scientific literature and recommendations from governmental and professional organizations.

"We conclude strongly that lowering intake of saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, like those found in soybean oil, will lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease," says Penny M. Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, FAHA, FNLA, FASN, CLS, coauthor of "Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease, A Presidential Advisory from the American Heart Association" published in June 2017.

Most soybean oil is made with U.S.-grown soybeans and has a favorable fatty acid composition, containing 0 g of trans fat and 2 g of saturated fat per 1 tablespoon serving. It's one of the few nonfish sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Soybean oil's US-grown and heart healthy claims are key factors in driving product sales. According to a study conducted by the United Soybean Board, 63% of shoppers are more likely to purchase a product displaying a label stating it was made with US-grown ingredients, and 87% are more likely to purchase US-grown soybean oil after learning the health benefits. Shoppers are asking for sustainable products and trust US-grown ingredients.

"I take pride in growing a sustainable crop that has the ability to positively impact human health and look forward to the opportunity to continue to educate the public about the health benefits of soybean oil," says Nancy Kavazanjian, United Soybean Board farmer-director.

* Qualified products have a minimum of 5 g of soybean oil per reference amount customarily consumed.

** Gram amount varies by product.

— Source: United Soybean Board