Vegetable oils: are they healthy? The evidence

This guide is based on scientific evidence, following our policy for evidence-based guides.

It is originally written by Jennifer Calihan, with the latest major update on June 8, 2021. The guide has been thoroughly updated by Franziska Spritzler, RD, in September 2019. It has been medically reviewed by Nicola Guess, RD MPH PhD, on June 8, 2021, and by Dr. Bret Scher, MD, on September 21, 2019.

The guide contains scientific references. You can find these in the notes throughout the text, and click the links to read the peer-reviewed scientific papers. When appropriate we include a grading of the strength of the evidence, with a link to our policy on this. Our evidence-based guides are updated at least once per year to reflect and reference the latest science on the topic.

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Read more about our policies and work with evidence-based guides, nutritional controversies, our writers team and our medical review board.

Disclaimer: Vegetable oils are still often recommended as “heart healthy”. There is high-quality evidence demonstrating that replacing saturated fat with vegetable oils reduces LDL cholesterol levels. But there’s no high-quality evidence that this translates into fewer heart events or lower rates of cardiovascular mortality. Because of lack of evidence of health benefits, potential negative health effects, concerns about the highly refined and unstable nature of these oils and due to evolutionary considerations, we believe that the conventional recommendations about vegetable oils are flawed. Full disclaimer

This guide is written for all readers.

Controversial topics related to vegetable oils, and our take on them, include saturated fats and cholesterol.

Should you find any inaccuracy in this guide, please email

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