Oils used for food preparation are extensive from both animal sources and plant sources. It has recently been suggested that the correct selection is important from a health perspective.

Polyunsaturated oils are believed to be the healthiest oils for salads but generally unsuitable for frying as they oxidise quite quickly and easily with raised temperatures. The oxidation products are associated with atheromatous disease.

For frying the saturated oils are the recommended and of these the so called "tropical oils" and animal fats are considered the best for this use.

Oils with Trans-fats are now considered very unhealthy and as such are being legislated against in the food industry. The legislation came into effect in the US in January 2011. Most of the fast food chains have switched from trans fat containing oils to others.

For a selection of oils and the various sortable criteria a table is given here