Dietary guidelines for many Western countries base their edible oil and fat recommendations solely on saturated fatty acid content. This study aims to demonstrate which nutritional and bioactive components make up commonly consumed edible oils and fats; and explore the health effects and strength of evidence for key nutritional and bioactive components of edible oils. An umbrella review was conducted in several stages. Food composition databases of Australia and the United States of America, and studies were examined to profile nutrient and bioactive content of edible oils and fats. PUBMED and Cochrane databases were searched for umbrella reviews, systematic literature reviews of randomized controlled trials or cohort studies, individual randomized controlled trials, and individual cohort studies to examine the effect of the nutrient or bioactive on high-burden chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, cancer, mental illness, cognitive impairment). Substantial systematic literature review evidence was identified for fatty acid categories, tocopherols, biophenols, and phytosterols. Insufficient evidence was identified for squalene. The evidence supports high mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acid compositions, total biophenol content, phytosterols, and possibly high α-tocopherol content as having beneficial effects on high-burden health comes. Future dietary guidelines should use a more sophisticated approach to judge edible oils beyond saturated fatty acid content.
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