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Dr. Barb, the Nutrition Budgeteer

Helping families eat healthier for less

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Oils & Fats Comparison Chart
Before purchasing vegetable oils and fats, keep in mind which ones provide good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), bad fats (saturated fats), and really bad fats (trans fats). It is important to compare nutrition per serving, as well, to get the most value for your dollar.
Starting at the bottom of the chart, fats are listed in order of the greatest amount of trans fats then by the greatest amounts of saturated fats. 
 Fat (1 tablespoon)

Est. Cost




Monounsaturated Fats**



Polyunsaturated Fats**



Saturated Fats**


"Really Bad"

Trans Fats**


safflower oil$.09
canola oil$.04     8.9    3.9 1.0 
grapeseed oil$.32    2.2 9.51.3 
flaxseed oil$.09    2.7   9.0 1.3 
sunflower oil$.06    2.7    8.9 1.4 
corn oil$.05   3.8   7.41.8 
olive oil$.19   9.9   1.4 1.9 
peanut oil$.06   6.2    4.3 2.3 
chicken fat  5.7   2.73.8 n/a 
lard (pork fat)$.06   5.8    1.4 5.0 n/a 
butter$.15   3.7     0.5 7.9 
margarine (tub)$.08   5.2     3.8 2.0 0.8 
vegetable shortening$.08  5.3     3.6 3.2 1.7 
margarine (stick)$.05 5.4    3.4 1.6 2.1 
   * determined the prices given here by reviewing food products at Mid-Atlantic supermarkets or stores in March 2011. If an item was found to be on sale, it is noted. Food items are either “store brand” or “branded” products. The later refers to nationally available branded products. The prices you find may vary, depending on your location and retailer.
** All nutritional values were obtained from USDA’s Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23.
Dr. Barb's Analysis: Looking at this chart, canola oil is a very good choice, both economically and nutritionally. Choose oils that are lowest in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Saturated and trans fats are "bad" fats because they raise your LDL-cholesterol (bad) which can increase yor risk for heart disease.
Click here to download this Oil & Fats Comparison chart and information.