Vegetable Oil Substitutes

The 6 Best Vegetable Oil Substitutes for Healthier Recipes

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When you want to take care of your family, everything that you put on the food that you are cooking matters. Every small detail count. Every calorie, every fat, and every nutrient is noticed by a health-conscious cook.

It might be a hassle for those who are not very worried about the nutritional value of their food, but for those who are striving to keep everyone healthy, it’s something that is very important.

If you’re that kind of person, this might be one of the reasons why you are reading this article. There have been debates lately about the healthiness of vegetable oil. A lot of people and online articles have been recommending vegetable oil ever since. They say that it’s good for your heart, that it will lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.

These kind of claims make it a very attractive product for people who have high blood pressure and other kinds of cholesterol issues. Some of them might be older people who are already experiencing complications in their body. However, the question that we need to ask is if it’s really good for your body since vegetable oil is being used in large amounts in food.

So before we give you the best vegetable oil substitutes, here are quick facts to know if you’re thinking of replacing this ingredient in your recipe.

Health Benefits of Vegetable Oil

They are rich in Omega-6 

To have a healthy body, it is recommended to consume Omega-3 and Omega-6, but they should be balanced. It’s good that vegetable oils have Omega-6 fats but the problem comes when you discover that they have excess amounts of fatty acids. This increases the risk of skin cancer because they are easily oxidized when exposed to heat and light.

Vegetable contain so much omega-6 that it disrupts the ratio of omega 6 and omega 3. The recommended ratio is 4:1 or 1:2. However, the average ratio that you’ll get when using vegetable oils is 16:1. That’s a noticeably huge difference!

They can cause inflammation

Because of the imbalance in the omega 3 and omega 6 ratio, inflammation may occur.

They contain lots of chemical and additives

If you’re still not aware about how vegetable oil is produced, then you need to know that tons of chemicals are needed to make this product.

Unlike coconut oil or butter, vegetable oil is made by using chemicals to extract the oil from the seeds. These chemicals can cause cancer, infertility, sterility, behavioral problems for children, and high cholesterol.

And since vegetable oil comes from seeds, let’s not forget that pesticides were used for growing plants. Now that’s another reason why vegetable oil has a more chemical component than you thought.

They’re not good for developing babies

The cells of unborn babies develop at high rates, and it can be risky if the cells are made of the wrong kind of fats. There can be more potential for mutations and other cell problems because of excess vegetable oil consumption.

These are just a few of the effects of vegetable oil in the body, but they are enough to make you think twice about using it again in your recipes. After knowing the reasons why you should use a substitute, it’s now time to know the alternatives that you can use.

Vegetable Oil Substitutes

1. Applesauce

Whether you’re just looking for a quick substitute or a healthier alternative for vegetable oil, applesauce is a good candidate. It’s commonly used when baking because it gives more flavor and moisture to baked dishes.

When it comes to the nutritional facts, applesauce is better than vegetable oil because it has vitamin C and fiber. Additionally, it has fewer calories. However, excess consumption is still not good for your health.

If you’re planning on using this substitute, make sure that it is organic and unsweetened because those that are sold commercially can contain too much sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

Applesauce as a vegetable oil substitute works best for spice cake, carrot cake, chocolate cake, gingerbread cake, muffin, and quick bread recipes.

To use this as a substitute, only use ¾ of the amount of oil you’re supposed to use for the recipe. If you think that the batter is too dry, add a tablespoon or more. It’s also important to note that your food will cook faster when you use this substitute. Therefore, you have to reduce the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees, and your cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes.

Applesauce also tends to change the texture and flavor of your food. The results differ depending on the recipe that you are using. Some recipes might respond better than others. It might take a few tries before you finally get the right mixture, but nothing is impossible with persistence.

Greek Yogurt

2. Yogurt

Substituting yogurt for vegetable oil is not easy. It can be difficult to get the ratios right the first time that you try this alternative, but it’s one of the best substitutes because of its nutritional value.

Some of the few recipes where you can use yogurt as a vegetable oil substitute are in salads and baked goods. It can either improve the texture of your food or ruin it. Everything will depend on how well you’re going to incorporate yogurt in your recipe.

While using plain and unsweetened Greek yogurt is the safest option, you can also use flavored ones especially if you’re aiming to have a specific flavor for your recipe. However, Greek yogurt is great when baking because it gives a really nice texture which is closer to the original recipe.

If you’re planning on using this substitute when baking, remember that it adds moisture to cakes, brownies, and quick breads. It’s great to use yogurts that contain higher amount of fat because it will provide the oil that will keep your recipe from sticking to the pan while enhancing the flavor at the same time.

Aside from using it in your baked goods and salads, yogurt can also be used in marinating your meat and poultry instead of vegetable oil. Using this alternative will not only add moisture but will also give flavor and tenderize your meat. You can use Greek or plain yogurt for this.

It’s also great to know that using yogurt as a substitute is incredibly easy. Unlike other substitutes, it’s uncomplicated because you only have to use the same amount of yogurt as you would when it’s vegetable oil. It means that if the recipe asked for a cup of vegetable oil, then use 1 cup of yogurt as well.

3. Butter

A lot of people might not like using butter as a vegetable oil substitute, and this might be because of the thought that butter is high in calories. But if you really look at the nutritional value of butter compared to processed alternatives, it is still a better option.

Recently, more people are seeing the advantages of using butter. It’s great if you want to add more flavor to your food, plus it’s a good source of monounsaturated fat. Butter is also rich in vitamins E, A, and D.

Some of you might not like the fact that it has high saturated fats, but studies show that saturated fats from animals won’t give you high cholesterol. However, it’s still not good to consume too much butter. It’s always important to have a balanced diet.

If you think butter is the substitute for your next recipe, just put some in a bowl and microwave it to melt. Use the same amount as needed when using vegetable.

Olive Oil

4. Olive Oil

Olive oil is probably one of the best substitutes for vegetable oil because of its health benefits. Here are some of them:

They contain antioxidants that can help your body fight off various diseases.

Olive oil contains a lot oleic acid which is great for reducing inflammation.

Studies found out that those who consume olive oil have lower risks of getting stroke.

Extra virgin olive oil is great for the heart. Plus, olive oil is also great for reducing your blood pressure. There are plenty of studies that support this, which is why those who are suffering from high blood pressure should consider using olive oil.

This kind of oil also helps in fighting Alzheimer’s disease. It’s extremely scary to lose your memory when you get older. But research shows that there is still hope. According to a study, a substance found in olive oils can remove plaques in your brain cells that cause Alzheimer’s disease.

It also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. If your family has a history of having diabetes, then avoiding this illness would be easier if you use olive oil because Olive oil contains compounds that can help fight cancer cells.

While all of these benefits can be enjoyed when using olive oil, it’s still vital to get the right kind, and that is extra virgin olive oil. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Never settle for cheap but unreliable brands. You might encounter cheap olive oils in the market but you have to be careful because there are many olive oil products that are created to fool consumers by using fake labels and mixing other kinds of oils. Make sure to do your research about the product first to avoid buying fake extra virgin olive oil.

If you want the most nutritious vegetable oil substitute for your recipe, then olive oil is undoubtedly a good, if not the best, option that you can find out there.

5. Coconut Oil

Yes, coconut oil contains saturated fats and lots of people might be scared of the idea of using this instead of vegetable oil. But once you compare them side by side and really understand their differences, you’ll learn why the other one stands out and why vegetable oil is not a good ingredient to use.

What makes vegetable oil a bad option? This kind of oil contains unsaturated fat that produces free radicals. If you’re not aware what free radicals are, this is the complete opposite of antioxidants that helps your body fight inflammation. Free radicals can cause inflammation that has a potential to lead to diabetes and heart disease. And yes, that is scary. On the other hand, coconut oil has antibacterial effects that is caused by the Lauric acid that it contains.


6. Avocado Oil

You might not be familiar with avocado oil, but it’s certainly a healthier option compared to vegetable oil. Just like olive oil, it has various health benefits. Since you’re reading this article to know your various options, it’s a must to read the list of benefits that avocado oil can to compare it with other substitutes in this list.

The following are some of the benefits of avocado oil:

You can use avocado oil in various ways such as marinades, grilling, sauces, stir-frying, sautéing, and baking. The only downside about this substitute is that it’s pretty hard to find. Not all local grocery stores have this kind of oil. But if you research enough, you’ll find health food stores that sell them. Take note to use the same amount of avocado oil as you would when it’s vegetable oil.

Other Substitutes That You Might Want To Try

The vegetable oil alternatives enumerated above might be the most popular, but if you don’t have time to look for them, there are more creative ways of replacing vegetable oil in your recipe. You can use the following substitutes if they’re the only ingredients you have at home, or whenever you just want a nutritious substitute.

Mashed Fruits

If you’re baking and you would like to give your recipes a twist of flavor while substituting vegetable oil, then this one’s for you. The fruits that you can use are bananas, apple butter, and pears. Some of the baked goods where you can use this are zucchini loaves, spice breads, and onion buns. Meanwhile, the all-time-favorite bananas are perfect for baked desserts.

Using this substitute is like hitting two birds with one stone. You won’t only have a healthier recipe, but also add new flavors to your food. It might take several experiments before you finally get the right blend of flavors but once you hit it right, you’ll find yourself getting more and more excited about your new recipes.

Molten Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is known for having fatty ingredients. This makes it a very good candidate when you’re looking for a vegetable oil substitute. You can either use it for pan frying or baking meat. Mayonnaise also brings an extraordinary flavor to your food. Now you have more ways to cook your favorite vegetables as well!


If you want a substitute that is very ideal for when you’re baking, then fruit and vegetable purees are great options. They will give your food a darker and richer color so don’t put too much on your recipes. You might also risk over-sweetening your food if you’re careless with the measurement that you’re using, so be careful!

Let’s Wrap It Up!

Although vegetable has been promoted as a nutritious kind of oil for those who are trying to lose weight and very conscious about their health, consumers like you should still research and ask experts if the nutritional claims about this product is true.

It’s easy to manufacture food that is not really healthy and label it as something that is beneficial to your health or diet. The competition in the food industry is so tough now, that some businessmen will do their best to mislead people, which is why you should be more careful.

When it comes to the debate regarding the health benefits and the danger of vegetable oil to the body, there have been old teachings that unsaturated fat is great for your body, and that is what vegetable oil has. However, newer and more comprehensive studies show that it actually damages your body in so many ways.

Vegetable oil’s richness in omega 6 is too much that it becomes bad for your health. It can also cause inflammation to your body. But if you’re not familiar with all of these scientific and nutritional terms, knowing that making vegetable oil requires a lot of chemical products, should be enough for you to stay away from any of its kind.

Since vegetable oil is extracted from various plant seeds, it already uses lots of chemicals since day one. When growing plants, you have to use lots of pesticides to keep animals and insects from eating the seeds. Another thing to know is that the oil isn’t naturally extracted from the seeds. Chemical techniques are needed to get them and process them in order to be used as oil.

Now if you’re a pregnant woman, you should really think twice about eating or cooking food with vegetable oil. Studies show that it might trigger development problems and complications for your baby. There are lots of healthier options for you, so if you want to protect your child from anything, don’t risk it.

Each of the substitutes included in this article is unique. Alternatives like coconut and olive oil might be the best ones for you. They are easy to find and provides more nutritional benefits than most options. They are also very easy to use. These oils usually don’t have flavors that will mix with your recipe. Since they are also popular ingredients, you won’t have a problem looking for recipes that they will go with.

Another oil that is also packed with nutrients and health benefits is avocado oil. It’s very unique and also has some of the best nutritional properties. However, it can be difficult to find it.

So if you don’t have the time to look for these special kinds of oils, we also included quick-to-find options in the list. We have yogurt, applesauce, and butter. These options are also great because they won’t give you the kind of risk that vegetable oil does, and they are not loaded with harmful chemicals.

Aside from these popular alternatives, there are also unusual options that you can try if you want to be more adventurous. Purees, mashed fruits and vegetables, and molten mayonnaise, are also great for substituting your vegetable oil especially if you’re baking. They’re also great for cooks who are looking to add new flavors in his or her recipe.

Since not everyone knows how to use these alternatives, you might find it difficult to get the right proportions, but a little experimenting goes a long way. Your desserts and cakes will greatly benefit from these unusual but flavorful substitutes.

Overall, substituting vegetable oil in your recipes is a good idea. It will keep you safe from the harmful chemicals and fatty acids that this oil contains. It might be expensive or a hassle for some people but having a healthy body is what we should aim for every day.

There are already a bunch of chemicals that our body needs to deal with because of the processed goods that are available in the market. This is why reducing your vegetable oil consumption is such a great idea.

However, it’s still very important for everyone to remember that these substitutes still contain fat and some are also high in calories like butter. Having a healthy diet is still the best way to avoid illnesses and diseases.

A healthy diet also means consuming these substitutes in moderation. Don’t get too excited just because you read that butter is a great vegetable oil substitute. Finding the right amount for your body will allow you to have a more balanced diet, and that is what you should ultimately aim for.

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Jonah Blum

A kitchen all-rounder, Jonah will try his hand at almost any type of recipe – although he will adm...

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