Some keto evangelists believe vegetable oil is worse than cigarettes, but the science behind the theory doesn’t add up

Brownies vegetable oil pour
Brownies vegetable oil pour

Sydney Kramer/INSIDER

  • Advocates of the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diets have warned against the health risks of vegetable and seed oils, claiming they’re a “dirty” fuel source for the human body. 

  • One keto influencer recently claimed vegetable oils are just as dangerous for health as “smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.”

  • But an expert said there’s no evidence for this claim, and cooking oils can have a wide range of health effects depending on how they’re prepared.

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Advocates of keto typically encourage a high-fat diet, but some hardcore “keto evangelists” say it doesn’t count if you use plant-based oils.

If you incorporate processed forms of fat — seed oils, non-organic veggies — you’re engaging in “dirty keto,” according to Ben Azadi, founder of the health coaching site Keto Kamp.

“Keto is very popular, and with the buzz comes a lot

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