The present study aimed to determine if the type of dietary fat or oil affects erythrocyte morphology and/or filterability in normal healthy rats. A feeding trial was carried out, in which nine groups of nine rats were fed on diets containing one of the following treatments (test fats or oils): anhydrous milk fat, anhydrous milk fat after passage through a column of active carbon, palm oil, MaxEPA fish oil, hydrogenated coconut oil, anhydrous tallow shortening, margarine hardstock, olive oil and soyabean oil. The test fats or oils supplemented with 10 g safflower-seed oil/kg were incorporated into otherwise nutritionally adequate diets so that the test fat or oil plus safflower- oil contributed 35% of the gross energy of the diet. The rats were fed for 10 weeks. Diet had a significant effect on five of the six classes of erythrocytes identified, and the proportion of cells in each class was shown to be dependent on diet. However, the attribute causing the dependence was not clear. There was no significant effect of diet on erythrocyte filterability index. There was no statistical correlation between erythrocyte filterability index and morphology. Although it has been observed that diet, particularly fish oil, can improve the filterability of erythrocytes once filterability is impaired, the effect of diet on erythrocyte filterability in normal healthy animals including humans is unclear. The importance of the differences in erythrocyte morphology due to diet is also unclear. Both areas deserve further investigation.