In the present study, we aimed to examine the effects of soya oligosaccharides (SOS) and soya oligopeptides (SOP) on blood lipid levels, release of vasoactive substances, antioxidant activity and faecal bile acid (FBA) excretion in rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Male Sprague–Dawley rats were evenly divided into five groups according to diets as follows: regular diet (control), HFD, HFD enriched with 2 % of SOS (SOS), HFD enriched with 3 % of SOP (SOP) and HFD enriched with 2 % SOS and 3 % SOP (SOSP). The results showed that SOS and SOP significantly reduced plasma total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and TAG, whereas HDL-cholesterol concentration was significantly increased. Furthermore, SOS and SOP reduced plasma apoB, apoE and the apoB:apoAI ratio, whereas apoAI was significantly increased. Moreover, SOS and SOP also reduced plasma thromboxane A2 (TXA2) and the TXA2:prostacyclin (PGI2) ratio, whereas plasma PGI2 and nitric oxide were significantly increased. In addition, SOS and SOP significantly reduced serum and liver malondialdehyde concentrations and increased FBA excretion. However, we did not observe obvious influences of SOS and SOP on superoxide dismutase activities in the liver of HFD-fed rats. The combination of 2 % SOS and 3 % SOP showed a more marked effect than SOS or SOP alone in improving the lipid profile, release of vasoactive substances and increasing FBA excretion (P < 0·05). In summary, SOS and SOP might help prevent atherosclerosis through improving abnormal blood lipid levels, regulating vasoactive substances and protecting against oxidative stress.