In Defense of Lard
Standard dietary wisdom and the propaganda of the USDA teach that we are to eat a reduced-fat diet plan, and that when we do consume excess fat, it ought to be unsaturated. According to the diet regime dictocrats, saturated body fat is very, quite risky. We ought to curtail it severely, for it just may well kill us more rapidly than drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, right?
I naturally have not been swayed by the propaganda campaign, and continue to consume lots of wholesome animal fats.
Canola oil, 1 of the supposed wonders of modern food engineering, is one particular of the ‘healthy’ fats the USDA loves to tout. It is substantial in monounsaturated fats and supposedly a great source of those heart-wholesome Omega-three fatty acids. What they neglect to inform the public is that most of the omega-3s in canola oil are transformed into TRANS fats during the deodorization process trans fats are the fats that the USDA and us paleo eaters can each agree are genuinely, genuinely poor for you. Possibly even like drugs, alcohol, and tobacco bad for you.
For a lot more information on the fantastic con-ola, the Weston A. Price tag Foundation has a wonderful report. The jist of it – traditional foods win out more than laboratory-designed food-like items however yet again.
So what I am trying to say is that not all of those unsaturated fats are in fact ‘good’ fats, and likewise saturated excess fat is not undesirable. We require a a lot more nuanced analysis.
The terms “saturated fat” and “animal fat” are usually treated as if they’re synonymous. Animal fat is a mixture of diverse fatty acids – each saturated and unsaturated – and not all saturated fats are designed equal.
One of my favored animal fats is lard. I use it to fry up my grain-free chicken nuggets, my egg foo yung, my zucchini cakes, and my kohlrabi fritters. It is also excellent for fried eggs in the morning, or fried garden veggies – cabbage and Brussels sprouts right away come to mind. Lard is delicious, it is versatile, it is stable even at extremely substantial cooking temperatures, and it is cheap. I can get gallon buckets from my neighborhood butcher for very tiny. (I enjoy coconut oil too, but buying gallon tubs of it is a tiny cost-prohibitive for us correct now.)
So today I wanted to take a closer look at the composition of one of my favorite fats. The mixtures can differ slightly depending on the breed of animal and how it was raised (Animals fed a all-natural diet regime, not raised on a feed lot, will certainly be healthier.), but in common the composition of lard is as follows:
45% monounsaturated fats – 91% of this is oleic acid, the principle fatty acid that is discovered in olive oil – you know, the ‘healthy’ fat that the purveyors of standard wisdom feel is just the cat’s pajamas
11% polyunsaturated fats – these LOWER LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol but have no meaningful impact of HDL ‘good’ cholesterol
39% saturated fatty acids – but much more than one particular third of that is stearic fatty acid, which increases HDL ‘good’ cholesterol while having no effect on LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. Stearic acid is in fact metabolized in the physique to oleic acid – you know, that very same heart-healthful fat from olive oil that that I just mentioned.
And the supply for this information, in situation you were asking yourself: USDA National Nutrient Database for Regular Reference, Release 22 (2009).
So basically, the huge majority of the fat in lard will Strengthen the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol. A great deal of it truly LOWERS ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. And that is what we want, correct? Lower LDL and a much better HDL/LDL ratio.
The ratio is what genuinely matters, NOT the complete cholesterol number, as I have discussed before, given that HDL has a PROTECTIVE impact against heart disease. And did I mention that a reduced total cholesterol quantity is not all it is cracked up to be? All-lead to mortality is truly Greater for people who have reduced (beneath 194) cholesterol – in guys across the entire age range, and in women from the age of 50 onward. Just some food for believed . . .
My HDL ‘good’ cholesterol is truly increased than my LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. The purpose, according to the medical neighborhood, is to retain the ratio of HDL to Total Cholesterol above .3, with the excellent HDL/TC ratio being above .4. Last time I got my labs carried out, my ratio was .6, a thing nearly unheard of in today’s medical community. Most likely since today’s medical neighborhood is advocating the identical pyramidal (excuse me, plate-shaped) ridiculousness as the USDA.
And I am not raising my all-cause mortality threat by retaining my cholesterol numbers unnaturally low. Cholesterol is needed to the body, soon after all – for hormone production, for lining cell walls, for brain development and functioning. It is especially essential, then, for babies with growing brains. I might have to write an additional rant on that subject.
In the meantime, although, examine out some of these research if you are nevertheless skeptical.
Strandberg TE, et al. Reduced cholesterol, mortality, and top quality of life in old age in the course of a 39-year follow-up. Journal of the American School of Cardiology, Sept 1, 2004 44 (5): 1002-1008.
Jacobs D, et al. Report of the Conference on Reduced Blood Cholesterol: Mortality Associations. Circulation, 1992 86: 1046-1060.
Anderson KM, et al. Cholesterol and mortality. 30 years of stick to-up from the Framingham study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1987 257: 2176-2180.
Schatz IJ, et al. Cholesterol and all-cause mortality in elderly folks from the Honolulu Heart System: a cohort study. Lancet, Aug 4, 2001 358 (9279): 351-355.