Why we should to go back to using
supported by the paradox of French cooking which
combined high-levels of animal and other traditional fats
with low-rates of heart disease.
Fats are made of FATTY ACIDS which are carbon-
hydrogen chains (C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C) that latch on in
groups of three to a glycerol backbone to make a
TRIGLYCERIDE molecule, which are the basic molecules of
which all fats are made. The length of the carbon chains
and where, if any, double bonds (i.e. missing hydrogen
molecules) occur differentiate the fatty acids one from
The more double bonds, the more unsaturated. One double
bond gives you mono unsaturated, many double bonds
gives you a polyunsaturated, and no double bonds gives
you a saturated fatty acid.
The main saturated fatty acids (from shortest to longest
5. STERIC acids.
The main mono unsaturated is OLEIC acid.
Olive oil contains 71% OLEIC acid and is heart-healthy,
mono unsaturated fat that we’re supposed to get more of.
Lard contains 44 % oleic acid, sesame oil (41%), corn oil
(28%), walnut oil (28%), flaxseed oil (21%), cottonseed oil
(19%) and sunflower oil (19%), grape seed oil (15%) and
safflower oil (13%), beef tallow (43%), butterfat (29%) and
human butterfat (the fat of breast milk at 35%).
Like olive oil, lard contains 10% of the omega-6 fatty acid
LINOLEIC acid, again, roughly the same as human butterfat
(breast milk) at 9%
1. Lard also contains 14%) of the 18-C saturated fat
STEARIC acid, which has been shown in clinical testing to
2. Lard contains 2% MYRISTIC acid, a 14-C saturated fat
that has been shown to have immune enhancing
properties. Human butterfat is 8% myristic acid, cottonseed
oil (1%) and the tropical vegetable oils (coconut oil and
palm kernel) have zero.
3. Lard contains 26% PALMITIC acid (a 16-C saturated
fatty acid) olive oil only 13%, and human butterfat contains
25%. Palmitic acid is antimicrobial.
So Lard’s basic fatty acid composition is comparable to the
butterfat of human breast milk, with even less saturated
and more mono unsaturated fatty acids.
Mono unsaturated 35%
Mono unsaturated 44%
Lard can be obtained from any part of the pig as long as
there is a high concentration of fatty tissue.
The highest grade of lard, known as leaf lard, is obtained
from the "flare" visceral fat deposit surrounding the kidneys
and inside the loin. Leaf lard has little pork flavor, making it
ideal for use in baked goods, where it is treasured for its
ability to produce flaky, moist pie crusts.
The next highest grade of lard is obtained from fatback, the
hard subcutaneous fat between the back skin and muscle
of the pig.
The lowest grade (for purposes of rendering into lard) is
obtained from the soft caul fat surrounding digestive
organs (the omentum), such as small intestines. Caul fat is
often used directly as a wrapping for roasting lean meats
or in the manufacture of pâtés.
Lard is one of the few edible oils with a relatively high
smoke point, attributable to its high saturated fatty acids
content. Pure lard is especially useful for cooking since it
produces little smoke when heated and has a distinct taste
when combined with other foods. Many chefs and bakers
deem lard a superior cooking fat or shortening because of
lard's wide range of applications and taste.
As the demand for lard grows, many small farmers have
begun to specialize in heritage hog breeds with higher
body fat contents than the leaner, modern hog. These
were the traditional ‘lard pigs’ of history that were raised
just as much for their valuable lard as for their wonderful,
Sources: westonaprice.org Eatwild.com
Over the past 100 years, the
rates of heart disease and
atherosclerosis have climbed
significantly despite our
move away from ‘bad fats’
like lard to ‘healthier’ fats like
margarine. This despite the
fact that our traditional diet
contained high levels of fat
(lard) and we had low-rates
of heart disease.This has
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