Helpful Tips About Good Fat

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Andrea DiMauro

Andrea DiMauro › Andrea is the Creative Director for Food Truth, an online resource that empowers eaters to walk ...


Fat has a generally bad reputation, but how much of it is accurate or deserved? We need to be careful about making blanket assumptions.

More and more people are returning to a traditional diet, one that relies on lard or tallow derived from pastured and grassfed animals. These healthier options are gaining in popularity and becoming much easier to find, especially if you have a trusted grassfed and pastured meat source in your local area.

Yes, beef tallow is unusual, and it might be a bit intimidating to think about cooking with such an unconventional ingredient, but it’s definitely worth it – especially when you realize the full nutritional benefits.

Here’s a handy tutorial to help you better understand the good stuff, from Andrea DiMauro:

The time has come to decriminalize fat. Wrongfully accused of making you fat and gumming up your arteries, natural fats have been maligned for too long, leaving room for the actually harmful processed oils and fake fats to corrupt our food landscape. But who’s who and what’s what?

Let’s identify the authentic and the imposters.

First you should know that all fats are a blend of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids and that your body needs every one of these to function. Specific fats are named according to which of these is dominant. For example, BEEF FAT (tallow) is called saturated fat because it is typically 50% saturated fat though it is 40% monounsaturated oleic acid, the same fatty acid that garners praise for OLIVE OIL as heart-healthy. PORK FAT (lard) is mostly unsaturated so it is softer than beef fat and so tasty! It lasts for a long time in your fridge and it’s even high in vitamin D. Good LARD! Strain and save the fat rendered from natural bacon to fry eggs or sauté vegetables. But beware: commercial lard is hydrogenated so avoid it as you avoid margarine and other unhealthy trans fats. POULTRY FAT or “schmaltz” is also good for cooking. It is mostly monounsaturated and it’s anti-microbial. The healing properties of chicken soup lie in those droplets of glistening fat. In fact, all of these animal fats, as well as coconut oil are powerful immune boosters. Antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal lauric acid is unique to COCONUT OIL and breastmilk!

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This article originally appeared on It is partially posted here with permission from the author.

Do you cook with lard, tallow or coconut oil?

Photo Credit: Tomiko Peirano