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Sunday 9 September 2012

The American Paradox (Why You Should Eat Lard!)

By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet

I have a confession to make: I’m a recovering vegetarian.

I didn’t shun meat for ethical reasons… although I do believe that all animals should be treated respectfully and humanely (even the ones we are raising for food). The reason I shunned meat is because I once believed that animal foods were unhealthy. I believed that they contributed to chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

But despite my belief that a vegetarian diet was healthy… my body disagreed. I felt poorly. I was frequently sick. My hair lacked luster and my skin was dull. My mood and energy were almost always low. And while I wasn’t overweight, I did carry excess body fat.

In addition to fearing meat, I also feared fat. I used small amounts of olive oil or (gasp!) vegetable oil. But most of the time, I opted for “low-fat” products. Grain had a place at nearly every meal – whether it was bread, pasta, oats or rice.

The diet I was eating was not the one that humans evolved to eat. And my health, appearance and mental outlook suffered for it.

Around ten years ago, I began to learn the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy ones. I learned that much of what we have been told about nutrition and disease was a big fat lie. And I learned that the diet most humans do best on is the one that our genetic ancestors consumed, before the dawn of modern agriculture.

I soon shifted to a more primal diet. I began by adding fish, then poultry, then beef and pork. I also eliminated vegetable oils and grains. Everything started to change. My energy levels increased. My body became leaner and more responsive to workouts. And my skin started to glow again.

As I tossed out the canola oil and soy burgers, I replaced them with grass-fed beef and traditional healthy fats… including lard.

Wait a minute, you might say. For decades we’ve been told that animal fat is bad for our health. And lard is the worst of all. The very word “lard” conjures up clogged arteries and a big backside.

Those connotations are unfortunate, because lard is a healthy fat. In fact, it is one of the healthiest fats you can use for cooking. So what makes lard healthy? And why is it good for cooking?

What Lard and the Mediterranean Diet and Have in Common

The Mediterranean diet has long been praised for its health benefits. And you might also know that this way of eating relies heavily on a type of fat called monounsaturated fat (MUFA). Research shows that monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) can help to:
•    Balance blood sugar
•    Boost HDL (or good) cholesterol
•    Protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation
•    Reduce belly fat
•    Reduce levels of CRP – a key marker of inflammation

We most commonly associate monounsaturated fat with olive oil and avocados. But this is also the primary fat found in lard. Monounsaturated fat accounts for 48 percent of lard’s composition.

Read more here



fibreclaireUK said...

Is butter also Monounsaturated fat?

and is lard found in supermarkets in the UK processed or is it also healthy?

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi again Claire, butter contains about 21g per 100g monounsaturated fat so not as high as lard.

Lard these days is mainly processed but still a far heathier option than the chemical substitutes.


Anonymous said...

It's a good idea!I want to try it!