Should you be eating lard?
I know what you’re thinking…if I eat lard I’m going to turn into a “tub o’ lard!”
Not true. Even though the word LARD has bad connotations it’s wonderfully healthy.
Before we embraced eating real food we might have believed that eating low fat diets were the way to go.
Our recent generations have shied away from eating lard because it has a bad rap of clogging your arteries, raising your cholesterol and causing heart disease.
Also not true.
Let me share with you 7 Healthy Reasons You Should Be Eating Lard!
Fat is your friend
Lard is a perfect combination of the three types of fats: monounsaturated fat, saturated and polyunsaturated. Every fat whether it be lard, butter, olive oils or coconut oil are a combination of these three types.
Fats like olive oil, avocado oil or sesame oil that are liquid at room temperature are mostly unsaturated. Fats like butter and lard which are solid at room temperature are mostly saturated.
The latest research has concluded that saturated fats aren’t so bad for you after all. Our ancestors didn’t take an ear of corn and squeeze the oil out of it to fry their eggs, they used lard!
Its a whole food, minimally processed and our bodies know what to do with it!
Toxins are stored in fat so you need to be careful about where you buy your lard. When pigs are raised the way we do, feeding non-gmo feed, not using antibiotics or hormones and not vaccinating, the fat is clean!
Your endocrine system, your reproductive system and your brain all need healthy fats to carry signals, balance hormones and function properly.
Lard contains healthy cholesterol
Cholesterol helps reduce inflammation and produce hormones that relay messages to the pituitary gland and regulate hormones in your body. This can get a bit technical and unless you have a love for science and medicine you may just want to take my word on it.
In short, one of my sources says “Saturated fats raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and change LDL from small, dense (bad) to Large LDL, which is mostly benign. Overall, saturated fats do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously believed.” You can read your heart out here if you like.
Lard is high in Vitamin D
It has about 1000 IU (international units) per tablespoon depending on what they are fed and how much sunlight the animals get. Our pigs are raised under ideal conditions- in the open air and sunshine, for high doses of vitamin D!
More Vitamin D means less seasonal mood swings, sounds good to me! I would much rather get my vitamins from my food versus taking a pill.
Most Vitamin D synthetically made and put in a pill comes from the lanolin in sheep wool. Loosely called “sheep grease”. While I am not opposed to using the whole animal, most of this processing is done overseas in China because it’s cheeper to produce there. That creates a larger carbon footprint, artificially sets the price which is unrealistic to sustain, and gives job to other countries. No bueno.
Lard is heat stable
It is great for frying your veggies or eggs in because it withstands high heat. It has a smoke point of 370 degrees Fahrenheit. This is good because when foods start to burn they produce free radicals, known cancer causers.
Oils are best eaten without heating because heat and light destroy them. Have you ever noticed how your olive oil bottles are dark amber colored? And your fish oil supplements say on the bottle to keep them in a cool dark place?
Make your salad dressings with olive or avocado oil, take your fish oil supplements but leave your cooking, frying and baking to the lard!
Lard is a fat with a high burning point, so you are less likely to scorch.
Lard is neutral flavored
You can fry your pasture raised chicken thighs, make pie crusts, cookies and biscuits. Pastries turn out light and flakey when make with lard. It’s so versatile! You can stir fry your vegetables in lard, where as frying in a coconut oil could leave them tasting…well…tropical!
Lard makes you lean
It’s true. Because when you jump on the eating whole traditional foods bandwagon and you cut out the processed stuff you loose weight.
I’m not suggesting you sit down to a bowl of lard or that you make deep fried donuts every morning using lard, but I’m talking about a tablespoon a day to fry your pastured eggs or your veggies. Add it to your cornbread instead of vegetable oils and it turns out moist!
It’s a whole food, when you buy it from us and render it yourself it’s minimally processed and your body knows what to do with it. Eating in moderation is the key.
Lard is local & affordable
Sustainability starts with eating local. When you eat local you support the economy in your area and you decrease your carbon footprint because your food didn’t have to use all the resources of traveling from across the world. When you purchase a half or whole hog your lard comes free and you can render it yourself.
Rendering lard is easy. Using the back fat or the leaf lard you just cut it into small pieces and put it in a croc pot. Warm it on low and when it turns to liquid run it through a strainer to take out the little bits of meat that might have been left behind. Pour it into containers and store in the freezer.
If you are ready to start incorporating this superfood into your diet come visit us in our farm store!
Let us be your source for clean lard!
Leave a comment below with your favorite way to cook with lard. If you never have what’s the first way you’re going to try cooking with lard?