"REAL LARD is rendered pork fat (it is called tallow if it comes from a ruminant such as beef cattle). RENDERING is gently heating the fat to separate out the protein strands, the “cracklings”. Interestingly, the cracklings can be a good health food assuming the hogs are pastured, and the rendering natural. Pure lard is a beautiful, white, naturally-hydrogenated (and therefore healthful), solid fat. Most of its carbon sites are filled with hydrogens in their natural and normal cis position just as it comes from the hog. Good lard is only 40% SATURATED fat, with 48% MONOUNSATURATED and 12% POLYUNSATURATED fat.
Lard is stable and the preferred fat for frying, it does not easily turn into trans fats when heated. Potatoes, for example, fried in lard can be cooked in a shorter time at a higher temperature resulting in a better taste and texture as well as less rancidity and embedded oil. Lard is a HEALTH FOOD that needs to be returned to it’s rightful place in the American diet.
There are two kinds of fatty acids that our body cannot make and are therefore called ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS, they are both polyunsaturated 18 carbon molecules. OMEGA 6 is double unsaturated LINOLEIC acid and OMEGA 3 is the triple unsaturated LINOLENIC acid. the Omega number refers to the location of the first double bond. Like the other polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) they are very unstable, go rancid easily and should never be heated. Special and incredibly healthful EFA Omega 3 fats include CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID (CLA) which is found in grass-fed animals especially ruminants, DHA (the brain fat) and EPA which are found primarily in deep ocean fish, and GLA found in some plant oils.
Organically-raised, foraging and outdoor range hogs have the healthiest lard. Conventionally-raised pork get virtually no exercise, live indoors and eat no greens. Much of their diet is of the lowest possible quality. This lard is of equally low quality. The diet and lifestyle of the hog radically affects the quality of the lard!
Confinement pork lard has similar OMEGA 6:3 ratios to feedlot beef, a 100 gm serving has about 8 grams of O-6 and 0.8 grams of O-3. A much more healthful ratio of O-6:O-3 can be achieved by increasing the amount of fresh green forages. The O-3 content can be greatly enhanced by feeding flax seed, sea greens, green algae or fish oils. On the other hand, hogs that eat garbage, especially bakery waste will incorporate toxic trans fats, heavy metals or other toxins in the fat. Never consider lard from feedlot “garbage” hogs a health food! At the other end of the spectrum, free-living warthogs have a ratio approaching 1:1!
The health of Americans plummeted when the “politically correct” diet advice recommended vegetable oils for cooking, especially partially-hydrogenated oils. Shortening, for example, is a liquid oil until manufacturers heat it up under pressure, bubble hydrogen gas into it (with a catalyst to make it all work faster) and force-feed the C double bonds hydrogen atoms that often latch on in a crossways or trans configuration. (“cis” means “same side whereas “trans” means on the opposite side). A little bit of hydrogen added in the trans configuration increases shelf life of the oil and allows liquid vegetable oils and corn oil not to go rancid in large, clear containers exposed to light and heat on the store shelves A lot of hydrogen added in the trans configuration solidifies the liquid oil, creating stick margarine or solid vegetable shortening, such as Crisco. Polyunsaturated oils go rancid easily due their unstable double bonds.
Fats are made of FATTY ACIDS which are the 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 (ie, missing hydrogen molecules) occur differentiate the fatty acids one from another. The more double bonds, the more unsaturated. One double bond gives you a monounsaturate, many double bonds gives you a polyunsaturate, no double bonds gives you a saturated fatty acid. The main saturated fatty acids (from shortest to longest chains): CAPRIC, LAURIC, MYRISTIC, PALMITIC, and STEARIC acids. The main monounsaturate is OLEIC acid.
Olive oil contains 71% OLEIC acid, that heart-healthy, monounsaturated 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%), grapeseed oil (15%) and safflower oil (13%), beef tallow (43%), butterfat (29%), and human butterfat (ie the fat of breast milk at 35%).
Lard (14%) of the 18-C saturated fat, STEARIC acid, which has been shown in clinical testing to lower cholesterol.
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%.
Lard contains 2% MYRISTIC acid, a 14-C saturated fat that has been shown to have important immune enhancing properties. Human butterfat 8% myristic acid, cottonseed oil (1%) and the tropical oils, coconut oil (18%) and and palm kernal oil (16%) vegetable oils have zero.
Lard contains 26% PALMITIC acid, a 16-C saturated fatty acid, olive oil only 13%, human butterfat contains 25%. Palmitic acid is antimicrobial.
Lard’s basic fatty acid composition as compared to the butterfat of human breast milk. Lard is less saturated, and more monounsaturates:
Saturated Monounsaturated Polyunsaturated
Breast Milk 48% 35% 10%
Lard 42% 44% 10%
WE NEED SATURATED FAT- It makes up over half of all cell membranes and give cells stiffness and integrity. Bones require about 50% of the dietary fat to be saturated so calcium can be absorbed. SF lowers Lipoprotein-a in the blood, an inflammatory marker directly associated with risk of heart disease. SF protects the liver from alcohol, toxins and drugs and the enhance the immune system. Omega 3 fats are retained in the tissue when the diet is rich in SF. Heart muscle contains rich deposits of stearic and palmitic fatty acids as they are the foods the heart muscle uses and which are drawn upon in times of stress. Many SF have antimicrobial properties and protect us from harmful pathogens in the intestine. There is no scientific evidence to back up claims that SF causes “artery clogging” in fact arterial plaque is only 26% SF the rest unsaturated fat, over half of the plaque is polyunsaturated fat!
TRANS FATS- Are one of the most dangerous foods in the world. They serve no purpose in the body except to cause inflammation, cancer and degenerative disease. TF began to enter the diet of Americans around 1910. Not too many years later we began to see the heart attack “epidemic” begin. Now, most Americans consume up to or more than 20% of their fat intake as trans fats. French fries cooked in vegetable oils (as they all are nowadays) have about 40% TF, cookies and crackers range from 35-50%,and doughnuts are 35-40% TF. If mothers eat TF it will cross the placenta and every cell in the baby will contain TF, even the brain. Every cell membrane is a layer of fat with a thin protein coating on both sides. If TF gets built into the membrane it is defective and won’t resist viral or other infection and it becomes cancer prone (seen most often in the current skin cancer “epidemic”). TF cause problems in the brain as DHA or other brain fats cannot be made from it, and the stiff and straight abnormal molecule creates overly rigid membranes. By eating a good balance of SATURATED FATS, POLYUNSATURATES and AVOIDING TF, it is thought that we can prevent MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease as well as depression, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses."