Experts Say, Lard is Actually Good for Your Health

Nov 18, 2015 12:36 PM EST | By Jeanell Sumagpao

What does your food choice tell about you? Many say that what a person eats can be linked to one's personality. Now what does it say about those who eat lard?

Lard comes out of pork fat. In the past centuries it was used for baking or cooking but lost its familiarity when during the 20th century, Upton Sinclair's in his novel The Jungle displayed what is happening inside the meat industry. Since that instance, many people gained a negative perception about the product.

But according to Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, "After World War II, consumption of lard along with other animal fats dropped even more thanks to the conventional wisdom of the past 40 years that the saturated fats in our diets were a principal cause of high cholesterol and rising rates of heart disease.

More recent research suggests that this isn't so - a scientific analysis of 21 studies determined that there is no significant evidence that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease." Dr. Weil also added, "Nutritionally speaking, lard has nearly one-fourth the saturated fat and more than twice the monounsaturated fat as butter. It is also low in omega-6 fatty acids, known to promote inflammation; according to lard enthusiasts free-range pigs that eat greens, not grains, have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids."

Many disagree before that lard is harmful to one's health. Only 40% of lard's fat is saturated.  But recently, experts found that saturated fat is beneficial for a healthy body. A study showed that when mixed with low-calorie diet, consuming saturated fat can lower the risk of heart diseases and can even increase the good HDL cholesterol of a person.

Lily Nichols, RDN, when comparing the use of lard with vegetable oils in cooking stated, "The chemical makeup of saturated fats is very stable. Unsaturated fats like those found in vegetable oils, on the other hand, tend to go bad and change structure the longer they cook." 

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