Seven reason why you should eat lard
1. Lard is high in vitamin D.
In fact, itís the second richest dietary source of vitamin D next to cod liver oil. Lard from pastured pigs contains anywhere from 500 Ė 1000 IU vitamin D per tablespoon based on the pigís diet and exposure to sunlight. This is why finding lard from pastured pigs is essential (see #5 below).
2. Itís heart-healthy from a conventional point of view.
The conventional viewpoint says to emphasize monounsaturated fats for heart health. ďBut isnít lard an animal fat and thus saturated?Ē you say. Nope. Lard is actually classified as a monounsaturated fat. Itís true. Itís about 48% monounsaturated fat, 40% saturated fat and 12% polyunsaturated fats.
3. Itís heart-healthy from a non-conventional point of view.
As you can see from the ratios above, lard also contains saturated fat. And cholesterol. Gasp!
Well, contrary to popular belief, heart disease is NOT caused by saturated fat and cholesterol. In fact, saturated fat and cholesterol from healthy sources can PREVENT heart disease. If you want a simple understanding of the underlying cause of heart disease, this heart surgeon explains it well.
4. Lard is an excellent fat for cooking.
Before we were all conditioned to believe lard is unhealthy, it was used for centuries as a cooking fat because itís very stable at high heat. Your grandmother probably used it liberally.
Unlike more saturated fats like tallow and coconut oil, lardís combination of monounsaturated and saturated fats makes it a perfect fat for baking as it gives things like pie crusts, cookies, biscuits and pastries a very light, flaky and soft texture.
But lard also has a high smoke point too (about 370 degrees Fahrenheit) and is thus excellent for frying as well.
5. Lard connects you to local farms.
You canít get good quality lard in stores. You have to seek out a good source of pig fat and render it yourself. Before you roll your eyes about that (though you probably did already), consider #6 and #7 below.
And because you have to source it from local farms, lard leaves less of a carbon footprint than more popular cooking fats like coconut oil and olive oil. I donít know about you but there are no coconut or olive trees where I live. Lots of farmers raising pigs though.
6. Lard is economical.
I paid $5 for about a pound or two of leaf lard at my local farmers market and rendered that into about 12 ounces of lard.
Compare that to a bottle of good quality, first-pressed extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil at your local health food store.
7. Lard is SO EASY to make!
You wouldnít believe how easy it is to make. All you need is some pig fat and a pot. Really, thatís it.