• Yvonne Heavey

Hey Lard arse !!! You got it, Lard is a superfood !!!! Why ? It's the sunshine vitamin

1. Lard Contains Healthy Fats

You read that heading correctly: the words 'healthy' and 'fat' happily co-existing in the same phrase! On this blog, I am passionate about bringing traditional fats back into the kitchen. Rich, whole fats are required to support many biological processes in the body. Specifically, fatty acids are needed to prime the nervous system, produce hormones and encourage optimal digestion. Lard contains a beautiful balance of saturated and unsaturated fats, at about 40% saturated, 50-60% monounsaturated and up to 10% polyunsaturated fats. For perspective, that is about 1/4 of the saturated fat and 2 times the monounsaturated fat as butter. Next to extra virgin olive oil, lard contains the highest quantity of coveted monounsaturated fats of any cooking oil. It is also concentrated in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, while remaining low in the inflammation-promoting omega-6s. Lard therefore offers a dynamic fatty acid profile that makes it highly versatile in the kitchen and extremely nourishing for the body. 

2. Lard is Rich in Vitamin D

These days, everyone is scrambling to get more vitamin D too. Nicknamed the sunshine vitamin, this nutrient is in high demand — especially as our modern lifestyles drive us to spend more time hunkered down inside in front of computer screens. Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to the skin being exposed to the sun. It also occurs naturally in select foods including fish, fish oils, egg yolks and yes, you guessed it: lard. The recommended dietary intake of vitamin D specified by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has long been 600 IU/day through age 70 years, and 800 IU/day for older ages. However a series of recent studies by researchers out of UC San Diego and Creighton University have shown that these doses are as low as one-tenth those needed to cut incidence of disease related to vitamin D deficiency. In other words, the human body needs far more vitamin D than was once thought to maintain healthy bones, a well-running immune system and an optimal functioning cardiovascular system. Luckily, lard contains a whopping 1000 IUs per tablespoon, making it the richest food in vitamin D behind cod liver oil. Vitamin D is also a fat-soluble nutrient, meaning that the body requires adequate amounts of fatty acids to metabolize it. Lard therefore delivers vitamin D with the necessary co-factors to assimilate it, all in one delicious spoonful! Keep in mind that this feature is unique to lard from free-range, pastured hogs that are raised with exposure to sunlight and fed a rich, greens-based 

3. Lard Tastes Good

Now that we have some of the more science-y reasoning out of the way, we can get down to the most important aspect: taste. Foods cooked in lard simply leave the pan tasting delicious! The neutral flavor makes lard suitable for sweet and savory dishes alike, and it won't overpower a meal as other fats like coconut oil can. Lard has a high smoke point at around 370°F or so, and it thus remains stable at high temperatures. With all of these admirable qualities, it is really no wonder that the fat has been making a serious comeback in restaurants too. Chefs across the United States are joining what has been playfully dubbed the "lardcore" movement. The best way for you to understand this point of course, is to try some lard for yourself! Be sure to find a source that is low-heat rendered and from pastured pigs to ensure that you are experiencing the full-range of nutritional benefits. If you are feeling adventurous, try making lard the good old-fashioned way by following a recipe like this, or simply render it in a crock pot. If you decide to try some out before committing to the process of making it, I highly recommend these authentic pastured lards from Fatworks. 

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