A healthy diet means Organic fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and the fated pig (bacon)
Scientists have looked more than 1,000 raw foods to reveal their nutritional value and discovered that rendered pork fat, aka lard, made the Top 10.
The research disclosed that 3.5oz of pork fat contains 632 kilocalories, and is a good source of B vitamins and minerals. Plus, fat from a pig is more unsaturated and therefore healthier than fat from a lamb or cow.
A Calorie (kilocalorie) = 1000 calories, and represents the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.
In physics, a Calorie = 1000 calories.
My grandparents cooked with lard on a regular basis. And my grandfathers routinely spread lard on homemade bread from grandmas’ oven.
That was back before the late 1940’s when manufacturers began to push vegetable oils such as Crisco and Parkay, claiming these chemically-altered substances were healthier for us. They were not.
Lard is high in saturated fat compared to most vegetable-based oils which are hydrogenated to change the oils to solids. Hydrogenated foods have a longer shelf life and imitate the taste and feel of the other types of hard fats like pork fat.
Saturated fat is tightly packed and is found in red meat, pork, chicken, and dairy products.
Unsaturated fats, in contrast, are loosely packed. They tend to liquefy at room temperature. Unsaturated fat comes from vegetable oils, olives, nuts, seeds, and certain types of fish.
For years, medical experts have insisted that a diet full of saturated fats drastically increases the odds of getting heart disease or having a stroke. That theory has come into question across the board recently.
The American Heart Association (AHA) advises getting a just 5-6% of our daily calories from saturated fat.
To put this in terms we can all understand, anyone on a 2000-calorie-a-day diet should limit their saturated fat consumption to 120 calories, according to the AHA.
Recall, 3.5 oz of pork fat has 632 calories so 1 oz has about 180 calories. The AHA recommendation for a heart-healthy diet includes just 2/3rds oz of lard daily.
Lard contains less saturated fat than butter.
New research shows that saturated fat is not the heart-slayer it was once deemed to be, whereas the trans fats found in hydrogenated fats are worse for us than we realized.
Pig fat can be used rendered or unrendered.
Steaming, boiling, or dry heat is applied in the rendering process to convert waste animal tissue into stable, usable materials. Rendering both dries the tissue and separates the fat from the bone and protein. Rendering produces fat as a yellow grease, choice white grease, or bleachable fancy tallow and a protein meal.
Pig fat is semi-soft and white, and you can remove it from any pork product or purchase it in blocks wrapped in paper. I get it from unprocessed applewood smoked, thick cut bacon or panchetta.
Bakers use lard because it makes dough flaky and delicious. It is a mainstay for savory dishes such as sausage and pâté.
Although high in saturated fatty acids, lard has absolutely no trans fat. Trans fats raise blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol. A diet high in trans fats is linked to heart disease.
The Mayo Clinic says many doctors consider trans fat to be the worst type of fat we can eat.
Note: That 3.5 oz of lard costs, on average, about 95c. At 95c per 3.5 oz portion, pork fat falls right about in the middle of the Top 10 nutritious foods when you consider cost.
This is great news for those of us who like to live life high on the hog.
“Bacon is proof that God wants us to be happy.”– Anonymous
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively