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Lard Rated One of the Top 10 Healthiest Foods

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • A 2015 analysis supports the notion that animal fats are a healthy and important part of the human diet, ranking pork lard the eighth healthiest food out of 100
  • Pork fat’s nutritional fitness score was 0.73 — one of the highest scores within the “fat-rich” category. Only dried chia seeds (with a score of 0.85), dried pumpkin and squash seeds (0.84) and almonds (0.97) scored higher, and these seeds and nuts are all loaded with high levels of oxalates
  • Valuable nutrients found in lard are vitamin D, omega-3 fats, monounsaturated fats (the same fats found in avocados and olive oil), saturated fats and choline
  • When buying commercially-available lards, make sure they’re not hydrogenated. Most are, and hydrogenated lard will contain trans fat (although products containing 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving can claim to be trans fat free on the label)
  • Rendering your own lard is simple (albeit a bit time consuming). For the highest quality and nutrition, make sure the pork fat you buy is from organic pastured (free-range) hogs

For decades, saturated fats like butter, lard and tallow were said to cause heart disease. Responding to such health concerns, the food industry replaced saturated fats with hydrogenated oils that are loaded with trans fats, giving rise to a whole new market of low-fat (but high-sugar) foods.

Americans' health plummeted in tandem with this systemwide change, and millions have been prematurely killed by it. As it turns out, trans fat, found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, acts as a pro-oxidant, contributing to oxidative stress that causes cellular damage.

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