I just received a quart of beef tallow from my farmer (amazing what I can get excited about!) and tonight I’m going to fry something in it. Probably fish or crab cakes. Traditionally, tallow was used for high heat frying in most fast food restaurants because it remained very stable under high heat conditions and imparted a good flavor. The switch was made in the 1970’s when the vegetable oil industry gained power and propagandized the (supposed) benefits of polyunsaturated fats.
If saturated fats like tallow cause heart disease, then why is heart disease an epidemic today when hardly anyone uses tallow anymore?
Sadly, the USDA still encourages the use of these highly refined polyunsaturated seed and vegetable oils that are probably the greatest contributors to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The reason for this is that these vegetable oils are highly refined and have toxic elements in them. They are also unstable in heat situations and this causes them to oxidize. Oxidation breeds free radicals and free radicals damage cells, tissues and organs in the body. This damage includes cell membrane damage which is the basis of many diseases.
In contrast, saturated fats from clean, healthy animals that are humanely raised on pasture are protective and necessary for the human body. These are the fats our ancestors have eaten for centuries, way before oil refineries were established.
Here are four reasons to use beef tallow:
Reason 1: For high heat cooking this is one of the best fats because it remains stable with a high smoke point and you will avoid generating free radicals.
Reason 2: Beef tallow is protective against metastatic breast tumors. Research conducted at The Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, University of California, School of Medicine, Davis, CA, has shown that “Beef Tallow Increases the Potency of Conjugated Linoleic Acid in the Reduction of Mouse Mammary Tumor Metastasis.” The title says it all. This study showed that mice fed CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) with beef tallow, had fewer metastatic breast tumors than another group that was fed vegetable fat blend. The authors concluded that the fatty acids in beef tallow actually enhanced the (known) anti tumor actions of CLA.
The authors stated, “fatty acids normally found in beef tallow, such as oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids, either did not change or enhanced the cytolytic effects of CLA isomers on mouse mammary tumor cells in culture. These data provide evidence that dietary BT, itself with negligible levels of CLA, may increase the efficacy of dietary CLA in reducing mammary tumorigenesis.”
Reason 3: Using beef tallow will help make strong bones as there is a lot of vitamin D in this fat. (However, lard is probably the best source of vitamin D.)
Reason 4: Saturated fats like beef tallow provide an excellent form of energy for the human body to use. Many of the problems people have with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes and diabetes is due to the over abundance of sugars in the diet in the form of empty carbohydrate calories. This requires a lot of insulin to regulate the blood sugar and to store the excess calories as fat. The constant need for insulin creates the problems of insulin resistance and this develops into diabetes.
If people would eat more (good) fat and less sugar they would be better off. Tonight, my fish will be bathed in good clean beef tallow. It will taste delicious and—while the low fat demogogues would never admit it—it will be far more satisfying too!