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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

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70 Comments

  1. I love using lard to cook with, and I hate the negative connotation the word itself has received- like when it’s used as an adjective to insult an overweight person. I love the way it smells when you heat it, and I especially love how economical it is! Awesome article!

    • I agreed to most the things being said in this article. However, I got one little thing to add.

      Western nutritional system build upon the idea that all bodies function the same way, food, vitamins and minerals influence each and every bodies the same way. Which lead Western nutritionist advice to their all their clients on the premise that each bodies metabolise all food the same way. Nothing can be further from the truth.

      If you examine ancient traditions such as Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, they have the understanding of “Body Types”, each types require different dietary requirements, and each food behave and influence each body types differently.

      To put this understanding scientifically, we all have Autonomic Nervous System which govern all our involuntary body processes (respiration, digestion, heartbeat, circadian rhythm, etc). Autonomic Nervous System is divided into 2 branches, the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. Both systems work in opposition, but complimentary to each other.

      Sympathetic nervous system governs the Catabolic part of our Metabolism, breaking down carb, fat and protein to provide energy for the muscle to function, it is the fight/flight function of the body, it speeds up circulation, respiration, slowdown (or shutdown) digestion and detoxification. When we are under stress, our Sympathetic system go into overdrive, this is why we don’t detoxify and digest well when we are under stress.

      Parasympathetic nervous system governs the Anabolic part of our Metabolism, storing carb, fat and protein for later use, it is the rest/build up function of the boy, it slow things down, respiration, circulation, speed up digestion and detoxification. When we are asleep, our Parasympathetic system takes over, this is why sleep is very important because it is the time our body repair and detox.

      In term of Chinese medicine, Sympathetic system is YANG (hot, acidic, dry, high, breakdown), Parasympathetic system is YIN (cool, alkaline, wet, low, buildup).

      Each body have an innate balanced of both Sympathetic and Parasympathetic, someone can have a strong Sympathetic and weak Parasympathetic, or vise versa. Or someone can have both Sympathetic and Parasympathetic in equal standing. This is genetically pre-determined.

      Characteristically, Sympathetic Dominant people tend to be skinny, have triangular or oblong shaped face, they have high energy, high strung, “up and go” temperament, type A personality, competitive, ambitious, logical and mathematical. They are the type that climb corporate ladder high, lawyers, businessmen/women, scientists, doctors. They are the type that would get up in early in the morning and go for a jog around the block every morning.

      Parasympathetic Dominant people tend to be stocky or overweight, have round or square shaped face, they tend to be calm and methodical, patience, slow moving, type B personality, easy going, relaxed, creative and intuitive. They tend to be “people” persons, counselors, social workers, artists, psychic mediums. While Sympathetic dominants would be up at 6am and already run around the block twice, Parasympathetic dominants don’t get up until 9am, and have no desire to run around the block. They would rather walk their dog than go for a run around the block.

      Balanced metabolisers are somewhere in between, they are the hardest to figure out. Because they exhibit both characteristics equally or one *slightly* more than the other.

      Why am I telling you all these???

      The type of foods we eat, influence our Autonomic Nervous System differently. In a nutshell…
      Plant based food is: YIN, Alkalizing, stimulates Parasympathetic system and suppresses the Sympathetic system.
      Animal based food is: YANG, Acidifying, stimulates Sympathetic system and suppresses the Parasympathetic system.

      By now you probably have figured out where I’m going with this. Plant based diet is suitable for Sympathetic dominant people, while Atkins type diet is more suitable for Parasympathetic dominant people. Mediterranean diet is suitable for Balanced metabolizers. This is just a generalization, the truth is… there are degrees of dominance, not just 3 options.

      Animal fats are more suitable for Parasympathetic dominant metabolizers, while Coconut oil is more suitable for Sympathetic dominant people. The more extreme your dominance, the more true the above statement to you. Meaning… “MILDLY” Sympathetic dominant people can tolerate animal fats more so than “EXTREME” Sympathetic dominant people. The flip is true for Parasympathetic dominants. And balanced is somewhere in between.

      To learn more about this look up the work of the late Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez.
      Watch his lecture on Youtube explaining all these.

      • Thanks Bernard for that.
        Some very interesting things fir thought and to add to my knowledge.
        I have figured out that inflammation is the problem for majority of illnesses today and always wondered about cholesterol in reference to inhalation l inflammation.
        I wil look up Sr Gonzalez.
        Thanks

  2. I’d love to use pastured lard, but I live in a very rural area where it’s difficult to come across certain items, including pastured pork. Does anyone know of a reliable source where I could order some?

    Thanks! =)

  3. Hi!
    I do enjoy some of your posts but no one will ever be able convience me that eating animals or lard is healthy… It is pure animal fat, something what almost all of us have already and we have it too much.There is no need to put it even more to our bodies especially in such a concentrated form.
    Our ancestors were healthier than most of us but reasons arent animals consumption for sure. They had polution free air, their food was free from pesticides, conservatives and preservatives, they didnt use cancerogenic cosmetics or electricity etc etc
    Making these kind of posts brings to you some kind of responsibility you know. Cause after reading these kind of information someone can go to the store to purchase some lard. and if you’re not 1000% sure that it really is good for health you shouldnt encourage people to believe in it or eating it.
    Dont take my comment personal however, just please be aware that this maybe really isnt some good thing to eat…
    Have a good day 😉

    • I understand that your opinion that animal products are harmful is pretty common. However, it is simply not true – and there are studies and studies that show it. As I touched on in this article, dietary fat is not harmful. There are a couple other science-backed articles which may be helpful to you: http://empoweredsustenance.com/low-fat-diet-bad/ and http://chriskresser.com/why-you-should-think-twice-about-vegetarian-and-vegan-diets

      • but dont forget that there are also studies and studies that shows something completely different 😉 including that that we can have all we need (b12 also) without eating animal products at all.. but hey its internet after all and you will find here confirmation of every possible theory 😉 I just expressed my thoughts about the topic

        • You know what? We have been deceived just like you are for the past few decades. A high fat with low carb diet is absolutely the best approach to a better overall health, and human evolutionary tells you that you will be better off eating animals and plants COMBINED. Your body is comprised of half monounsaturated fat and half saturated fat. These fats are what make up many essential parts of your body and help you transport micronutrients within your body. To put it as simply as possible, your boy cannot function without them. It would be really interesting for me to see a study that shows saturated fat is linked to any chronic diseases because so far because out of all the sources I have looked at, I have seen none. All this campaign against saturated fat started when the Crisco company tried to sell their margarine and vegetable oils as replacement of lard and butter and claimed that the oil coming from vegetables was healthier. The result was almost immediate: people started getting all kinds of diseases. Back then, people never knew what calorie was and they were all just as healthy and slim as people nowadays would dream to become; there was hardly anybody diagnosed with obesity or heart disease. However, that was the time even before vegetable oil was invented and everybody would deep-fry everything they ate with lard and tallow, and their bodies did not seem to have any problems with that. Also, none of the chronic diseases mentioned by you just now can be caused by air pollution lol! I was originally from China and you don’t wanna compare the level of pollution in the United States to that of my country, because we definitely have worse pollution than you guys, and lard is the most common oil that we use. But guess what? Heart disease was never a concern for us when it comes to choosing the food that we eat, because such disease simply isn’t common in China at all, let alone the #1 killer in the country. We also had much lower obesity rate than the United States. What do you think that tells you? Humans were evolved to eat animals when humans came to this world as a creature, and those who cannot handle the animal fat have already been eliminated through natural selection, and I believe you were not one of them, so why hold the belief that animal fat is bad for you if it is what we have been eating from the beginning? This fallacy has been debunked years ago and all studies have shown foods full of saturated fat such as butter, lard, eggs, and whole-fat dairy are exceptionally healthy for your weight and health, so it looked interesting to me when you said you found studies that showed completely different. Perhaps it is just something you made up against this article, which is also the reason why the author became speechless and did not even want to reply back lol. I hope nobody would become suspicious about this article after seeing your comment and I also hope this piece of information educated you well enough and takes your fear away when you eat lard, because all natural fats, except for omega-6 fats, will do your body real good.

          • Wow! I could not have said it better myself. I grew up in Hungary, and we ate lard, and a lot of meat. We had no problem, in fact we were all very healthy bunch! My parents live long lives,. Actually, I started to develop allergies, and food sensitivities which I never had before, Later I realized the food people eat here was a big difference, so I just stuck to my “old” way of eating, which is organic, no pesticides, GMO etc.

    • Kate might indeed be correct… about food free from conservatives being healthier. Especially the type of conservatives who lobby to keep GMOs in our food to meet their agenda of domination over the food supply and therefore greater riches for themselves. Conservatives like Monsanto and Syngenta who rape our land of its nutrients, have regulatory agencies bought off to promote their product sales (e.g. high-grain food pyramid), covertly destroying both organic and conventional farms by strategically – parasitically – placing their GMO crops within pollination distance and then suing non-GMO farmers for unwittingly growing their patented product, so farmers must destroy their entire bounty, forcing many into bankruptcy.

      Their excellent business plan created laws throughout Oregon so that nothing can prevent them from growing (and cross-pollinating) their human-harming substances wherever they want. The food supply will ultimately depend upon their Frankenproduct as it will be the only thing left allowed to be planted. And it is not-so-slowly killing us.

      Yes, Kate, food free from conservatives would truly make a difference to human health. Good point!

      • Actually I came to read this via a link provided by a product supplier(not lard or tallow). However, I’m amazed at the politicization reference that somehow “conservatives” are to blame for polluting the planet now. What a crock of lard. Hippies aren’t/weren’t the only ones on the planet concerned about or practicing sustainable agriculture. By this inference therefore any successful business related to organic food is “liberal”. So I guess liberals can be wealthy and greedy and if they do happen to work for Monsanto and vote Democrat, well then they get a free pass. I can remember some very well known health advocates that eschewed and rallied against all food corruption and pollution yet are as rich and conservative as grass is green. The solution to pollution in general and sustainable agriculture may very well come from some “conservative” greedy filthy rich mega-corporation. Whining about whose at fault just makes you a cheerleader on the sidelines and nothing more. As far as “raping” the land, the available nutritional elements were reduced to nothing decades ago due to over farming without replacement not pesticides. Oregon, last time I checked that was a blue state as is the whole west coast, you know, liberal land. So shame on Oregon liberals for letting Monsanto take over, that hardly is the country or the world. Many countries have practiced organic and sustainable agriculture for centuries and would hardly be labeled liberal. Politicizing everything in life accomplishes nothing and is far from truthful.

  4. How can you not have any moral reservations as you encourage people to support the slaughter of intelligent creatures and consumption of their bodies? Even if the “facts” you claim are true, they do not overshadow the moral imperative to cease the slaughter of innocent creatures.

  5. Thank you for this informative article, Lauren. I admit I am still hesitant to eat more animal/saturated fats since the idea that they are bad has been so ingrained into my head my whole life. I am slowly adding more of these things to my diet though, and your articles with cited research have helped me understand what is really good for me, and why. Don’t let the negative comments get you down, there will always be someone who disagrees and that is their choice. If someone doesn’t agree then they are free to eat the way they wish. You aren’t forcing anyone to eat a certain way, you’re just putting information out there for people to draw their own conclusions from. Keep up the good work, I always look forward to reading your new posts.

  6. Dear Lauren,

    why did you choose to omit “pros and contras”? The reason I ask is that not only is lard more than 50% monounsaturated fat but even lard made out of the healthiest pigs has a high amount of omega-6 fats. I do use lard and I like baking cakes using it, but I am aware of the omega-6 content and thus use very little of it.

    Looking forward to your insight!

    –An avid reader of your website.

      • So is tallow as good a cooking oil as lard? I”m about to order either tallow or lard from wellnessmeats, but I’m wondering if tallow would be better because then I could use it for my skin as well. (And tallow is low in omega-6.) I do use coconut as my main cooking oil, but I’m careful about my omega 3 and 6 balance… would tallow be a better option? And are tallow and lard similar nutritionally? Thanks for any advice!

  7. I have a jar of leaf lard and I tried cooking eggs in it once. It smells really bad when it is heated!! Is this normal? I have some frozen lard to be rendered from our pig but I am worried about the smell!!

      • There are 2 main reasons why lard would smell bad cooking. 1) It’s rancid, and needs to be thrown out. 2) It isn’t the “First” lard poured off. Lard is rendered from pig fat, as the fat cooks and heats it liquefies into lard. I have always been told there are 3 types of lard. The first liquid lard poured off is the “firsts” and lilly white. That’s what you would bake with, or use in dishes you wish to have NO pork flavor or taste. After this is poured off it continues to cook a while and then is poured again. These “seconds” will not be as white, they are egg shell to khaki in color with a mild, slight pork smell and taste. This is decent for frying in (imparts just a hint of porky flavor, some don’t notice it at all) but you wouldn’t want to bake with it unless you like bacon flavored cake. I use 2nds to make old fashioned lye/lard soap with. Then the last remaining liquids poured off would be the “thirds.” Thirds are good for purposely flavoring foods and are great to include in bean recipes. We only use thirds for bean dishes, frying pork in (obviously, pork flavor isn’t an issue then) or to add to our dogs food in the winter time. So if you are not cooking with 1sts, there will be a slight to strong smell and flavor. Store bought lard is so highly processed and fortified that isn’t usually an issue. Purchasing from other sources besides grocery chains it can be, depending on how it was cooked/packaged. Some people who sell lard just cook the whole pot all at once, and pour up all the jars at the same time mixing the 1st, 2nd, and 3rds. This makes it all have a slight smell/flavor and not so white.

        • Thanks! I’ve been making my own lard for a little while now and wondered why my first jar was so white and the second jar was a bit ivory in color – I just thought I was somehow burning the later bits. 🙂
          I only use lard to cook savory dishes with so the slight pork flavor doesn’t really matter to me but it’s good to know in case I want to whip up a pie crust.

  8. I grew up on lard!! Absolutely loved it as a kid. My dad would fry up homemade taco shells for taco night, my mom added it to all the lovely baking she did daily, it was a staple in our house, I was born in the 80’s. I’m glad to see someone promoting it, rather then bashing it.

  9. Good point about lard being local. I’ve been obsessed with coconut oil, but now I’m thinking that doing some baking with lard would be a good option. And thank you for sharing that great resource: U.S. Wellness Meats. I understand the vegan/vegetarian mindset, but it seems much more realistic to promote grass-fed/free-range farming practices.

  10. I love lard and I use it a lot! I make my own, but I also save any fat drippings from the meat I cook (bacon fat, pork fat, even chicken, beef and lamb fat). I don’t tend to separate it out into the various types, instead I have a “random fat pot” that I mix all types together in…

    2 comments about your ‘”rules of thumb”:

    1. I have seen TV adverts for eggs (from the Egg Farmers of Canada) – OK so these were not pastured/free-range eggs, but free-range/pastured eggs are healthy – so not all TV advertizing is bad… just most of it is.
    2. I am betting that my great-great-grandma (all from rural northern UK) never saw a coconut or any other tropical fruits or veggies…. but they are still good food.

    Having said that I do agree with your rule of thumbs with this caveat – if it is real food eat it. If it is processed food avoid.

  11. Lauren,
    I’ve looked for another way to contact you but haven’t found one. I hope this is ok. I’ve been reading a lot of your stuff. ..good stuff. I found you while looking for homemade yogurt. I have my own milk goats and was wondering why I couldn’t take the fresh milk and just heat it right out of the goat (filtered of course) to 110° for 24 hours or so to make yogurt w/o adding any starter. Any thoughts???

    • Soline,

      If your GGGrandmother was from Hawaii or India, she most certainly would have cooked with and eaten coconut oil or ghee, just as a GGG from Alaska would have been eating and using whale blubber; a Native American buffalo fat, etc. around the world.

      We all need to go back to using something that is in very short supply today – common sense! AND trusting our innate instincts, not the “Diet Dictocrats” who are giving nutritional advice based on money, not nutrition.

      QUESTION: What did people of the 1950’s call Organic Food? ANSWER: Food

    • If your great great grand mother came from Europe, chances are she never seen a Coconut in her life!
      My grandmother came from Rural China in the early 1900s. She never seen Olives in her life! She doesn’t know what it is. The idea of Mediterranean diet makes no sense for her and others like her.

  12. Hi Lauren, I always enjoy your posts, in fact, I credit reading your posts with the changes I made last year to start making my own deodorant,, household cleaners, beauty products, etc. When I became paleo two years ago, I couldn’t believe what I had read about lard or tallow…but then I did more reading. If you look back historically about how the food pyramid was created, and about how lard was made “evil” in the public eye, it is very interesting. We believe so much of what these medical and farming entities tell us without questioning why they are telling us …ie, to make a profit. I know that lard, tallow, ghee, coconut are much better than the man made oils and fats, and I’m sticking with them! Our family is hardly ever sick anymore, and we are eating foods that we recognize!

  13. Well-stated and well-supported article. Thanks for taking the time. I’m always skeptical when people say that food is “healthy” or “unhealthy”. Nearly all food is very unhealthy– in fact, it is dead. My point is that living things are healthy or not, and no particular food will make a living thing unhealthy, barring food allergies. In the past few decades people have decided it’s okay to say that fat and sugar are “unhealthy”, mostly because, in our country at least, we have clung to the diet of our blue-collar ancestors while increasingly turning over our physical work to machines or hired laborers. Someone said to me recently that huevos rancheros is an unhealthy breakfast. My reply was that it is a very good breakfast if you plan to go out and turn over the soil in your garden for two hours, and then rotate the tires on your truck, and have a light lunch. On the other hand, having that breakfast prior to spending the day watching football on TV while snacking and drinking sugared soda or beer is probably not a good idea. A clear head is all that is required to sort out truth from fiction. In a couple of weeks my wife and I will make our traditional Christmas tamales, and we would never think of making them without the essential contribution of Snowcap lard. 🙂

  14. If the Lard is healthy, why the creator of our body, on the bible, tell us not to eat pork meat, and make us responsible no to eat the fat of any clean animal including beef. Cattle, sheep or goats, lamb and ox.. Do you
    know that every car has an “manual”? The bible is the manual of our creator for us. You look in there, and you know what to eat and what no to eat.. Thanks

    • The reason why God told his people, the Jews, not to eat certain animals, is because they were unclean (read Leviticus 11:1-31 for the list of forbidden animals to eat). But after the death of Jesus, the Jews were no longer under that Mosaic Law.

  15. Praise the Lard.

    I don’t think an imaginary friend in the sky knows much about what we should and shouldn’t eat. In any case the Bible was written mostly by people of Jewish descent several centuries after the purported events in Jerusalem, and would of course be written in such a way as to preserve many Jewish traditions such as not eating pork.

    Of those Christians who follow the Bible, the people of Spain are possibly the most devout and their cuisine is very much pork based, for example they gave us the Chorizo. Lard is widely eaten there.

    Back on topic, did you know that McDonalds fries were cooked in pure beef tallow until a few years ago when they started using the poisonous substance known as Canola oil. Boy did those old fries taste amazing.

    Tallow is known as “Beef Dripping” in Britain and former British colonies such as Australia and New Zealand and widely available. I always have a block in the fridge alongside the lard, ghee and coconut oil.

  16. Trying to sign up for newsletter but you’re sign up form keeps asking me for a valid email address. I am entering a valid email address but it won’t seem to recognize it. 🙁

  17. My grandfather used to eat lard sandwiches, nothing else on the bread, just a thick smear of lard! Yuck. But I agree that lard has to be much better than Crisco. I’ve heard that Crisco was originally used for diesel engine lubricant on German submarines.

  18. Great article! I’ve been rendering my own lard for a while now, from local hogs raised in the woods rooting around in the dirt doing what pigs do!! Keep spreading the word!!

  19. So we can consider that daily excersie always help you maintain your health.Even if there are bad foods unlike what coca cola says as mentioned in blog.Sugary food may cost you extra run, I guess that’s true.Even I have studied it same in other blogs.

  20. Hi Lauren! I love your blog. And I have been using pastured lard for about 2 years now – we love it! So today I happen across a website (a few) that list lard as an inflammation-CAUSING food. What?! http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this. I am AIP – me and my baby need it (baby suffers from intense itchy rashes otherwise). So here I am, thinking I consume a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods… but if lard is causing inflammation, then I may want to consider lowering my intake! I use it primarily to roast veggies which I do about once/day or every other day.

  21. Please stop promoting this. Lard is pure pig fat, and some people, including me, are allergic to pork. If restaurants and bakeries are going to cook and bake with lard, it could cause a lot of health problems. Stick to butter.

  22. Hi Lauren!

    I’ve been following your blog for about 8 months, and I absolutely LOVE your work…. It’s always worth my time to stop by, and I usually end up spending like way more time than I intended perusing your links and recommended posts =).

    I have been on GAPs intro for 7 months, and am working on early Stage 4. I am looking for ways to get more variety with animal fats – ghee and butter of course, and I’ve done beef tallow, but I don’t like the taste of using it in large quantities (when you’re diet is basically soup, soup and more soup for so long, it’s nice if your soup has a pleasant flavor).

    So… lard looks like a good option to try? I do have some questions, though. What about the “unclean meat” factor? If pigs carry lots of parasites and other junk, how is lard so healthy? Do pastured pigs not carry the parasites that CAFO animals would? Also, if toxins are collected in fatty tissues, does that mean that lard is full of toxins?

    I have a local source for lard – from non-organic, partly pastured/partly grain-fed pigs. Would you recommend this as a good option, or no, because it’s not organic and completely pastured?

    I’d welcome your feedback! Thanks again for all you do! Keep up the great work!

    – Anna

  23. It’s amazing how influential the so called “experts” are – I used to try to eat as little fat as possible – I weighed 225 pounds – I now eat at least 50% of calories from fat (I alternate between coconut oil and lard) and I’ve kept my weight at about 115 for 2 years now with no hunger whatsoever.
    (and my cholesterol levels as of my last blood tests are excellent – with a high HDL)

    Yet whenever people ask me how I lost so much weight and keep it off – I mention lard and they immediately shut it down “Oh, that doesn’t work – lard makes you fat.”
    ?
    These are usually obese people who say they’ll stick with their lowfat diets, thank you very much because the experts say that’s what you need to do to lose weight.
    *sigh*

  24. I enjoyed this article, and I also love cooking with Lard, there is just something about the smell that takes me back to my Grandmother’s kitchen when I was a child. And the way it makes the breading on anything is way better than Veggie Oils. I cooked some Breaded Beef Cube Steak and Fresh Fried Squash from my garden tonight for supper with Lard and it was Amazing.

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I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

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