Is real saturated fat good for you? YES! …and a Giveaway!

Posted · 132 Comments


I’m so glad to continue sharing what I have learned about using real fats!  I wrote my first post on this series in February of this year called Real Fat.  It was winter time and I found myself quite comfortably wearing stretchy pants, over sized sweat shirts and well… hibernating.  Well, it’s April and Summer is right around the corner meaning shorts, tank tops, pools… gasp!! 

Okay, take a deep breath and bare with me.  If I were thinking like society has raised us to think, I would go low fat, low calories and cut out the carbs, however, I will not do this to my body.  My body craves and needs saturated fats, it needs carbohydrates and I need to be at full attention for my husband and children and not be so focused on my weight.

I was watching an episode of Tyra the other day. The show I so happened to watch was about a weight loss plan.  It was called, Get Your Shape, In Shape!  I really liked that she stressed getting our own shape in shape because we are all so different and yet we all look at one type and strive for that. So for me, I’ve been cutting my portion sizes especially for my late night dinner meal, I’ve quit eating after 8 and exercise at least 3 times a week. So far, I have dropped 4 pounds.  That is literally all I’ve done.  It goes to show me that I’ve been overeating and that has caused me to carry extra weight. I still drink full fat raw milk, use real butter on my morning toast accompanied by my fried egg, and use olive oil and pork lard to create some pretty amazing dishes.

So let’s talk about real fat and why it’s so good for our health.

This whole saturated fat debate only started 100 years ago.  Manufacturers came up with the idea to turn inexpensive vegetable oils into solid fats that could be used like the more expensive butter and lard.  They also needed this solid fat to have a long shelf life and thus, the process of hydrogenation was invented. Hydrogen atoms were added to unsaturated fatty acids in oils which allowed the oils to stay solid at room temperature.

In the 1950’s Ancel Keys came out with a published study correlating saturated fats with heart disease.  It was a faulty study and yet the vegetable oil industry ran with it and started advising all Americans to quit using pork lard, beef tallow and butter in favor of shortening, vegetable oils and margarine.  All man made and unbeknownst at the time, filled with trans fats.  By the 1980’s only 2% – 3% of households were using real fats.

Fat is an important part to our body makeup.  We need fat.  Our brain, and hormones rely on fat to  function.  Digestion is impossible without fats. An interesting fact I learned from Jennifer McLagan’s book is that fat and protein are found together in nature because our bodies need the fat to help us digest the protein, so it makes sense to eat a well marbled steak or even chicken with it’s skin.  Fat also helps the body to absorb nutrients, calcium, and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. These are all benefits of eating real butter, cream, pork lard, beef tallow, meats with fats, even bacon from pastured animals raised as God intended by local family farmers.

Unfortunately, way too many of us heeded the advice to turn away from real fats and turned to man-made hydrogenated fats which are full of trans fats.  30 years later we were not healthier but heavier and our state of disease is at an all time high.  These trans fats are difficult for our body to  process, so instead stores them as fat.  They increase the “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower the “good” HDL.  They interfere with insulin production, promoting diabetes and obesity. In 2002 it was finally advised that no amount of trans fat is good for our body.

The other dietary fat that we substituted was vegetable oil for pork lard in cooking and frying. Vegetable oil is a polyunsaturated fat.  Polyunsaturated fats that are not hydrogenated are very unstable and oxidize easily, especially when heated, so they are not good to cook with.  They damage our cell’s DNA.  With the abundance of polyunsaturated vegetable oil that we are using, it’s effecting the balance of the essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3 in our bodies.  The ideal ratio is 2 – 1.  Twice the amount of omega-6 to omega-3.  By replacing animal fats with vegetable oil many of us are now getting 29 times more omega-6 to omega-3 since it’s a rich source of linoleic acid.  An excess of omega 6 has been linked to cancer, heart disease, liver damage, learning disorders, weight gain, and malfunction of the immune, digestive and reproductive systems.  It’s interesting to note that while our omega-6 intake has skyrocketed our omega-3 has declined.  Meat and butter from grass-fed animals contain omega-3, but animals raised in factory farms fed a grain diet are full of omega-6 acids.

One exception to this is Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil.  I use a lot of olive oil in my cooking as it’s been used in Spain and the Mediterranean world traditionally for centuries!  It is heat stable to 355 degrees making it great for sauteing, even frying.  Make sure it doesn’t go above that and turn rancid.  It’s definitely best eaten raw over salads and drizzled on yummy foods.

Interesting stuff, right?!

It’s really too bad that we have to get so scientific with food.  Ughhh… I hate it!!  We have seriously stripped our food of all flavor and taste and made eating a science project.  Really, let’s just eat normally.  If we cook with real foods and eat in moderation, we can ENJOY FOOD!  Let’s not feel guilty because we ate a piece of marbled steak with fat or that our morning toast used butter.  It’s nourishing and taste out of this world.  I fell into the same trap and let me tell you, the flavors created by using real fats are DELICIOUS! My grandparents lived a long life, my husbands grandparents are still living and they all grew up using real pork lard, real butter, real tallow, real milk.  I’ll follow their advice as they didn’t sacrifice flavor or nutrition!

It’s also really exciting to see a new generation embracing real foods and real fats.  Celebrity chefs such as Mario Batali introducing lardo on his menu.  Restaurants utilizing duck fat for dishes such as duck confit or to fry potatoes.  As I get into this series, I’m excited to share with you all aspects of the animal.  How to cook the tender and tough cuts of meat.  How our ancestors knew that to tenderize their grass fed roast, they would first have to lard it.  And back then it wasn’t called grass fed it was just a roast πŸ˜‰  Let’s just praise God that we are living in an exciting time where we are taking back our food system and retraining ourselves on how to cook and nourish our families.

So the giveaway!!!  I’m so excited as Jennifer McLagan the author of fat, an appreciation of a misunderstood ingredient, with recipes has agreed to give away one copy of her book!  This is a book that I would encourage on everyone’s bookshelf.

How To Enter:

  1. Leave me a comment with what kind of fat you are interested in learning more about, butter, pork lard, beef tallow, or poultry fat.
  2. Become a fan of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa on Facebook and share on your wall 
  3. Subscribe to receive my posts via email.
  4. Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. (copy and paste)

    @dianabauman Fat, An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient Book Giveaway!  #realfood

Please Remember, leave a separate comment for each entry, or your extra entries will not count!

Every comment must include an email address – it’s ok if you comment with your blog account as long as I can get to your email through your blog!  The giveaway ends April 23rd and is open to the Continental US only.  The winner will be chosen by

This post is a part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday!

132 Responses to "Is real saturated fat good for you? YES! …and a Giveaway!"
  1. Divina Pe says:

    I would love to have that book but not qualified again to join. :) I fell on that trap too many years ago as a teenager and even in college. Fat really rules of course in moderation and they are really satisfying. Thanks for this wonderful post, Diana.

  2. Sweet and Savory says:

    I would love that book! I'm especially interested in butter:)

    Ally @ Sweet & Savory

  3. Sweet and Savory says:

    I'm already a follower on facebook!

    Ally @ Sweet & Savory

  4. Mark says:

    This would be an awesome book to cook from.

  5. chanelle says:

    I would like to learn more about lard, since I just got some pork fat to render.

  6. chanelle says:

    I am a follower.

  7. Chow and Chatter says:

    all in moderation always love real butter but don't over do it high in cal he he

  8. Mama Podkayne says:

    Diana, this year we are promoting that customers get the 5 gallon bag of lard with their pork order and offering to render it for them since the butcher doesn't. Just offering that has cause so many people to ask what they would use lard for! Seriously, no one knows anymore!

  9. Tiny Urban Kitchen says:

    Great post! I agree I have changed my perspective on fat, especially after reading "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. Fascinating book.

    As for fat, I think I'm most interested in butter!

  10. knownbyname says:

    I've started using more Lard with baking – and have had raves all around. I wish I knew how to think creatively with it's use. The same with other animal derived fats! I think we've got the butter thing covered! :)

  11. knownbyname says:

    Well that was weird! Two posts for the price of one! Anyway – already follow on facebook and receive updates by email. :)

  12. knownbyname says:

    Well that was weird! Two posts for the price of one! Anyway – already follow on facebook and receive updates by email. :)

  13. Sunshine says:

    Great post! I'm scared yet interested in learning more about lard.

  14. Fuji Mama says:

    I have never used beef tallow, so I would love to learn more about it! Great post, as always!

  15. Fuji Mama says:

    I receive updates by email!

  16. Simply Life says:

    great info -thanks for sharing!

  17. Teresa Bjork says:

    I'd love a copy of the book. And also love to learn more about cooking with pork lard. One of my grandmother's old cookbooks has several lard dessert recipes in it, but I'm afraid to try them! Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Mia says:

    I would love to learn how to cook with lard.

  19. Bucky says:

    I need to learn more about lard. It was once the prevalent form of fat here in the south. Time to bring it back.

  20. Jessica says:

    I'd like to learn more about beef tallow.

  21. Jessica says:

    Following you on twitter.

  22. Jessica says:

    I subscribe via email.

  23. aviendha1979 says:

    I am torn: I have a ready supply of poultry fat that it would be nice to know what to do with, but I am also very interested in hearing about the beef tallow. And I would love a copy of this book!

  24. Hummingbird Appetite says:

    I'd love to read the book! I'm interested in learning more about pork lard because I've been cooking a lot of Mexican food.

  25. matt4melis says:

    I'm interested in learning more about pork lard

    matt4melis at hotmail dot com

  26. matt4melis says:

    already subscribe to receive your posts via email

    matt4melis at hotmail dot com

  27. matt4melis says:

    follow you on twitter and tweet

    matt4melis at hotmail dot com

  28. Nicole says:

    I would love to learn about beef tallow and chicken fat.

  29. Janene says:

    I would love to know more about pork lard. My son has a soybean allergy and lecathin is in everything.

  30. Jessie Y says:

    I've learned some about tallow, but would like to know more about that & would love to learn about chicken fat – I don't know anything really about that.

  31. Jessie Y says:

    I follow you on facebook & posted about this.

  32. Jessie Y says:

    I already get your posts via email

    jessiejbible at yahoo

  33. meganmerseth says:

    We just rendered a lot of beef tallow, so I'd be interested in learning more about that.

  34. meganmerseth says:

    just subscribed!

  35. Rachel says:

    i love that book! i recently checked it out from the library, but was just thinking that i'd love to own it :)

    i would like to learn more about using poultry fat…

  36. Rachel says:

    just became a fan on Facebook…

  37. Rachel says:

    just subscribed to your email updates…

  38. Rachel says:

    aaaand, now following you on Twitter and tweeted about the giveaway! thanks!!

  39. Thoughtful Mothering says:

    I'd love to learn more about beef tallow. I made some delicious turnip fries in it last week.

  40. Thoughtful Mothering says:

    I facebooked it, I'm subscribing… but I've abandoned my twitter and I only have 14 friends on a private account, so that would do you no good.

  41. Kelli says:

    I would like to know more about beef tallow, and would love a clean source of pork lard.

  42. Kelli says:

    I subscribe already.

  43. Erin from Long Island says:

    Since it is the only one I dont use on a regular basis, I would love to learn more about beef tallow

  44. Erin from Long Island says:

    email subscriber

  45. bridget {bake at 350} says:

    I heard about this book and would LOVE to read it (especially the butter section). Thanks!

  46. Tara says:

    I would love to learn more about tallow, lard, and chicken fat. I try to use these but I don't know that I am making "good" use of them.

  47. mel says:

    I am interested in learning more about fats that come from animal meats specifically from pork and beef. I have been a strict vegan in the past and grew up vegetarian with the rare factory farm meat meal so I know very little about meat and am eager to learn as incorporating pure animal foods and byproducts has done wonders for my health.

  48. Cristie says:

    Thanks for the wonderful information on FAT! I have so much to learn, endless amounts to learn. For now I would like to learn about beef lard. I already follow you on your blog and twitter :)
    Cristie, The TableRunner

  49. GreenRanchingMom says:

    I would love to learn (& lend) about beef tallow & more beneficial uses. Thanks!

  50. Earthgrlie says:

    I"m interested in learning more about butter. I've been trying to research my local options for grass-fed butter compared with the grass-fed butter I can get at the grocery store. I love butter, yum!

  51. Fresh Local and Best says:

    I would love to know more about poultry fat.

  52. Fresh Local and Best says:

    I am a fan of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa on facebook. :)

  53. Fresh Local and Best says:

    I follow you on twitter.

  54. Lisa says:

    I would love that book. I think I would like to learn more about Lard. I don't have a good source of lard (and the farmers I do know that might have it, it is unrendered). I would love to learn more about rendering it.

    I currently use the good fats in my house and we love chicken fat (since we are Jewish, it is a traditional staple since Jews typically don't eat pork).


  55. Pamela @ Seeds of Nutrition says:

    I'll ready follow you on Facebook and Twitter.
    I just subscribed for email updates ( I thought I had already ) but now I do.
    Going to post on my blogs facebook as soon as I sign out of here.
    I have no particular fat that I would like written about more….feel they all need more emphasis across the board.

  56. Pamela @ Seeds of Nutrition says:

    I also Twittered the giveaway link!

  57. Anonymous says:

    I use beef tallow but sparingly because CO is my go-to fat. But when wanting high heat, it's tallow so I'd love to learn about more ways to use it.

  58. roxy1stmommy says:

    Looks great, I'm a facebook fan and following on twitter. Plus I'm following you blog through google.
    I just made some beef tallow and it is wonderful. Glad I found your blog!

  59. Michelle @ Find Your Balance says:

    I've been meaning to get this book! Cool. I want to learn more about lard, personally. And I'm now following you on Twitter!

  60. Amy Ruth says:

    I'm interested in learning about beef tallow. I think I've got the butter thing down! :-)

  61. Amy Ruth says:

    Became a fan on Facebook and shared on my wall. (I really want this book!)

  62. Amy Ruth says:

    Already follow you on Twitter. I retweeted the giveaway. Have I mentioned that I really want this book?!?

  63. Tara says:

    Wow! I have to have that book! I want to learn more about all fats.

  64. Tara says:

    I just posted a link to this on facebook.

  65. A.R.Ambler says:

    I just bought a tub of lard and want to learn what to do with it other than pie crust!

  66. Janelle says:

    I'd love to learn more about tallow and lard! Never used them before…except for lard in pie crusts.

  67. Janelle says:

    I subscribed via email!

  68. videobabe says:

    I also have been hibernating in Iowa. Thank you for the great info and I am interested in learning more about quality poultry fat.


  69. YOY says:

    i love 'em all, most interested in olive oil in baked goods .. as in those delish olive oil tortas I buy for treats Thanks!

  70. Nickname unavailable says:

    would love to learn more about butter :)

  71. Nickname unavailable says:

    i am also a fb fan and shared this article. thanks for the chance to win! becky

  72. Lisa says:

    I would love to learn more about lard & tallow – especially how to find good sources & then how to render them for use.

    Great giveaway – thanks!

  73. Nichola says:

    I would love to hear more about butter, esp grassfed butter. =)

    Thank you for doing this giveaway!


  74. Nichola says:

    Subscribed to your email list…

  75. Colin Boggess says:

    I've wanted a copy of this book for a while now. I'm particularly interested in fat from poultry, especially ducks & geese…so delicious! I've been caught before eating it by the spoonfull!!

  76. Margaret says:

    Became a fan on Facebook. I eat lots of goat butter, coconut oil and lard.

  77. Ruth in the Desert says:

    I would love to learn more about lard! I used to buy it for soapmaking. I've been using The Flat Belly Diet guidelines and eating lots of monounsaturated fats–and I lost 26 pounds. It's wonderful to eat real food and be heatlhy!

  78. FitMommy says:

    would love to win this book – love to cook with pork fat and butter – would like to learn more about tallow.

  79. Anonymous says:


  80. Anonymous says:

    Daphne says: I would love to learn more about cooking with lard, I hear it makes awesome biscuits.

  81. Anonymous says:

    This is my first time to your blog and I loved the post! The book looks really interesting! I would love to know more about butter!

  82. ~*the gastronomic goddess*~ says:

    I would love to learn more about duck fat and beef tallow! I've been liberally using butter, other poultry fat, and pork lard for some time, but duck and tallow elude me! :) I would love to have this book!

  83. ~*the gastronomic goddess*~ says:

    Subscribed to your posts by email!

  84. ~*the gastronomic goddess*~ says:

    Became a fan on facebook!

  85. ~*the gastronomic goddess*~ says:

    Following you on twitter, and here's a link to my tweet about the contest:

  86. amanda says:

    I'd love to learn more about lard. Butter is already a family favorite, no meal without. Thanks for the education.

  87. Christy says:

    I would love to know more about tallow and lard.

    cekayser at aol dot com

  88. Christy says:

    I am a follower!
    cekayser at aol dot com

  89. Christy says:

    I subscribe via email.
    cekayser at aol dot com

  90. Christy says:

    I follow you on twitter and I tweeted the giveaway!
    cekayser at aol dot com

  91. Michelle AP says:

    I need to learn more about all of the animal fats. I am doing well with butter…butter is goooood:o)

  92. Michelle AP says:

    Follow on twitter and tweeted.

  93. Michelle AP says:

    Get your posts by email.

  94. Michelle AP says:

    I am a Facebook fan and shared your blog/this post.

  95. MelissaJoy says:

    I would LOVE to learn more about all of the fats, but particularly the pork and beef lard/tallow. My husband and I try every day to live healthier. And I also would love to get this book as yet another resource under my belt for discussion fats with others.

  96. Anonymous says:

    I would like to learn more about poultry fat, as we have started raising our own free-range chickens!
    Fran at

  97. Jana says:

    I would love to find someplace I can purchase lard so I can try cooking with it.

  98. Jana says:

    I'm a new subscriber via google reader :)

  99. Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete says:

    I so agree with you about how good fats are good for us! I have a U.S. address, but it isn't continental. :(

    However, I love this post. People are always asking my husband and I how we are so skinny. Here's the answer: we don't eat artificial crap. We believe in eating REAL foods. We eat butter and bacon, and my husband drinks whole milk and sometimes half and half. We are active, and eat everything in moderation most of the time.

  100. says:

    Great instructive post! I love it! I have started eating real butter again and purchasing raw milk! It tastes so much better…
    I have never used beef tallow so I'd love to read more about it.

  101. says:

    I'm a follower

  102. says:

    I am a fan on Facebook too!

  103. momgateway says:

    Finally a book that says that not all fat is bad! I'd like to learn more about chicken fat.

  104. Erin Davy says:

    Hey what an awesome giveaway!

    I already am a fan on Facebook!
    (but I don't Tweet)

  105. Erin Davy says:

    Diana, I've been working on using bacon grease more & I even make lard! In fact I've got a HUGE hunk of milk-fed pork fat in my freezer to make into lard soon….

    PS I posted on my FB page.

  106. Erin Davy says:

    I subscribe via Google Reader, and also 4.23 is my anniversary, so it would be SUPER great if I won the Fat book! πŸ˜€

  107. tam - a little bit burnt says:

    Great post! I would love to learn more about cooking with lard.



  108. Nora says:

    id love to learn more about lard – i already make pie crusts with it and i never tell anyone becuase people are frightened to eat meat fat in dessert! but the crust comes out perfect everytime

  109. Anonymous says:

    I want to learn more about butter.

  110. Food o' del Mundo says:

    Pork Belly!

  111. Cookin' Canuck says:

    This is such an informative and realistic pork. Everything in moderation!

    I would like to learn about pork lard because I have never cooked with it.

  112. Cookin' Canuck says:

    I am a fan on Facebook.

  113. Cookin' Canuck says:

    I follow you on Twitter and am RT this right now.

  114. Brie: Le Grand Fromage says:

    yeah! another post about real fats! SO important! i would love to get a copy of this book. i am interested in finding out more about beef tallow, since i'm less familiar with that one.

  115. Brie: Le Grand Fromage says:

    i am a follower on twitter and tweeted about the giveaway!

  116. Brie: Le Grand Fromage says:

    i receive copies of your posts via email!

  117. melissa says:

    I just took this book out from the library and would LOVE to have a copy to call my own! Good stuff.

  118. sweetsue says:

    I am most interested in learning about butter-it's one of my favorite foods!
    smchester at gmail dot com

  119. Emily says:

    this book is great, i've read it from the library and would love to own it. im interested in learning more about beef and buffalo fats.

  120. Marie says:

    Poultry fat. :)

  121. Corinne says:

    I would like to learn more about beef tallow and pork lard. It sounds like an interesting book.

  122. Corinne says:

    I am a subscriber!

  123. Kristen says:

    I would like to learn more about the beef tallow, plus any benefits of butter is good to know!

  124. saveMeEHJeBus says:

    Omg i just stumbled upon your blog today…love it! would love to read this book…i am interested in butter fat & natural fat from meat…thanks!

  125. Connie Boyer says:

    I am interested in learning more about butter and lard.I just rendered lard for the first time yesterday. I have started making homemade butter. I am trying to get back to nature and eat more the way God intended for us to eat. I am interested in learning more about healthy eating and living! I am also interested in sharing what I learn with others. To help others prosper in health.
    Thank you so much! Blessings!

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