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FastFatFacts

November 9, 2015

Spoonful of Lard

A 2010 meta-analysis of 347,747 people around the world found insufficient evidence to tie saturated fat to heart disease. 1/13/2010
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An analysis of more than 300,000 people published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that there is no evidence that saturated fat consumption raises the risk of heart disease. 11/25/2009
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According to Mary Enig, author of Know Your Fats, lard is typically 40 percent saturated fat, 50 percent monounsaturated fat and 10 percent polyunsaturated fat. The percentage of saturated fat in lard protects the more vulnerable mono/polyunsaturated fats from oxidizing with heat, making lard an excellent choice for cooking and baking. 5/14/2000
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The per capita consumption of edible beef tallow in the U.S. has been rising since 2002. It was 3.4 lbs in ’02, 3.8 lbs in ’03 and 4.0 lbs in ’04.
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These days, cow and sheep’s fat is more commonly used in soaps, candles, and lotions than in the kitchen, but the Paleo community is picking up on beef tallow, this once widespread cooking ingredient (most fast-food chains used to use it for deep frying since it’s stable at high temperatures and imparts a slight, but delicious, meaty flavor).
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Because of its stability, its high smoke point (which approaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit), and its special flavor, lard is a highly favored oil for frying.
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Researchers reviewed data from more than 12,000 people, ages 25-74, who lived in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and participated in the Minnesota Heart Survey, which was given six times between 1980 and 2009. They found trans fat intake dropped 32 percent in men and 35 percent in women.

In 2006, the New York City Board of Health banned the use of trans fats by restaurants and bakeries, and other local governments followed. California passed a similar ban in 2008. In conjunction with mandatory labeling of trans fat, these local bans and the increased awareness of the health effects of trans fat led to an almost 80 percent drop in the amount of trans fat Americans consumed between 2003 and 2012. 6/23/2015
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EWG research shows that manufacturers used artificial trans fat ingredients in 27 percent of more than 84,000 processed foods listed in EWG’s Food Scores database and sold in American supermarkets. Yet trans fats were disclosed on the labels of only 2 percent of those items.  It is likely that Americans are consuming most of these harmful fats unaware of the risk they pose for coronary disease.

EWG found that 87 percent of the over 7,500 foods containing partially hydrogenated oils – Americans’ principle dietary source of trans fats — didn’t disclose that fact.  Instead, the labels of more than 6,500 of these items rounded off their trans fat content to 0 grams. 6/16/15
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Between 2003 and 2012, the FDA estimates that consumer trans fat consumption decreased about 78 percent and that the labeling rule and industry reformulation of foods were key factors in informing healthier consumer choices and reducing trans fat in foods. 6/16/15
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Domestic shipments of shortening, as reported to the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils (ISEO) in 2010-2011, was 5,169.2 million pounds.
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The American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee strongly advises these fat guidelines for healthy Americans over age 2: Limiting the amount of saturated fats you eat to less than 7 percent of your total daily calories. That means if you need about 2,000 calories a day, less than 140 calories (or 16 grams) should come from saturated fats.
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