Tallow is fat rendered from beef. This is a reason why it is sometimes called beef lard. It is solid at room temperature, but it melts into a liquid when heated. The appearance and texture of tallow are looking like butter because it is solid and beige/white color when cooled. But, it has a drier, waxy texture and somewhat different taste than butter. Tallow is mostly saturated animal fat, but it has some unsaturated fats as well as.
It is estimated that the breakdown of fats in tallow is to be 45 – 50% saturated fat, 42 – 50% monounsaturated fat, and 4% polyunsaturated fat. The tallow has some nutrients, like CLA, choline, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B12. It is recommended to consume tallow in moderation and to include unsaturated fats in your diet as well.
If you have a risk of heart disease and you have a history of high cholesterol, then you should limit your use of pure animal fats or at least getting your doctor’s advice. If you are a lover of McDonald’s French fries, then you should know that before this company started using hydrogenated vegetable oils to fry its fries, it used good, old–fashioned beef tallow.
Here are some health benefits of tallow:
Can help hydrate the skin:
Tallow is good for your skin. It is rich in fatty acids which can help to form lipids that keep skin protected and moisturized. These include oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitoleic acid. When you consume fats, it can help to support your skin. Some fats, including tallow, can also be applied topically to your skin. Some benefits of tallow for the skin include: supporting the protective barrier function of the skin; helping increase skin’s flexibility and ability to heal; improving moisture and treating dryness.
Has a high smoke point:
Compared to other cooking oils and fats, including butter and olive oil, tallow has a higher smoke point around 420 – 480 degrees F. The smoke point is a temperature at which an oil starts to burn, smoke, and lose many of its nutritional benefits. The tallow can be used at high temperatures without causing its chemical composition to change.
When you are cooking at high temperatures, such as baking, frying, and roasting, use it over oils, like corn, canola, and even virgin olive oil, which are prone to oxidizing at high temperatures and can lead to health issues, such as the formation of free radicals.
Can help you absorb essential vitamins:
We need fats in our diets to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K. These are essential vitamins that can help you to support the immune system, skin, heart, and skeletal system.
May help supports weight loss and management:
Tallow is rich in CLA, which is a fatty acid. Many studies are said that this fatty acid can support a healthy metabolism and may lead to fat burning. There is some evidence which demonstrates that CLA has immune-supporting and anti-inflammatory properties, possibly even fighting the growth of tumors, as does the fatty acid oleic acid.
When you consume animal fats, then they can help you with your weight loss, if you follow a high–fat keto diet, which leads to ketosis and it can have benefits, such as reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Provides healthy fats, including cholesterol:
In the 1950s, doctors were recommending a lower-fat diet, because animal fats were being linked to the development of coronary heart disease. But, at this period, we understand that foods high in fat and cholesterol actually provide certain health benefits. The tallow has both saturated and monounsaturated fats. It is made up of 40 – 50% monounsaturated fats, which are known as one of the most heart-healthy fats in our diets.
It is the same type of fat that is found in olive oil. The type of saturated fat which is found in tallow is believed to have a mostly neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels or the ability to raise the good HDL cholesterol, which means that consuming it in moderate amounts should not increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.