A deeper look into this hugely underrated nourishing wholefood + comparing it to plant fat products
Why animal fats are better than plant fats
Plant oils are a staple in most pantries. Olive oil, canola, sunflower. Plus a lot of fridges these days have a tub of plant oil margarine on the shelf. Many of these products are touted as “good for lowering cholesterol”, being “heart-healthy” and healthy because they’re low in saturated fat.
If you asked everyone you know “Hey do you think olive oil is healthier than beef fat?” most likely at least 99% of them would say yes. That’s the sad reality of sneaky marketing and BS health advice… it teaches the majority of the population the wrong thing!
One of the main reasons these oils and products are classed as “heart-healthy” is because they contain Phytosterols.
Science shows they can lower cholesterol but there’s a couple main problems with this…
- We actually NEED cholesterol for basic cell function, to prevent depression and more.
- We’re consuming Phytosterols in larger then recommended quantities due to the inclusion of grains and legumes in the diet.
High ‘bad’ cholesterol is often misdiagnosed as most conventional practitioners don’t fully understand it or the levels we need to have to be ‘healthy’. Dr Chris Kresser has some great info on this and busts a few common myths around cholesterol. Read more here.
Another issue with Phytosterols is they may actually contribute to heart disease, not prevent it. Read more here.
Also, plants contain toxins. How they function in the human body is not how they function when tested in a lab. They contain more anti-nutrients than nutrients. Animal meat and fats don’t.
And how often have you picked an olive from a tree and squeezed out oil to use on your meal or in cooking? Never! Because to extract oil from olives the olives have to go through rigorous processing including high-temp heating. That’s never healthy!
Meat and fat from animals contain almost no anti-nutrients and lots of essential nutrients that are bio-available for the human body. Meaning we can process and use them efficiently without negative effects. This is ideal when eating food. Traditionally, plants were used more for survival situations, to get humans by between animal kills. Dr Paul Saladino talks a lot about this in his podcast interviews and on his website. We highly recommend his book The Carnivore Code too!
And… saturated fat is healthy, in particular, long-chain saturated fats from ruminant animals. Vegetable oils are higher in poly-unsaturated fats which cause insulin resistance. Dr Paul Saladino talks about this in this Facebook video.
The environment impacts
Mono-cropping is a major problem to the environment and it’s the method used for the production of most plant oils. Unless regenerative agriculture practices are used, farming large-scale crops extracts nutrients from the soil. Regenerative agriculture does exactly what the name suggests… it regenerates the land and improves the eco-system!
Sure, factory farming of cattle is bad. And this goes back to the point in the last blog post of why choosing grass-fed animal products from quality producers using healthy farming techniques is so important.
Diana Rogers – Sustainable Dish uses the message “it’s not the cow, it’s the how” and has some amazing information on the environmental impacts of unhealthy animal farming vs healthy methods, and also the problems with mono-crop production. Her book and doco Sacred Cow are out soon and we’re so excited!
We’ve experienced first hand the benefits of regen ag for both the health of the environment and ourselves. We work part-time on a biodynamic beef and egg farm run by a former bio-chemist (aka scientist!), have hosted educational farm tours there, and have learnt all about the farming practices used and eaten the food produced there. When you understand the full cycle from how an animal is raised to how it can nourish the planet and us, you appreciate the importance of consuming good quality animal products!
Another environmental factor to consider, particularly with consuming the fat, is how much waste is reduced. Apart from eating note-to-tail being a natural and traditional thing for humans to do, from a modern-day viewpoint with how much waste, landfill and pollution we’re tackling we need to incorporate ways to reduce these. If a butcher is including the suet and other fat from an animal in his product range that means less food he’s throwing out. It means we’re making the most of the animal that died for our benefit, and we’re putting less waste into landfill.
Beef is one of the most highly produced and consumed foods in Australia and the supermarkets stock mostly lean cuts or the cuts with minimal fat included, you never see tubs of the fat for sale, so imagine how much goes to waste that isn’t being used in products. Beef fat is actually quite hard to get a hold of, when it should be easy to access because it’s so easy to utilise and so healthy! This has to change!
So there are some good reasons there to do some more research on the benefits of animal fat vs plant fat and make the switch.
Do we consume any plant fats?
Yes, but very rarely now and only good quality. We buy organic olive oil and organic macadamia oil that we really only use for raw purposes and not even on a weekly basis. We used to make paleo ‘mayo’ regularly with olive oil but since going mostly carnivore created an animal-fat alternative… ghee-daise! Using grass-fed ghee to make a sort of hollandaise! Find the recipe here
The next post will include:
- How we utilise beef fat (as food and on our skin)
- How to make tallow
Until then, please let us know if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!
Clint + Aimee
Primal Fitness + Health Coaches
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