Whenever I bring up beef tallow in a conversation, people always ask me what it is. Sadly, in our modern society beef tallow has somehow become labeled as an unhealthy fat. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!
The truth is long ago before the introduction of vegetable oils, beef tallow was the cooking oil of choice, and for good reason!
Not so long ago Mcdonald’s actually used tallow to fry their french fries!
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This is not medical advice. I am not a doctor. All opinions are my own.
Beef tallow is much better for you than the huge bottles of canola oil you find at your grocery store. These processed oils such as palm oil or soybean oil are full PUFAs or polyunsaturated fat which can be super damaging to the human body.
They are unstable fats and can oxidize in the body easily. They have been shown to mess with hormones, increase the risk of cancer, lower the immune system, and more.
Basically, you want to run far away from them!
In contrast, animal fats such as tallow fat are full of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, and K.
Tallow is high in saturated fats which contrary to popular belief are actually full of health benefits for the human body. Tallow is great for your skin and can even help you burn fat!
Unfortunately, health guidelines are often driven by large food companies that want to sell you food that is the cheapest for them to make. That’s why they market highly processed cheap canola oil as heart-healthy even though it couldn’t be further from the truth.
My hope is for you to be inspired to make your food choices based on your own research instead of what these big companies tell you is healthy!
If we think about what our ancestors ate it would have been mostly animal products and whole foods not highly processed seed oils.
It seems like no coincidence that chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease is on the rise in the past few decades despite Americans eating less and less red meat and animal products.
That would lead us to believe that animal products aren’t to blame but the newer highly processed seed oils and packaged foods are the ones doing the damage.
What is Beef Tallow?
Beef tallow is rendered fat from an animal. In most cases, this fat is from cows.
The fat (also known as leaf fat) is trimmed from the meat and heated until it separates and then strained until only the liquid is left. You can find beef tallow at almost every grocery store or you can go to your local butcher and ask for fat to make beef tallow yourself!
Like other fats like coconut oil, it is solid at room temperature and liquid when heated. It is commonly used as a cooking oil because it has a very high smoke point of 420ºF (220ºC) so it can be used for cooking at high temperatures.
It can also be whipped which makes it perfect for use in skin balm or other skin care products. I make my own tallow balm that I use as lotion and it is absolutely amazing!
It is always best to pick grass-fed beef tallow which means it is made from fat from grass-fed cows. This will ensure it has the most nutrients.
Grass-fed tallow has 4x the amount of vitamin E than tallow from grain-fed cows! That is because they are eating the diets that are the most nutritious.
Is Beef Tallow Healthy?
Beef tallow is the healthiest type of fat you can consume. It is full of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, and K and contains saturated fats that help strengthen your cells. It is nourishing to your skin and can even help you burn fat!
Health Benefits of Beef Tallow
Now that you know beef tallow is indeed good for you let’s look at the specific health benefits of beef tallow. It’s not only good to cook with and eat, but it’s also great got your skin and may even help with weight loss!
1) Contains Healthy Fats
It used to be thought that high saturated fat was bad for you but in recent years it has proved to be the opposite.
Tallow contains healthy saturated fat and monounsaturated fats that are said to raise cholesterol is a good way. They boost your good HDL cholesterol. These are considered the most heart-healthy fats and are also found in olive oil.
2) Nourishes the Skin
Tallow is excellent for skin health because it contains vitamin A which helps to heal skin issues such as aging, skin irritations, or acne by producing more collagen making cells healthy, and leaving the skin smooth.
Tallow is more compatible with our skin than plant-based products because our cell membranes need fats to be made. Tallow actually helps to repair cells and leave even the most sensitive skin feeling nourished and amazing!
Tallow balm is great for the skin because it has anti-inflammatory properties and is high in vitamin E. You can use it for many skincare products such as:
- diaper rash cream
- lip balm
- body balm
- face cream
- tallow soap
Try making your own tallow balm with this recipe!
3) Contains Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Tallow contains fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, and K. These vitamins can encourage your body to produce collagen and elastic region creating healthy skin cells. Also, vitamin D helps with metabolism repair and the development of new skin cells.
Tallow also contains conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. CLA is known to be anti-inflammatory making it a great fat for human health. Be sure to choose grass-fed Tallow because it contains 4x the amount of vitamin E than tallow from grain-fed cows.
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4) May Help Promote Fat-Burning
Eating tallow can actually help you burn fat instead of gain fat. Despite being fat, beef tallow can actually help release glucagon, which is a hormone that signals your body to burn stored fat to use it for energy. When this stored fat is burned, it will lead to you losing weight!
Alternatives to Beef Tallow
Now that you know the benefits of using beef tallow you may be wondering if there are any alternatives to beef tallow for cooking.
We already touched on how mass-produced seed oils such as canola oil and sunflower oil are damaging to the human body. I do not recommend using these oils in your home or consuming them if possible.
Even if you don’t want to cook with beef tallow all the time there are plenty of healthy alternatives to use. Using fruit oils is a great option since they are natural, minimally processed, and also contain healthy saturated fats. Try using coconut oil or avocado oil when you run out of tallow!
Overall, beef tallow is a healthy cooking fat with many health benefits. It contains healthy fats your body needs to build cell membranes, has many useful fat-soluble vitamins, is great for your skin, and can even help you lose weight!
Considering all the pros tallow has going for it I would say it is absolutely healthy and is a great cooking oil to have on hand in your home.
Just like any other food you shouldn’t overdo it on beef tallow. It’s best to eat a variety of whole foods for a healthy diet and optimal health!
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