The prime example of fats we all thought were bad for us, lard (rendered pork fat) may have been wrongly demonized for years. The main fat in lard—oleic acid—is a monounsaturated fat linked to decreased risk of depression, says Dr. Ramsey. Those same monounsaturated fats, which make up 45 percent of the fat in lard, are responsible for lowering LDL levels while leaving HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels alone. Lard’s saturated fat content is just 35 percent, with polyunsaturated fats making up the balance. It also tolerates high cooking temperatures and is a great substitute for vegetable shortenings, which contain unhealthy trans fats, in baking. “I only have three oils in my kitchen: olive oil, butter, and lard,” says Dr. Ramsey.
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