Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dr. Weil Recommends Lard. Say It Isn't So.

Dr. Weil sent this out today:
Lard Making A Comeback
"It may seem crazy - lard, pure fat from a pig, is becoming popular again? But it turns out that conventional wisdom about the health effects of saturated fats, like those in lard, is being overturned. Could there be lard in your future?"
Lard is not in my future. A few reasons...
  1. It is likely a good source of fat-soluble environmental pollutants that bioaccumulate (such as triclosan which I posted about yesterday, as well as other endocrine disruptors found in higher amounts in the fatty tissue of animals).

  2. Diets high in saturated fat increase the risk of developing or exacerbating insulin resistance and diabetes. Here's one post: Blood Glucose And Insulin Higher After Meal High In Saturated Fat.

  3. Lard is produced through a process of rendering that involves high heat, which oxidizes some of its fatty acids. Oxidized, or rancid, fat contains free radicals, peroxides, and other products demonstrated to initiate and promote tumors. In fact, lard sold in supermarkets usually contains an anti-oxidant preservative such as the controversial BHT to slow this process of oxidation, as well as bleaching and deodorizing agents, and emulsifiers. It can also contain trans-fat if it has been hydrogentated, which it undergoes to keep it uniformly solid at room temperature.
Photo of pig farmer Jeff Schmitt tending to his hogs at his farm in Holy Cross, Iowa, on April 29, 2009 from the Christian Science Monitor.


Bix said...

I listed some health reasons why lard isn't in my future. I'll add ... The practices of factory farming involved in the production of these products disturb me.

Angela and Melinda said...

His reasoning seems "reasonable," but I'd like to see the study he cites that is supposed to "disprove" the "shaky science." I really like Weil, but it's annoying when he makes these "ex cathedra" pronouncements without citing the source.

Reijo Laatikainen said...

Dr. Mel is right. Where is the data, Dr. Weil?

If inflammation is so central as Dr. Weil argues himself, then lard may not be a good choice.

Saturated fat increases inflammation via increased LPS (endotoxin) absorption, Δ5-desaturase inhibition and deterioration in anti-inflammatory action of HDL. High fat meal challenges (or simply "fat challenge") are done with saturated fat, in order to cause post-prandial inflammatory response.

One nice example of evidence is here (Sat fat vs glucose vs orange juice).

Or this:

And there are many more.

On the same token, these studies are not made with lard, but with butter (or cream). As Dr Weil says there is more MUFA in lard than in butter. I'd still like to see inflammatory responses to lard. I'm not convinced that they would be clearly different from butter.