Fat! What Is It Good For?

If you’ve been on your self-health adventure for any length of time, you already know that one of the most frustrating conversations you can have with people who simply follow the status quo is about fat. More specifically, the need to avoid it when we’re trying to lose weight. Lately, I’ve given up pointing out that we’ve been fed much misinformation about fat for years. (Turns out, the food system doesn’t always have our best interest in mind.)

But I’m also not crazy about watching people continually make poor nutritional choices, especially when I like them (which ends up being most anyone I cross paths with). ;) Maybe I need a new approach. Maybe I’ve been a little preachy. I began wondering about the best way to share information in a way that would help people come to their own conclusions without feeling like they’re being lectured.

Glancing at my self-health bookcase gave me the answer: Jennifer McLagan’s Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient. This book makes the case for our grandmothers’ more lenient approach to fat—you know, before we demonized it and heart disease was still a rare occurrence. If you know someone who could use a refresher course on the goodness of this maligned ingredient, Fat would make a delicious gift.

McLagan’s description of the waxed cardboard container of lard that sat in her refrigerator growing up instantly transported me to the farmhouse where I grew up. She reminded me that lard, a lovely fat source, makes the most scrumptious piecrust. This little nugget of information is a mere blip in the good words McLagan shares with her readers.

After highlighting the science behind fat, McLagan explains how and why we began pushing fat out of our diets; how important it is to use fat in our own cooking; and why it’s actually good for our health. Her conversational tone makes it easy to soak up the facts and relate them to our every day life.

McLagan doesn’t just tell you all about fat, she details how to use it. You’ll find chapters on butter, pork fat, poultry fat, and beef and lamb fats, along with a variety of ways to use whatever kind of fat you have on hand. If you’re excited about the prospect of seeking out fats you’ve never considered before, she covers that too. You’ll soon be saving the drippings from every chicken and roast that you cook.

Yup, this book seems like the obvious answer to the question of how to subtly sway an individual’s opinion on the benefits of fat. There’s no need for fear in your kitchen.

To sum it up: Fat! What is it good for? Absolutelyeverything. Buy it. Cook with it. Eat some of it. Every. Day. Do it for every cell in your body. Do it for your brain, immune system, skin, hair, and digestive system. They all thrive in the presence of fat. And, by definition, you will too.

Image from iStock/airdone

Paula Widish

Paula Widish, author of Trophia: Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health, is a freelance writer and self-healther. She loves nothing more than sharing tidbits of information she discovers with others. (Actually, she loves her family more than that—and probably bacon too.) Paula has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Relations and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through International Coach Academy.

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