A Fat Duck
Have you ever seen a fat duck?
I don’t think I have, which is why I find it funny to think about a big ol plump duck.
And the only reason I think of a festively plump duck in the first place is because every now and then I’ll see a menu item that relies on duck fat to lend it some extra flavor.
Since I’m always talking about healthy animal fats, and this is one of the more bizarre (and also one the tastiest) I thought I’d give you the rundown on what exactly makes duck fat a great idea for occasional use.
And the only reason I say occasional is because it can be a bit pricier than comparable fats.
But, it’s not outrageous price-wise, so don’t ignore this article simply because of that.
At the end of the article I’ll link you to some trustworthy and more-affordable brands.
But before I do, I’m going to outline a few health benefits associated with duck fat, just to give you a good idea of why you’d ever want to take a fat duck… I mean duck fat and pour it into a dish.
Duck Fat Is Quite Healthy, Yes It Is
One of the nice things about getting duck fat is that it’s quite hard to run across a bad batch. There aren’t large-scale duck fat rendering operations.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a feedlot filled with ducks filled with antibiotics and fed low-quality food.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t A-grade duck fat, and lower grades…
It’s just that by and large most operations that serve duck fat use “as natural a duck” as you can find.
Healthy animal fats always come from animals that are eating their natural diet.
The foods they consume when metabolized and turned into stored fat are rich in fatty acids and all kinds of other health-boosting nutrients.
Duck fat is no exception.
Duck fat can do any number of things for your health.
1 - High in Linoleic Acid:
Linoleic acid is essential for health, and many people don’t get as much as they should because their diet is absent of this amazing nutrient.
It’s one of the omega-6’s that you need to manage a healthy lifestyle.
So, what does it do?
For one it helps to regulate cell division. Our bodies rely on health cell division for growth, cell repair, and to help regulate numerous biological processes.
In addition to that it plays a role in cardiovascular function, brain health, and also influences kidney health. The body uses omega-6 fats like linoleic acid to help motivate cellular response throughout.
The one caveat to linoleic acid is that even though it’s healthy, it always needs to be consumed in tandem with Omega-3s, as when it’s consumed in excess it may become a pro-inflammatory agent. Not something you want going in your body.
One note here.
Even though I said that it’s not likely that you’re going to find a “commercial grade” duck product, that’s generally only true in the states. In other countries there are commercial grade duck products. And studies showed that the natural ducks delivered better amounts and higher-quality linoleic acid than their conventional counterparts.
Just keep that in mind when shopping for duck fat.
2 - May Help to Protect the Heart:
I already mentioned above that linoleic acid can help protect the heart when consumed in the right amounts.
Well, duck fat may offer additional benefits to the heart.
And that’s because duck fat is also loaded with healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. A cup of duck fat (205 grams) offers you 101 mg of the same kind of fat monounsaturated fats asf you’d fine in macadamia nuts which I love for its fat content and 28 grams of polyunsaturated fats.
Dozens of studies show that if you have a fairly steady consumption of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats then it can positively influence cholesterol levels by lowering LDL cholesterol and promoting HDL levels.
Researchers have studied duck fat exclusively in relation to how it affects heart health.
Dr. Serge Renaud at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Lyons, France published a paper showing that duck fat indeed was able to control several factors related to improved cardiovascular health.
It makes sense that duck fat would do this. The fat content profile of duck fat is very similar to olive oil which we know has an amazing ability to positively influence heart health.
3 - May Help Support Your Immune Health:
Immune health is all the rage right now.
And given what’s going on, who’d be surprised by that?
There are some aspects of the nutrient profile within duck fat that can lend itself to helping support how your immune system functions.
Duck fat delivers antioxidants that help to shield your cells from damage, in particular, it contains 2 that are well known for helping to keep your immune system in great health.
Those antioxidants are selenium and zinc. All you have to do is head to the National Institute for Health’s website to see how these minerals facilitate the maintenance of your immune system.
Studies on duck fat and immune health seem to suggest that this amazing animal fat can help your immune system maintain uncompromised immune function.
Remember to Get the Right Kind and Enjoy In This Way
As I mentioned earlier in this article, for most of the people in the U.S. reading this, you’re going to have an easy time finding high-quality sources of duck fat.
Because ducks are not a big part of the American agricultural scene, those who raise them for fat tend to be more committed to rearing animals that are raised in their natural environment.
I recommend getting duck fat from your local natural-food store, off of Thrive Market, or even on Amazon.
There you can learn about all the details of the incredible animal fat you’re going to be consuming.
Also, remember this. Duck fat is healthy, but you want to ensure that you’re enjoying it in moderation (if you’re not following a ketogenic diet).
And of course, best of all?
Duck fat makes meals taste amazing!!
So don’t forget that!