Fats & Oils

In contrast to the modern low-fat fad diet proponents, we encourage the use of animal fats and tropical oils. Traditional people valued fat and went to great expense to insure that they had enough of it. Butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, are all wonderful fats and oils to include in the diet. Small amounts of cold-pressed flax or other fragile polyunsaturated oils are good to include, but are needed in much smaller quantities than the stable saturated and monounsaturated fats. Fat content of traditional diets ranged from 30% to 80% of calories, but only a small percentage was from polyunsaturated oils. Most fat in traditional diets was the saturated and monounsaturated fats from animals and tropical oils.

About Fats & Oils (from Healthy 4 Life):

There are four main types of fats and oils. Saturated fats , such as butter, lard (pig fat), meat fats and coconut oil tend to be solid at room temperature; monounsaturated oils like olive oil and canola oil tend to be liquid at room temperature but become solid when refrigerated; polyunsaturated oils like soybean oil, cotton seed oil, corn oil and safflower oil are liquid even when refrigerated; partially hydrogenated fats are liquid seed oils that have undergone an industrial process to make them hard.

Contrary to what you may have heard or read about fats and oils, the healthy fats and oils are saturated fats like butter, lard and meat fats, and monounsaturated olive oil. These fats and oils are stable and don’t break down into harmful substances when processed or heated. They can be used for cooking, and they also last a long time.

Animal fats like butter and lard carry the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2, necessary for strong bones and teeth, protection against infection, normal growth, normal reproduction and a happy attitude towards life. Highly saturated coconut oil also protects against infection and diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Read More >> Download the Healthy 4 Life booklet

The Oiling of America:

For information about how the nutritional policy in America got so out of whack with traditional wisdom, please see: “The Oiling of America” at the Eugene Public Library

Types of fats & Oils:

 Animal fats:

  • Butter
  • Ghee (butter that has had the milk solids removed)
  • Tallow (beef or lamb fat)
  • Suet (beef or lamb fat)
  • Lard (pig fat)
  • Poultry fat (chicken, duck, goose, etc.)

Most calories in a traditional diet come from animal fats. The fat will be cleaner and have more vitamins when they come from grass-fed and pasture-raised animals.  For butter, raw is best, but the fat in butter is very stable so it is damaged less than the other components in milk during pasteurization.  Butter (even commercial, pasteurized) is always better than margarine!

Fats from animals raised naturally, without the use of antibiotics or hormones (and especially from grass-fed cows), will be rich in fat-soluble vitamins and free of chemical residue.

The best ways to obtain good quality fats is by collecting your own from the meat you buy. The Eugene Chapter, WAPF has occasional classes and workshops on rendering fats to help you learn this simple process.

Plant Oils (Saturated & Monounsaturated):

  • Coconut Oil
  • Palm Oil
  • Olive Oil

Nut & Seed Oils (Polyunsaturated):

Must be cold pressed!  Use in small quantities.  Buy unrefined, cold-pressed, in dark bottles and store in the fridge.  Do not cook with these fragile oils!

  • Flax, walnut, almond, etc.

Avoid the highly-processed fats and oils:

  • Corn Oil
  • Cottonseed
  • Canola
  • Soybean Oil
  • Hydrogenated fats & oils
  • Partially hydrogenated fats & oils
  • “Vegetable Oil”
  • “Salad Oil”
  • Partially-hydrogenated national brands of lard

Corn, soy, cotton & canola are frequently GMO, and that is reason enough to avoid them, however even when the are organic and certified non-GMO they are frequently rancid oils, due simply to the fact that these are fragile oils that have undergone processing.

Avoid the food that use these highly-processed fats and oils:

  • Margarine
  • Salad dressings
  • Mayonnaise
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Chips
  • Deep fried foods
  • and many others

Read the labels!  I have yet to find an “olive oil” mayonnaise or salad dressing that actually contained 100% olive oil.  Even organic brands of mayonnaise and salad dressing use canola oil. Learn to make your own. The Eugene Chapter, WAPF can teach you how! We demonstrate making mayonnaise occasionally at potlucks, and also in cooking classes and workshops.  See newsletter posts: mayonnaise

Cod Liver Oil:

The Weston Price Foundation recommends cod liver oil as an excellent source of the fat-soluble vitamins; A, D & K2.  This is not the same as “fish oil”.

For more info see: Cod Liver Oil


Articles on the Weston A. Price Foundation website:

Cod Liver Oil, Vitamins A, D & K2:

 Know Your Fats:

Modern Fats & Oils:

 Low-Fat Diets:

 Losing Weight:

 In the Eugene Chapter Newsletter:

Elsewhere on the web: