What Is Beef Tallow

What Is Beef Tallow (and Why Should You Be Eating It)?

Last modified on February 8th, 2023

The concept of eating tallow, fat, may seem strange, but it could have many benefits for your skin, your hormones, and more. Integrating beef tallow into your diet is something you can do through supplements or using it for cooking.

The Basics of Tallow

  • Beef tallow was long used as a cooking fat until the 1970s
  • It’s a nutrient-dense form of fat that is an integral part of ancestral and carnivore diets
  • Beef tallow is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids
  • Many people find that beef tallow improves their inflammation levels as well as their skin and hair

Beef tallow is one of the most important components of a carnivore diet, which has been popular with Dr. Paul Saladino’s book, The Carnivore Code.

Beef tallow is rendered beef fat, and it was used historically as a cooking fat until we started turning to synthetic ingredients and seed-based cooking oils.

Looking back to the beginning of the 20th century, tallow was the most common type of fat used in cooking. It wasn’t until the 1970s that we started to hear the myth that animal fats cause heart disease, thus the move to polyunsaturated seed-based oils.

Since then, we’ve learned that much of the information used to build the food pyramid was deeply flawed. We have learned from recent studies that not only was the idea of the food pyramid pretty wrong regarding nutrition, but we’re also learning more about the fact that natural fats, including tallow, don’t cause heart disease.

Beef tallow is pure fat and has many benefits for your health and wellness.

How It Made?

We often see beef tallow, although tallow can also be made using sheep fat. To make tallow, you render suet, the fat surrounding animal organs.

Rendering usually requires that you heat suet to separate all the fat from the connective tissue and the remaining muscle. Then, once it cools, you have pure fat that’s solid when it’s at room temperature.

Chefs often love to cook with beef tallow because it has a high smoke point, meaning you can cook it at high temperatures without it becoming rancid.

Some people also use tallow as a skincare product because it has fatty acids in a proportion similar to our skin, meaning our skin can easily absorb it. It can be healing for certain inflammatory skin conditions when applied topically, and it has antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

If you want to cook with tallow, you can render your own by purchasing suet from your local butcher.

Many great companies also offer tallow ready for you to use on sites like Amazon. 

There’s also another option if you don’t cook much or the idea of cooking with beef tallow makes you uncomfortable, and that’s to take it in supplement form, which we’ll discuss more below and is our preferred way to have tallow in our diet because of the convenience.

So beyond being fat, specifically, what is tallow? It’s usually fat from around the kidneys because it is the highest in nutrients. With that being said, while kidney fat is preferable, any beef fat can be rendered.

What Are the Benefits?

The nutrient profile of beef tallow is tremendous.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins and Fatty Acids

The following are four essential fat-soluble vitamins in beef tallow:

  • Vitamin A: When you have grass-fed beef tallow, you get more vitamin A than bone marrow or muscle meat. Vitamin A is integral to our immune system function and skin and eye health.
  • Vitamin D: Our bodies need vitamin D for calcium absorption and immune system health, yet nearly 80% of Americans are considered deficient. Beef tallow is high in vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, and some research shows Alzheimer’s patients tend to have a lower vitamin E intake.
  • Vitamin K: This calcium-binding co-factor helps prevent calcification in the arteries. Higher intake levels of vitamin K are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Beef tallow has high amounts of essential fatty acids as well. Our bodies don’t produce essential fatty acids, so we need them from our food sources, yet the Standard American Diet is often deficient in these important fats.

Essential fatty acids play a role in the following processes:

  • Hormone production and regulation
  • Development of the brain and nervous system
  • Thyroid and adrenal function
  • Healthy cell membrane formation
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Inflammatory response
  • Immune response
  • Liver function
  • Regulation of blood clotting
  • Breakdown of cholesterol
  • Healthy skin and hair

Burn More Fat

It goes against some of what we may have been taught over the years, but among beef tallow uses and the use of other fats in our diet is the ability for it to help us burn more fat. Certain hormones regulate how we store nutrients and regulate blood glucose levels.

These hormones are glucagon and insulin. Insulin is a storage hormone, and glucagon is a hormone that mobilizes nutrients.

Ketosis can occur when your insulin is low, and your glucagon is high. Ketosis sends a signal to your body to release fat and then burn it for energy.

Beef tallow is also high in something called Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA. This fatty acid can increase how much body fat you can shed.

CLA is also thought to potentially protect against colon cancer and metastatic breast tumors.

Ideal Cooking Oil

Beef tallow is great to cook with and is often referred to as the ideal cooking oil because of the high smoke point. 

It doesn’t oxidize, even at high heat levels, and it’s versatile in the ways that you can use it for cooking while it remains stable.

Skin Health and Appearance

Many of us are always looking for things that can improve the look and feel of our skin, especially as we age. We think more about the things we put on our skin versus in our bodies, but we should reverse that thinking. Truly healthy and beautiful skin does begin from within.

Our cell membranes are made up of fatty acids, and the makeup of tallow is almost the same. When you have beef tallow, it nourishes your cell membranes and moisturizes your skin.

A high-fat diet can also reduce inflammation and insulin, both of which play a role in how your skin looks.

Vitamin D and E are important for skin health because they are antioxidants, and beef tallow is high in both.

You can apply tallow topically as well as ingest it.

Ancestral Supplements Beef Tallow

While beef tallow makes a great cooking fat or oil, you may not have it available, or you might prefer to get the benefits in other ways.

Ancestral Supplements, a great company for nose-to-tail nutrition, has a beef tallow supplement.

Ancestral Supplements Beef Tallow is from the kidney suet.

The suet is sourced from New Zealand-raised cows that are grass-fed and grass-finished. The cows are GMO- and hormone-free, and the products have no fillers or flow agents.

Low-eat rendering is used for Ancestral Supplements Beef Tallow, meaning that the vitamins, co-factors, and minerals are all preserved in the same balance they occur naturally.

Ancestral Supplements Beef Tallow provides foundational nourishment and may help promote hormone and fertility health. The beef tallow supplement may also help with the health of the immune system, may reduce inflammation, and help you have healthy gums, teeth, skin, and bones. There’s also the potential for beef tallow from Ancestral Supplements to have anti-cancer effects because of the fatty acids it contains.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some answers to frequently asked questions about beef tallow.

What Is Tallow?

Beef tallow is rendered beef fat. Until the 1970s, beef tallow was the most commonly used cooking fat, and in recent years as we learn more about the possible risks and cancer-causing effects of many cooking oils, its popularity has once again grown.

The best-quality beef tallow is sourced from the kidney area.

What Are the Benefits?

Beef tallow benefits include:

  • Rich in minerals
  • High in vitamins, including fat-soluble vitamins
  • Contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory and may also have anti-cancer effects
  • It contains essential fatty acids that help improve the appearance of the skin
  • Rich in fatty acids like DHA that are essential for brain growth and optimal function
  • May increase fat burning because it affects the hormones used by the body for the storage and release of fat for energy
  • More stable than other cooking fats

How Do You Make Tallow?

If you want to make your own tallow, you can do so. When exploring how to make beef tallow, you’ll first have to source it. Ideally, look for grass-fed beef from locally-raised cows Butchers will frequently throw their tallow away, essentially their fat trimmings. If you have a local butcher, you can ask, they will usually save the tallow for you.

If you get tallow from the butcher, you start trimming the fat off the meat.

Then, cut the tallow into pieces around one inch big. Put them in a stainless-steel pot until the pot is around half full.

Put the burner on medium.

Make sure you stir it every 10 minutes when you’re making tallow. Then, it will start to reduce, and the chunks will melt.

Then put your liquid into containers and refrigerate them.

If you are sourcing fat, it must be high-quality. You don’t want animals treated with drugs or antibiotics because they will be in their fat. You want tallow from grass-fed, grass-finished animals with no herbicides, pesticides, drugs, antibiotics, or hormones used.

What Can You Use Tallow For?

Beef tallow can be used for cooking, including high-temperature cooking such as frying. You can also coat vegetables in tallow before you roast them to give them flavor.

Along with cooking, beef tallow uses, including making soap and using it as a skincare product.

Where Can I Buy Beef Tallow?

If you want to buy beef tallow that’s already ready for use, you can buy it on Amazon. EPIC Beef Tallow is a favorite product available at a reasonable price point. You can also bar jars of grass-fed tallow at places like Whole Foods or specialty markets.

If you want to simplify how you get your tallow, you can buy it from Ancestral Supplements through Amazon.

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