8 Amazing Beef Tallow Benefits & How to Make It

Evidence based

| 5 min read

8 Amazing Beef Tallow Benefits & How to Make It

PLEASE NOTE: The information in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. 

Once treasured for centuries, beef tallow has largely fallen out of favor due to the emergence of cheap seed oils and the constant pressure to move away from animal fats.  

Beef tallow benefits are poorly understood, but it's known to be powerful.

Despite the negative press, the benefits of beef tallow haven’t faded. This prized animal fat is experiencing a resurgence for good reason.  

This article will cover…

  • Beef tallow benefits
  • Is beef tallow healthy?
  • How to make your own tallow
  • Common misconceptions about animal fats

Let’s have a look! 

8 Amazing Beef Tallow Benefits

What is tallow? Tallow is simply rendered fat (typically from the kidneys) from cattle, sheep, and other animals. This article will mainly focus on rendered beef fat, known as beef tallow. 

Tallow can come from cattle or various other animals.

Although the health benefits of beef tallow have yet to be studied extensively, several key benefits are already known. 

1. Tallow is nutrient-dense

Beef tallow provides a small amount of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, selenium, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (1). 

Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K are important for vision, immune function, bone health, and numerous other processes (2).

Animal foods like tallow, milk, and meat contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which can improve blood pressure, and body composition and benefit diabetes (3, 4, 5). 

2. Beef tallow is a source of healthy fats

Tallow is also a rich source of saturated fat, which is why it’s solid at room temperature. But wait a minute. “Saturated fat isn’t a healthy fat, right? Not so fast! 

The idea that saturated fat causes heart disease (called the diet-heart hypothesis) was introduced in the 1950s based on limited evidence and has implanted itself into the minds of most people (6).

However, a string of recent evidence suggests that saturated fat has no impact on total mortality, strokes, or heart attacks (7).

A specific type of saturated fat found in tallow, called stearic acid, has even been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (8, 9). 

3. Beef tallow may support weight loss

Beef tallow offers a number of components that may support weight loss. 

Diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids are thought to be connected to appetite and weight maintenance (10). Conjugated linoleic acid has also shown consistent positive results for weight loss (11).

A study on mice found that stearic acid (found in beef tallow) dramatically reduced visceral fat and lowered blood glucose levels (12). Both of these impacts may be beneficial for diabetes and other diseases such as metabolic syndrome. 

A bottle of Firestarter from Heart & Soil supplements.

One of our most popular products, Firestarter, is helpful for those seeking support on their weight loss journey. Firestarter is made from suet, a high-stearic fat found surrounding bovine kidneys. Beef tallow is a rendered form of suet. 

4. Tallow is dairy-free

If you cannot tolerate dairy, it can be challenging to incorporate butter or ghee into your diet. In these instances, tallow is a fantastic, dairy-free alternative. 

5. Using tallow helps reduce food waste & saves money

A key component of the animal-based diet is eating nose to tail. This means using as much of the animal as possible, including the meat, organs, fat, and other components that are often discarded. 

So, using tallow is a great way to incorporate the valuable nutrients that cattle and other animals provide. Beef tallow is also extremely affordable and has a lengthy shelf life. 

6. Tallow is less likely to oxidize than common seed oils

A factory worker inspecting a bottle of seed oils

Given that tallow is primarily composed of saturated and monounsaturated fat, it’s less likely to oxidize compared to seed oils (13), whose oxidation can potentially promote disease. 

7. The nutrients in tallow can support immune function

As we saw earlier, the fat-soluble vitamins found in beef tallow support immune function (14). Conjugated linoleic acid has also been found to positively impact human immune system function (15). After being given a CLA supplement, participants were able to mount a better response against infectious and allergic agents. 

8. Tallow is incredibly versatile

Not many cooking fat sources can match the versatility and benefits of tallow. 

With its high smoke point, tallow is an excellent choice for searing, roasting, or frying. Plus, it can last a year or longer when stored at room temperature. 

The uses of tallow (and other animal fats) extend far beyond the kitchen and can be turned into dozens of products:  

Many products can be made from beef tallow and other animal fats

One of beef tallow’s most popular but not-so-obvious uses is skincare. Dozens of tallow skincare companies now offer products ranging from lotions to sunscreens to soaps. ​​Tallow balm and tallow soap are commonly used as part of a skincare routine.

While the impact of beef tallow on skin health hasn’t been studied extensively, it has shown promise for improving skin conditions such as eczema (16). 

How to Make Your Own Tallow 

Unlike so many modern fat sources (we’re talking to you, vegetable oil), you don’t need a factory or fancy equipment to make your own tallow

All you need is a few simple tools you likely already have at home. Here is a beef tallow recipe from Hey Grill Hey

A simple beef tallow recipe

If you don’t want to make your own, you can find amazing grass fed beef tallow options from White Oak Pastures, Fatworks, Frankies Free Range, or similar brands.

Beef Tallow: A Staple For Traditional & Modern Kitchens

The health benefits of tallow are plentiful. It contains fat soluble vitamins, selenium, and other important components that may positively impact immune function, body weight, and more. 

Plus, beef tallow is a nutrient-rich option that meets most of your cooking needs. It can also be turned into candles, soaps, and several other useful items.  

Beef tallow was once extremely popular but is now regularly overlooked. Even McDonald’s used tallow for decades to make its fries. Like so many others, they switched from animal fat to cheap, highly processed seed oils. 

The tide is turning, and people are again beginning to appreciate the value of fats such as beef tallow. 

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