Perfect for making the most delicious roast potatoes, duck fat has long been touted as a ‘health halo’ by top chefs, restaurateurs and food magazines.
And culinary experts have suggested duck fat is a healthier alternative to cooking foods in butter, pork fat or beef fat.
Here, Daily Mail Australia has spoken to celebrity chef Pete Evans and leading nutritionists on the benefits of duck fat – and whether foodies should use it as a substitute for other oils in everyday cooking.
Celebrity chef Pete Evans (pictured) has revealed the benefits of cooking with duck fat
The My Kitchen Rules judge has been an advocate of cooking with duck fat on Facebook. He documents vibrant pictures of his delicious meals cooked in duck fat on social media
What is duck fat good for?
- Perfect for roast potatoes
- Ideal for confit meals
- Duck fat has a high smoke point, which means you can cook with it at very hot temperatures without it smoking or adopting an off flavor
- Unlike butter or olive oil, duck fat can be recycled
- It has a higher percentage of mono-unsaturated fat than saturated fat
- Mono-unsaturated fats can help to lower levels of blood cholesterol
- It actually contains a lower percentage of saturated fats than butter, pork fat or beef fat
- It should be used in moderation
The My Kitchen Rules judge has been an advocate of cooking with duck fat on his social media pages.
He documents vibrant pictures of his delicious meals cooked in duck fat on his Facebook page, as he shares his recipes to more than 1.5 million followers.
‘Fat from healthy animals eg duck fat from free range ducks, tallow from grass fed and finished cows and lard from free range pigs, is what humans have always favoured and it is the source of amazing health giving fats that our bodies and brains thrive on,’ Pete told Daily Mail Australia.
‘This is conjunction with avocado, coconut and olive oil and native Australian macadamia oils are wonderful to use in cooking.
‘Steer well clear of vegetable oils and margarine as these are what contribute to heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.’
Nutritionist and food author Lee Holmes (pictured) said ‘cooking with duck fat is healthier than butter, pork fat and beef fat’ but ‘olive oil is still preferable’
Perfect for making the most delicious roast potatoes, duck fat has long been touted as a ‘health halo’ by top chefs, restaurateurs and food magazines (stock image)
Nutritionist Lee Holmes – who’s the author of Supercharge Your Gut – said one of the biggest benefits of duck fat is ‘flavour’.
‘Especially when you are making baked potatoes. So if you’re a foodie you are guaranteed to like the taste. It has a deeper, rich savoury flavour than most other oils,’ Lee told Daily Mail Australia.
The Australian food author said ‘cooking with duck fat is healthier than butter, pork fat and beef fat’ but ‘olive oil is still preferable’.
‘It’s good to switch up your oils occasionally and use something different as diversity in diet is great for gut health, however the benefits of olive oil still outweighs the benefits of duck fat,’ she said.
‘Duck fat contains more monounsaturated fat than some other animal fats such as butter (26 per cent) and beef dripping (43 per cent) and coconut oil, (6 per cent) but it is an occasional food.’
The holistic chef suggested cooking with duck fat in moderation as it’s high in unsaturated fatty acids.
‘Good fats to use include monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado oil, and nut oils like macadamia,’ she said.
‘Olive oil has 75 per cent monounsaturated fat and contains antioxidants too so it is healthier than duck fat and would be preferable to use. 40 per cent of duck fat is oleic acid, compared to olive oil, which is 71 per cent oleic acid.’
She said the best way to cook with duck fat is at a moderate temperature.
‘So baking and slow cooking is the best way to use it. If you’re having a slow roast, rub it on chicken and use it to cook the spuds or veg! You can also use it to sear meat,’ she said.
Meanwhile, nutritionist and accredited practicing dietitian Lyndi Cohen (pictured) said cooking with duck fat is not as healthy as you think
Meanwhile, nutritionist and accredited practicing dietitian Lyndi Cohen said cooking with duck fat is not as healthy as you think.
‘Duck fat has attracted a health halo because it’s made up of more than 50 per cent monounsaturated fat,’ Lyndi told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Monounsaturated fat has been shown to be beneficial for heart health. However, Duck fat is absolutely not a health food.’
When it comes to healthy fats, Lyndi said extra virgin olive oil is the ‘healthiest choice’.
‘Extra virgin olive oil contains 75 per cent monounsaturated fats as well as antioxidants that may be protective for your health in addition to having a higher smoke point than duck fat,’ she said.
‘No reputable, university-qualified nutrition professional would recommend duck fat be used in place of extra virgin olive oil. It’s really uninformed and misleading to suggest that duck fat is any way a health food.
‘As a plant-based oil, I also think extra virgin olive oil is a much more conscious alternative.
‘It’s fine to use duck fat occasionally for flavour, but don’t be tricked into thinking it’s healthy fat source to eat every day.’
Source: Food Recipes and News