Apparently duck fat is more healthful than butter. Does anyone know how it compares to coconut oil?

Euro Kat
  • Posted by: Euro Kat
  • February 24, 2011


hardlikearmour March 3, 2011
Here's a recent article from the NY Times about coconut oil:
ChefDaddy February 25, 2011
Sam1148 thanks for the link!
fiveandspice February 25, 2011
Okay, here's the deal - though as innoabrd says, these things are always in flux - duck fat is more nutritious than butter because it has a slightly lower ration of saturated fat to unsaturated fat. Duck fat is relatively high in monounsaturated fats, which are the same healthy fats as in olive oil. (Of course, if you use butter from grass fed cows, then this is also high in monounsaturated fats.) Coconut oil is one of the most saturated types of fat, which in animal fats is a bad thing (saturated fat has a somewhat negative effect on cholesterol - it raises both bad and good cholesterol. Mono and poly unsaturates just raise good and trans fats just raise bad.). However new scientific evidence is starting to show that the saturated fat in coconut might behave differently because (as hardlikearmor pointed out) they are medium chain fatty acids, which actually are more like monounsaturated fats. Medium chain saturated fats may also be particularly good for digestive health (for your intestine). So, for health overall I'd say as far as we can tell right now, it's a wash. Both have their benefits though coconut oil is starting to appear healthier and healthier - and it does have a pretty high smoke point and is stable for high heat cooking. But, go with what you think tastes best!
innoabrd February 25, 2011
Seems to me that the answers change pretty regularly as the powers that be change their minds about what we should, and should not, eat. All of it in moderation is about the only decent rule I can come up with!
Euro K. February 25, 2011
Thanks everybody. Sam 1148, I know of this company and like it. I see that the replies are split between coconut and duck fat lovers, but I am still looking for some more official, scientific, nutritional information. I searched the web but again did not find what I wanted to know. I guess this cooking site (my favorite) is not really the place to ask these questions, but if anyone can help out, I'd appreciate it.Thanks in advance.
hardlikearmour February 24, 2011
Coconut oil has lots of medium-chain triglycerides, which are not like the saturated fats found in most animal fat. MCTs are actually a good form of fat.
Sam1148 February 24, 2011
While it is expensive. I highly recommend Hudson Valley Foie Gras. They ship----and the shipping is more costly than the duck fat...but if you pump up your order with some confit legs..and duck's reasonable. A great company.

FunkyLady February 24, 2011
Duck fat is healthier than butter because the saturated fat is lower.

Coconut oil is actually not that is the highest in saturated fats and lowest in mono and polyunsaturated fats (good fat).

If you have duck fat use it!
Chef M. February 24, 2011
Cooking-wise there are a few big differences. Duck fat obviously does not have the milk fats that butter does, so it will have a high smoking point (unless you use clarified butter).

Similarly to above, duck fat and butter have the best natural flavor, and duck again has much higher smoking points than coconut oil. So for searing and stir-fry and other high-heat cooking methods, sick to duck.

Side-note: You can continuously reuse duck fat for quite a long period of time after use. Run it through a sieve lined with cheese cloth to remove any burnt pieces or impurities and it is good to use again.
francesca G. February 24, 2011
I am fairly sure that coconut oil is the healthiest of all. But, taste-wise, I'd go with duck fat. It depends on what it's for...
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