DEAR DR. BLONZ: Our family recipe for tamales, which we have made and enjoyed for generations, uses lard, along with corn, meat, almonds, raisins and sauce. : While there are valid concerns about consuming excess saturated fats, the guidance is to limit them, not eliminate them entirely. Fats and oils are blends of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Much of the saturated fat in lard comes from stearic acid, which has a somewhat neutral effect on blood lipids. It is the whole foods of plant origin that give the body the nutrients and phytochemicals it needs to properly handle dietary fats.