Since ancient times, grandmothers have stated the importance of ghee and have fed their children and their children’s children with ghee for a healthy body. It has been said that ghee is not just healthy, but it is also the magical secret ingredient that helps in enhancing the taste of each and every meal, be it, hot piping dal, khichdi, parathas pulao, or simple vegetables. A dash of ghee makes it all the more tastier.
Many people have a misconception about ghee, that is, it is unhealthy and unfit for consumption as it increases the fat molecules present in the body. However, due to the recent researches conducted on healthy foods, especially ghee, it has been found that ghee is actually beneficial. These researches have increased the awareness of ghee benefits. When considered, ghee actually has multiple health benefits as compared to other healthy food alternatives.
The first question anybody asks about ghee is, who can consume ghee. While consuming ghee, one should be careful about the quantity, as the recommended amount for everyday intake has been set at 10 – 15 grams. However, those suffering from heart diseases and cholesterol should refrain from overconsumption, as experts always say that overconsumption of anything is bad for health.
What is ghee exactly, you’ll ask. Ghee is clarified butter that has been used in the cuisines in countries such as India and the Middle East. Traditionally, it has been made using cow’s milk, by heating it until its water content evaporates, leaving behind the fat content only. Today, it is not just cow ghee that is available in the market, but camel milk ghee is also gaining attention.
When compared to other types of clarified butter, ghee takes a longer time to make, as it has all the nutrients and vitamins because of its low-heat preparation. A great source of Vitamin E, A, antioxidants and other organic compounds, many of which can be destroyed if it is boiled at a higher temperature.
Ghee nutrition facts:
Did you know that one tablespoon of ghee contains around:
- 115 calories
- 14.9 grams of fat
- 9.3 grams of saturated fats.
- 0 carbohydrates
- 38.4 milligrams of cholesterol
- 8% recommended daily intake of Vitamin A
- 2% recommended daily intake of Vitamin E.
Ghee Nutritional Value:
Ghee has a nutritional value which is higher than other clarified butter. Setting aside the spiritual aspect of ghee since ancient times, modern science says that consuming ghee can help in increasing the bioavailability and absorption of significant nutrients and minerals.
Basically, ghee is a type of fat. Fat is a calorie-dense macronutrient, so consuming fatty foods was thought to increase weight and obesity. However, the thinking about fat has changed considerably. An expert conducted a research on saturated fats and concluded that it is neutral, that is, neither good nor bad for your heart and cholesterol levels. There has been a constant concern relating to saturated fatty acids and its negative impact on the heart, which led to the increased avoidance of ghee.
Experts have said that their findings suggest that consuming 10% of ghee in the total diet does not increase the chances of heart disease; however, individuals who have been inclined to consume ghee due to genetic or family factors, 10% may result in being harmful. Another expert has said that ghee does not include milk solids, which makes it easier for lactose intolerants to consume. With a high smoking point too, ghee becomes one of the best alternatives to cooking oils.
With no carbohydrates, as completely free of pure fat, ghee is seen as the most convenient source of nutrition for people suffering from obesity or with high cholesterol levels. Although ghee has some amount of fat in it, 9gms of fat is saturated, 5gms is healthier mono-saturated fat, and the remaining 1gm is poly-unsaturated fats. This shows that ghee is made of healthy fats, which is beneficial for maintaining the health of an individual. However, like any other source of fat, ghee must be used as a method of enhancing the taste of other foods and not consumed in bulk.
Experts say that ghee has a bulk load of vitamins and minerals, which are required by a human body on a daily basis. It contains around 8% of Vitamin A, 2% of Vitamin E, and 1% of Vitamin K of the total daily intake. They have also said that individual consuming ghee would take in more fat than is required to get enough nutrients through ghee. So it is recommended to use smaller amounts of ghee in cooking vegetables and other food along with fat-soluble nutrients for the body to better absorb the nutrients.
Ghee health benefits:
Ayurveda has said that ghee is a natural medicine for its various healing properties. It helps in improving memory, increasing flexibility, and even enhancing digestion. Various research has proven that ghee has several potential benefits. These are:
1. It has anti-inflammatory effects:
Ayurveda has said that ghee has been used to treat burns and swelling. Ghee does not contain butyrate, a fatty acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Experts have stated that butyrate can soothe inflammation within the body.
2. Helps overcome Obesity:
An important source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), various studies have shown that it helps battle obesity. It is helpful in overcoming the mass of the body fat among different individuals. Experts have said that ghee helps in improving the blood HDH level, which plays a positive role in keeping the heart healthy and maintaining the cholesterol levels.
3. Antibacterial properties:
According to Ayurveda, ghee has the ability to protect the body from harmful bacteria and virus, and allow the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. It is even helpful in nourishing the body and loosening the joints.
4. Helps in boosting immunity:
Butyric acid, present in ghee is rich in Vitamin A, D, E and K, which helps in boosting immunity, keeps the hair healthy, improves eye health, removes harmful toxins from the body, which enhances metabolism, thus, keeping the body healthy.
Studies on Ghee as a good fat:
A recent study conducted on ghee to understand its fatty acid composition found that it is a good source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). This is one of the most popular Omega 3 fatty acids, which is essential for consumption in the daily diet, as a human body cannot produce it. This fatty acid can help in various issues like diabetes, ADHD, heart diseases, etc.
Ghee contains approximately 25% of medium and short-chain-fatty-acids, when compared to normal clarified butter, which contains 12-15% only. It mostly contains saturated fats out of milk-fat and has almost 0% of harmful trans-fat. A pool of dieticians have consented to the consumption of the naturally and traditionally acquired saturated fats in terms of ghee, which is beneficial for human health.
Thus, it can be said that ghee helps in removing the harmful toxins from the body, that helps boost metabolism. When the body metabolism is fast, you tend to lose weight faster, helping in reducing the harmful fat from the body. Adding ghee to your diet is a must and is even healthy, and you must always keep this in mind that an active lifestyle and control consumption is the key to enjoy a balanced life!