Most health conscious people believe that the key to weight loss is a fat-free diet and lots of exercise. However, not all fats are bad for your health, and some may, in fact, be good for your overall well-being. Ghee is considered to be a healthy fat.
“Ghee is a clarified form of butter. According to Ayurveda, it improves the absorption ability of the small intestines and decreases the acidic pH of our gastrointestinal tract. Ghee is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which decrease LDL cholesterol. Cow’s ghee is a natural antioxidant which eliminates free radicals and inhibits oxidation process. Thus, it prevents degenerative changes in our musculoskeletal system, prevents premature ageing and prevents Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr Vrunda Lotlikar, Medical Consultant, Birla Ayurveda.
Ghee is strengthening and removes toxins from our system. “The butyric acid in combination with vitamins A, D, E, and K present in ghee aids in boosting immunity, promotes gut health, keeps your hair and skin healthy, lubricates joints and strengthens our bones,” says Loveneet Batra, nutritionist, Fortis Lafemme, New Delhi.
Is ghee fattening?
Experts say that ghee actually helps you lose weight. “The butyric acid and medium chain triglycerides in ghee help in mobilising stubborn body fat and getting rid of it. Ghee can also help in increasing good HDL cholesterol,” says Batra.
If you don’t wish to go overboard with it, consume 2-3 teaspoons (10-15ml) of cow’s ghee daily for optimum benefits. Having too much of ghee can turn it into unwanted fats and is bad for your health. “If you consume large amount of hydrogenated ghee (Buffalo Ghee) will lead to thickening of arteries, accumulation of fats in body and decreased metabolism,” says Dr Lotlikar.
Batra recommends having a teaspoon of ghee on an empty stomach early in the morning or to cook a meal for the day in ghee. “Given its high smoke point, you can use it for any kind of cooking — from sautéing to deep-frying or even have it raw,” says Batra.
Dr Lotlikar says that cow’s ghee mixed with milk nourishes the bones, muscle and the nervous system. “Cow’s ghee can be applied over roti or mixed with dal-rice khichidi to enhance the flavour of the food as well,” she says.
Best ways to consume cow’s ghee
Dr Lotlikar suggests some beneficial ways to consume ghee:
* Consume a teaspoon of cow’s ghee with warm water to lubricate the bronchioles (airway passage), reduce spasm of bronchioles, enhance breathing and cure dry cough.
* Administering 2 drops of liquefied cow’s ghee in each nostril as part of Nasya, improves immune system of upper respiratory tract and prevents allergies of dust, smoke and aerosols. It can also protect from recurrent infections of throat, nose and chest.
* Consumption of 1-2 teaspoon of cow’s ghee every morning on empty stomach will prevent thickening of arteries and improve blood circulation as well as reduce accumulation of free radicals in body cells.
* Daily consumption of 2-3 teaspoons of cow’s ghee along with rice and roti improves the digestion process, improves absorption of nutrients from food, lubricates large intestines and prevents constipation.