You enter any grandma’s kitchen, and among the prized spices or mixes, ghee is a definite item that you will spot. The aroma and the richness it brings to the food is something that can’t be beaten!
Ghee has been on kitchen shelves for centuries and all for a good reason!
If you have seen ghee being prepared, then your olfactory senses would have gone for a ride. Ghee is prepared by slow-heating white butter, obtained from cow’s milk.
The process takes some time, but by the end of it, you will end up with a rich liquid that looks something like this.
But all is not well for the brother of butter, as ghee was under scrutiny by many fitness enthusiasts claiming that it is harmful to the body and contains only saturated fats which will leave you grabbing your heart.
In the last few decades, ghee has been implicated in the increasing cases of coronary artery disease in Indians due to its content of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol oxidation products.
The following is to put to rest those implications.
In Ayurveda, ghee is referred to as ‘the first and the most essential of all foods’ and has seen its use from rituals to body massages to authentic desi cuisine. And all for a good reason.
In a study about ghee and its health benefits, two groups of rats were taken with one being fed “oil”, and another was fed “ghee” mixed in deoiled rice bran. The third group of rats is fed deoiled rice bran and taken as control.
(Deoiling is the process of removing oil from a material or a surface.)
The researchers noted initial serum cholesterol, and triglycerides levels and checked them once again after 40 days of feeding.
Results showed that the consumption of “ghee” did not result in much rise in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is considered as bad cholesterol and other serum cholesterol levels were less when compared to “peanut oil”.
In contrast, there was a slight decrease in LDL levels in rats which were fed a ghee-based diet.
The results showed that peanut oil is only ostentatious compared to ghee and the health benefits of the desi item outweigh the negatives.
It’s not only its content but also its low smoking point, that ghee can be used in frying without having to worry about free radicals, something that would be released in other oils when you go beyond the smoking point.
So, if you are a health enthusiast and intend to become healthier, a spoonful of ghee a day would do wonders for you! So go ahead, put it on your dosa and your rice and have a delicious time at it!
Advisory: It is always advisable to consult your doctor before making sudden changes to your diet.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)