Ghee is a popular milk product, commonly consumed in many traditional dishes in India and parts of the Middle East as clarified butter that adds exotic taste and richness to the Indian cuisines. Ghee is a form of concentrated milk fat that has a richer taste compared to regular pasteurized butter. Apart from adding a rich and delicate taste and texture to Indian and Middle-Eastern cuisines, ghee possesses some medicinal properties too. In ancient India ghee (‘ghrita’ in Sanskrit) has been used in various Ayurvedic and herbal medicines since the early ages. Moreover, ghee possesses a nice natural scent that is also known to enhance spirituality; so, ghee is a popular substance in India to ignite fires and diyas since the Vedic ages.
Nutritional Content In Ghee:
Around small spoon (or teaspoon) of melted ghee contains the following nutritional components:
- Calories: 42
- Protein: 0 gram
- Fat: 9 grams
- Monounsaturated fat:4 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Vitamin A: 13% of the daily value (DV)
- Vitamin E: 3% of the DV
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K: 1% of the DV
Ghee: All About Its Preparation And Consumption
Ghee or clarified butter is a healthy milk product that can be easily stored in tropical warm temperatures, without the concern of it getting spoiled because ghee is primarily prepared by heating and boiling butter and thus separating the liquid and milk solids that become sediments at the bottom of the container turning the milk golden to dark brown in color which separates the oily substance apart called ghee and thus eliminates the fat of the milk. The ghee can then be strained and collected in separate jars or vessels. Homemade ghee is not only rich in taste but also has high amounts of nutrients that are essentially beneficial for your health.
Health Benefits Of Having Ghee
Ghee is popularly consumed in India as it is an important ingredient to add an exotic taste to the dishes and a good number of culinary items. It also comes with a lot of health benefits if consumed in moderation. Ghee is scientifically known as one of the most important sources of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Though it is often doubted among experts if ghee is right for consumption, studies have shown that moderate consumption of ghee in your regular diet provides enough essential and healthy fatty acids that are absent in many dairy products altogether. Moreover, the health components in ghee help to increase the absorption capability of the necessary vitamins and minerals that we consume through the regular foods in our diet. Experts often advise that it is healthy to cook foods and vegetable curries in ghee rather than baking them or deep frying because ghee-cooked foods help in better absorption of nutrients like vitamins and minerals from the body.
Recent research and experiments reveal that moderate consumption of ghee in the diet provides the following health benefits:
Relief from Inflammatory Diseases:
Ghee has been a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic and herbal medicine because it possesses rich amounts of anti-inflammatory properties like essential fatty acids known as butyrate. The ancient Aryans and later the Indians used ghee as an important substance to heal burns, swelling, or any other kinds of inflammation. Even today topical medicinal experts suggest that ghee helps to prevent some serious chronic inflammatory diseases and blocks oxidative damage by disease-causing free radicals in the body.
1. Reduce the risk of Obesity
Ghee is scientifically known to reduce the chance of developing obesity if consumed in moderate proportions in your diet. It has been found that ghee contains significant amounts of conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. According to many experts and dieticians, the component in ghee called CLA is potential enough to fight against obesity and reduce the chances of excessive weight gain and lower down the net Body Mass Index or BMI that is responsible for increasing body fat.
2. Keeps your Heart Healthy
Ghee is considered a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids like Omega-3, compared to other fat-containing food components. These types of monounsaturated fatty acids are very much beneficial to your health because they help to keep your heart healthy by preventing the risks of developing various severe kinds of heart disorders like heart stroke, heart attack, heart failure, cardiac arrest, or any kind of related cardiovascular diseases. So, ghee should be consumed in moderation to support heart health and reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels.
3. Healthy Alternative of Dairy Products
Many people are intolerant to lactose, that is, they find lactose difficult to digest the direct lactose from milk. Ghee is prepared by removing milk solids and so it contains only negligible proportions of milk lactose and casein, which are milk sugars and proteins. In this way, the consumption of ghee helps to consume the essential components of milk fatty acids, instead of directly consuming milk lactose, which might cause lactose allergies in the later period.
Other Benefits Of Ghee:
Apart from the above health benefits, the consumption of ghee in the right proportions in your regular diet can be good for your health. Some more health advantages are listed below:
- Helps to reduce gut inflammation: Ghee is known to have rich anti- inflammatory properties as it contains essential short-chain fatty acid components like butyric acid that reduces any kind of inflammation in the gut and in the body. Recent studies reveal that these components are potential enough to lower the high levels of inflammation in the gut system and thus help to support a healthy digestive system in your body. Moreover, ghee is a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid. Recent studies andresearches reveal that conjugated linoleic acid reduces the chances of developing chronic inflammatory diseases and severe health conditions like cancer, high cholesterol, and obesity.
- Boosts vitamin A intake: Ghee consists of essential components that enhance the intake of essential fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin A that is necessary for improving vision and reducing eye- related problems,andmaintains skin health, immune function, and more.
Potential Health Risks of Ghee:
Despite having a number of healthy nutrients like essential vitamins, healthy fatty acids, overconsumption of ghee over a prolonged period of time can prove to be adverse for your health, and in that case, you should always lower or avoid excessive consumption of ghee in your diet. In case of any health adversity, it is always advisable to consult your medical caregiver. Some of the possible downsides of overconsumption of ghee are listed below:
Though ghee contains a considerable amount of substances like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that are known to keep your heart healthy, excess amounts of these kinds of fats in the body caused by overconsumption of ghee for a longer period of time can lead to severe heart diseases because recent studies have revealed that these types of fats in higher proportions in the body increase the amount of LDL or bad cholesterol levels and can gradually increase the risk of developing heart diseases and cholesterol-related disorders.
Ghee contains a component called CLA that is known to reduce weight. But if high amounts of ghee are consumed for a longer period of time, your body will gain there will be a surplus of fatty acids in your body that will get deposited into various body parts like thighs, armpits, etc., and will therefore finally lead to obesity.
Is Ghee Good For You?
It is important to include several kinds of fat to make up a properly balanced diet. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats present in ghee are highly beneficial to maintain the optimum levels of good cholesterol and thus reduce the risks of developing various heart diseases. But too much ghee is not good for your health at all if overconsumption continues for a longer period of time. So, it is highly important to consume ghee in moderation to extract all its health benefits and to avoid its negative effects like increasing heart disorders or leading to excessive weight gain in your body. In case of further reference, you should always seek the advice of an expert dietician or a registered medical practitioner.
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