Is Desi Ghee good for health?
Desi ghee is India's heritage and a staple of food. Going down memory lane, we will realize that our diet was loaded with dairy products when we were kids. Remember how our elders used to mention their benefits in our overall development? But as we grow older, we try to get aware of the products we are using in our everyday life. A carefree child evolves into a health freak adult! One of the most vital ingredients in our food is vegetable oil. While we consider all the fats hazardous, not every fat is harmful to our health. There are good fats as well.
Nutritional value of ghee:
Desi ghee is composed of saturated fats. They are the chief component of a balanced diet. Saturated fats account for 62 percent of the total, and they play an important function in raising HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) without damaging the lipid profile.
Desi ghee fat content is close to 100%. Study
- No carbohydrates
- Traces of protein
- Rich in Vitamin A- 8%, E-2%, and K-1%
But this fat percentage sure raises a question; is ghee good for health? Fats are essential for our body, as they support cell growth, protect our organs, and give us energy.
What are the benefits of eating desi ghee?
1. Desi ghee improves digestion
A healthy digestive system is a symbol of good health! Ghee aids in faster digestion and also helps in acid secretion. So adding a teaspoon of ghee to your diet does more than making food taste better. Moreover, desi ghee is attributed to have properties that can heal and repair the lining inside our stomach (1). It is an excellent source of butyric acid which has noteworthy benefits for our gut health. (2)
2. Desi ghee improves vision
We live in a world where we are continuously in front of digital screens. People eventually face the problem of dry eyes because of prolonged exposure to laptops or phones. Ghee is highly rich in Vitamin A, which is responsible for the hydration of the eyes. It helps in lubricating our eyes by retrieving the ability of the lacrimal duct to function fittingly.
3. Desi ghee for weight loss
Have you ever tried and failed to lose weight by cutting out oil from your diet? Worry no more! You can still lose weight while eating ghee. Yes, you heard it right! We have always heard that ghee raises cholesterol levels and causes weight gain. But we are going to falsify this myth.
Ghee includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which assist in losing weight by reducing belly fat and body fat. It mobilizes and burns fat cells since it is a source of energy. It also helps in insulin resistance and is thus beneficial in preventing diabetes.
4. Desi ghee for stronger bones
As our age increases, our bone mass begins to decline, and hence we face numerous joint pains and other severe ailments. Stronger bones become increasingly vital as people age, particularly for women. Intaking ghee promotes the formation of lubricants in the bone joints and naturally lubricates them. It also promotes bone development. What's better than that? There are numerous ghee benefits for bones and therefore it is a wise decision to incorporate a moderate quantity of ghee in your daily diet.
Ghee which is also known as clarified butter is a rich source of Vitamin K2 which has potent benefits against joint pain. (3). It can penetrate deep inside the tissues of your body and improve its ability to absorb any kind of rejuvenating formulation.(4)
5. Desi ghee for the skin
It assists us in getting smooth and supple skin. It heals the dark circles and repairs the damaged skin. Using ghee externally can do wonders on the skin. It is a God sent remedy for dark circles and works like a dream to naturally hydrate and moisturise one’s skin.
6. Desi ghee for a healthy brain!
Are you stunned to find that ghee also helps our brain? Fats make up the majority of our brains. Saturated fats make up a significant portion of the brain. A diet that lacks healthy saturated fats makes it difficult for the brain to work effectively.
7. Desi ghee for a robust immune system!
Ghee contains a lot of butyrates, which helps to increase immunity. It gives the colon cells energy, which aids digestion once more. We all know that a healthy stomach equals a healthy immune system!
8. Desi ghee is lactose-free.
Lactose tolerant people have difficulties digesting dairy products as they are allergic to casein, leaving them with dreadful allergic reactions. Despite being a by-product of milk, ghee is lactose-free.
9. Desi ghee for a good heart!
Ghee has a high smoking point, which prevents the conversion of healthy fats to unhealthy fats. As it is rich in vitamins, they also serve in the smooth functioning of the cardiac muscles.
10. Desi ghee treats menstrual problems
Study says ghee helps to maintain hormonal balance by regulating and balancing hormone levels. Ingesting ghee can help with irregular periods and PMS symptoms.
11. Desi ghee boosts memory
When consumed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, it promotes cell renewal, which aids in the body's healing process.
12. Desi ghee for a healthy pregnancy
Ghee gives both the mother and the fetus all of the nutrition they need. Ghee is high in calories and suffices the needs of a pregnant woman.
Process of Ghee Preparation by Traditional Ayurvedic Method
Ghee is traditionally made through a five step process known as the Vedic ghee manufacturing process. It involves a combination of steps. From the acquisition of raw materials (milk) to manufacturing the final product (ghee, clarified butter), the process is extensive.
Here are the steps:
1. Milking by hand in a traditional way:
The first step involves procurement of ghee in a traditional manner. This process is crucial for the production of ghee. Milk-butter is a raw material whose quality is largely dependent on the cow’s diet and farming methods. Milk only from grass-fed cows is first boiled. The boiling process is beneficial since the milk gets completely disinfected and also the texture of the milk is then more concentrated.
2. Converting milk to curd:
Boiled milk is converted into curd during the second stage of the ghee manufacturing process. A tablespoon of curd is added to the milk. Some people add lemon juice or another naturally sour ingredient to milk in place of curd in their homes. The milk is left covered overnight and is converted to curd. After the curd has been fully prepared, it is thoroughly churned.
3. Churned with bilona:
Bilona, a wooden churner, is now used to churn curd. It is traditional for card churning to be done in two directions: clockwise and anticlockwise. This method requires a lot of time. When the curd is divided into butter and buttermilk, ghee (milk butter) is prepared from the raw ingredients.
A heavy steel pot is used to heat the butter in the ghee manufacturing process, in which the butter is placed in the pot and heated against a medium flame. In the first boil, the ghee butter is given a bit more time to be fully vaporized by the ghee manufacturer. In this process, the indicator of ghee being ready is the formation of a visible layer of solids at the bottom of the vessel. The butter colour would turn into yellow/golden and a pleasant aroma of pure ghee would spread out.
5. Ghee is ready:
In this last step, a strainer is used to filter the golden liquid ghee and then is stored into jars. It must be noted that the pure desi cow ghee has to be stored in dry jars and kept away from exposure to light, moisture and heat.
Ghee is a super-healthy alternative to butter that comes from milk. It's high in good fats and protein and contains very low quantities of lactose, making it a great alternative for people with lactose intolerance. It's also a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and iron. Due to its high fat content, ghee is much better for frying than butter. It is made by heating butter until the milk solids are browned and the milk is evaporated, leaving only the butter’s healthy fats behind. This version is taken one step further and made in the Indian style, which involves straining the solids out of the butter and leaving only the milk solids behind. The milk solids are then boiled into a thick, golden syrup that is used in many different ways in Indian cooking.
Q1: Can we use ghee for everyday cooking?
The ghee fat percentage per five grams or one teaspoon is pretty high as desi ghee is high in calories. Cooking your everyday food in desi ghee can be very good for your health but people who are suffering from conditions like diabetes, PCOD or obesity should be careful about the quantity of its usage.
Q2: Is desi ghee a natural mood booster?
Desi ghee can improve your body’s metabolism which will automatically enhance your energy levels. This will translate into a happy mood and greater control over one’s emotions.
Q3: Does ghee increase belly fat?
Due to its high fat content, most of you must have wondered is desi ghee good for weight loss ? Since ghee is a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats, therefore, it can greatly help you in losing weight (5) but excessive consumption can lead to unwarranted weight gain because ghee is a high calorie food.
Q4: Is ghee good or bad for health?
Desi ghee is the most effective addition that you can incorporate into your daily diet to reap outstanding health benefits but moderation is the key.
Q5: Can lactose intolerant people consume ghee?
Ghee has very low levels of lactose and galactose (6) and therefore they are considered safe to be included in a lactose intolerant diet.