What is ghee?
Ghee is a type of highly-clarified butter, originating in ancient India. It has long stood the test of time as a nutrient-dense staple of Indian and Middle-Eastern cuisine. Ghee differs from other clarified butters in more ways than its rich, unique flavor and nutrient profile. The production of ghee involves a low-heat simmering of milk butter over a long period of time. It is a process that has been passed down for generations, which requires some patience but yields a result well worth its effort. There are, however, some misconceptions about the many applications of ghee and how it can fit into a healthy diet.
1. It’s bad for your heart!
The question of ghee’s health implications has been long debated, perhaps none more than its effect on our hearts. While it is true that the excess consumption of any source of fat will yield unwelcomed results, nutritious or otherwise, ghee remains in the spectrum of what we would call “healthy sources of fat.” According to a studyperformed by the C. R. Reddy College of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2013, ghee contains a form of fatty acid which is thought to be responsible for strengthening and developing cell membranes. Ghee also contains vitamin K2, which aids in the prevention of calcium deposits in our arteries.
2. Healthy or not, ghee is still fat! It’s going to make ME fat!
While it may seem contradictory, adding (healthy forms of) fat to our diets actually tends to have a reductive effect on the fats we’ve stored on our bellies. The short-chain fatty acid found in ghee possesses fat burning qualities while simultaneously help to regulate our metabolisms. More specifically, ghee is a significant source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). DHA is an Omega 3 fatty acid which our bodies are otherwise incapable of producing on their own. Further than its incredible abilities to help us lose weight and regulate our metabolisms, DHA has also made headlines for its capacity to reduce the risk of cardiac events and certain types of cancer.
3. I’m lactose intolerant! I can’t eat ghee!
It is true that ghee is a product initially derived from dairy. However, during the process of production, the milk solids will either float to the top or sink to the bottom of the butterfat and begin to carmelize. It is this process that lends the rich, nutty flavor that makes ghee so unique! These milk solids are then filtered out of the butterfat, leaving behind a product that is 99% free of the milk itself. There is, however, an important differentiation to be made between an allergy and a sensitivity. Lactose intolerance is a sensitivity and not an allergic reaction. Many of us suffer from lactose intolerance to wildly varying degrees. Even so, most of us, particularly those with mild cases, can tolerate butter without any negative side effects. This is doubly true in the case of ghee, given its significantly lower dairy content. Still, it is important to note that those of us who have a true allergic reaction when exposed to dairy should be sure to stay clear of ghee alongside all other dairy products!
4. Ghee looks so dense and oily! It must wreak havoc on your stomach!
It is the case that a lot of other sources of fats and oils have a hampering effect on our bodies’ ability to break down and metabolise the food we eat. Ghee, rather, has been found to have a stimulating effect on the acids in our stomachs, thus providing the incredible metabolic effect we mentioned earlier! Further, it simultaneously offers the benefit of promoting a healthy coating within the stomach lining. This coating helps to protect the stomach from its own acids while digestion takes place. win / win!
5. Okay, okay! It’s healthy and nutritious, but it must be difficult to cook with! What can I use it for?!
Because of the way that ghee is processed, it has an especially high smoke point of 250°C (482°F). For this reason, it is significantly less likely to burn than other oils and fats, which may find their way into your pan. This also makes ghee the ideal candidate when it comes to deep-frying. Ghee has countless food applications from tossing it with steamed vegetables to simply using it as a condiment over your favorite meal! Bonus — because of its shelf stability, there is no need to refrigerate it!
Know how much is too much
Even though ghee is overall good for your health, consuming unhealthy amounts will only bring about complications. A teaspoon of ghee every day does good to your body. It can be taken simply with a spoon, the same way we might take a vitamin in the morning. Some people even drop dollops of ghee into their morning tea. Yikes? Don’t worry; we have a better option for you. Our ladoos are made from pure desi ghee, and each ladoo contains about 1 teaspoon of ghee. By balancing nutrition and taste, we give your taste buds a treat of flavor while keeping the health benefits of ghee intact. Not just this, at Scruples, we introduce you to the world of personalized ladoos where you can choose your own ingredients and create your own ladoo with unique flavors and healthy grains. Visit our website now and bring out the MasterChef inside you!
Ghee has a long history with a perhaps longer list of benefits, but misconceptions of its many beneficial properties still exist. However, with the globalization of Indian staples, even celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian have been making ghee in their kitchen for years. For its medicinal properties or delicious taste, ghee is an option that we don’t want to miss out on. Put simply, there’s a good reason it’s referred to as the “better butter.”