One of the foods that have its due importance for people of all ages is Ghee. “Ghee” comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “sprinkled,” – the milk fat is rendered from the butter to separate the milk solids and water. Naturally endowed with what is technically called as high “smoking point”, Ghee does not get burnt easily by cooking even when subjected to high temperatures!
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The nature of the fat – which is Saturated, (it is solid at room temperatures and gets liquefied by heat) by origin allows this chemistry.
Contrary to popular beliefs, there is some scientific evidence supportive of the role of Ghee in reducing Cholesterol levels in the serum and in the intestine.
Intake of Ghee is associated with an entire range of general benefits to the common man:
- Good for the nerves and brain due to a better ratio of brain-friendly fats such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 – intake enhances memory
- Ghee has essential amino acids that help in mobilising fat cells and shrinking them to an extent stumping the stubborn fat.
- Good for eye control and sexual vitality
- Prevents lesser formation of free radicals, thereby preventing Cancer
- Aids in the secretion of stomach acids that promote digestion. Ghee has a low amount of Casein ( the main protein in milk and nil to minimal amounts of Lactose) making it also easily digestible when taken in appropriate quantities
- Aids in improving Insulin resistance
- Can be tolerated even by those who are Lactose- intolerant
- Ghee aids in weight loss, it can increase appetite.
- Ghee converts fibre into a chemical called Butyric acid – that is beneficial to the healthy bacteria in our intestines. Butyric Acid contains anti-viral properties, may have a role to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumours.
- Ghee is rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid / CLA – a fatty acid that reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Fat-soluble Vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K – certainly necessitate the presence of fat as they are validated carriers for absorption into the gut
- Ghee is known as a substance that gives longevity – capable of balancing the ageing characteristics of the body.
- Aids in lubrication of connective tissues for people suffering from joint pain
- An immune-enhancing food due to its antiviral, antifungal properties
- Ghee is also known for its impact on the tone and strength of the voice!!
- It is used as a topical application for heel cracks, over wounds, burns
- Ghee can enhance beauty by adding glow to the skin. A direct home remedy for chapped lips – Ghee is considered as one of the natural beautifying agents.
With all these arrays of advantages to the human body, it is incorrect to “demonise” Ghee as was widely believed in the mid 80’s and 90’s.
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“Fat is not beautiful” is the current dogma.
However, it is inappropriate to underestimate its importance to human health.
Without oversimplification of dietary recommendations, it is necessary to moderately accommodate Ghee – 2 teaspoons on a daily basis. This is a standard recommendation for the common woman with a normal BMI who is not suffering from any medical conditions such as Fatty liver, Jaundice / chronic diseases such as Cardio Vascular Diseases, Diabetes and the like.
IS GHEE A RECOMMENDATION IN PREGNANCY?
For pregnant women, there is a necessity to include Ghee in their diets on a daily basis. 5 to 8 teaspoons of fat is the medical recommendation for fat intake in pregnancy, out of which 10% to 12% from Saturated fats are necessary. Ghee makes” smart babies” being a direct source of Good Cholesterol.
There is a multitude of ways in which Ghee can be introduced in the diet:
- As a topping on rotis / parathas/ rice preparations
- In the making of gravies with vegetables
- In preparation of desserts such as Ladoos, kheer, halwa, etc.,
- Ghee can be mixed with milk and taken as well.
The main instances where the intake of Ghee has to be downsized, during pregnancy is upon the incidence of Gallstones in pregnancy and also when there is an exaggerated weight gain warranting corrective action to prevent eventful outcomes. It is an all-clear statement that Ghee intake poses hazards only when the intake is substantially increased. Total avoidance of Ghee, hence, is to be based on a recommendation from your Obstetrician’s / Nutritionist’s desk.
Please do remember that the intake of Ghee can help you look younger and act smarter, but cannot decide your mode of delivery- whether it would be normal or Caesarean. Hence, just eat it with respect, in a way
For more informative articles on pregnancy, visit our About Pregnancy section. Happy Pregnancy!