WHY WE LOVE GHEE…
By Nutritionist, Shelley Judge
A few years ago, Ghee took the health and nutrition world by storm, quickly growing in popularity for its amazing health benefits…. And it was for very good reasons.
Ghee is made when butter is boiled, and the milk solids have been separated and removed. Once set, the remains of the butter without the milk solids is known as Ghee. This cooking process not only removes the lactose and casein from the butter but also gives the ghee a nutty enhancement to its flavour, making it perfect for savoury dishes or slathered on toast.
The word Ghee translates to ‘fat’ in Hindi and has been used for cooking in India and other Asian countries for thousands of years and for a while, was given a bad wrap because of its high fat content. However, this ancient product has made a come-back of late due to being packed full of vitamins and minerals, that your body needs to function well.
It was previously thought that the high level of saturated fats in Ghee would increase your risk of heart disease, but evidence shows that in fact it has the opposite affect. So, what are all these benefits that have made this product so popular in the ‘health world’?
Removes the impurities and lactose –
In the straining process, the common dairy allergens – lactose and casein are removed from the final product. This makes ghee the perfect substitute for people that are intolerant to dairy and lactose.
High smoking point
The removal of impurities and certain compounds found in butter removes the burning products, increasing the high smoking point. This means that the fats left behind keep their chemical integrity and the phytonutrients, which prevent the fat from oxidizing into harmful byproducts, don’t break down. This is what makes ghee perfect for cooking roasts, stir-fries and popcorn and even your baking!
Good for Heart Health
Ghee is high in conjugated linoleic acid, other wise known as CLA, which is a fatty acid that has proven to protect against carcinogens, artery plaque, and one study even showed that it could assist to prevent diabetes (Chinnadurai et al, 2013). Because of these high levels of CLA it is ghee has been linked with preventing cardiovascular disease. One study on men in rural India found that those that ate higher amounts of ghee had lower incidences of heart disease (Sharma et al, 2010).
Low in cholesterol
The high fat content of ghee was often thought of as bad fats and cholesterol. However more recently, studies have shown that ghee is high in HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol (Chinnadurai et al, 2013). HDL acts to reduce the effects of cholesterol and can also help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Packed with fat soluble vitamins
Ghee is packed with vitamin A, E and K which are all play a very important in maintaining healthy skin and more importantly good vision. These vitamins are fat-soluble, making ghee the perfect carrier to help them absorb easily into your gut lining.
Loaded with Butyrate
Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that has been found to inhibit inflammation in some studies as well as helping to maintain healthy insulin levels. Our bodies produce this short chain fatty acid when you eat a high-fibre diet, so the extra boost of butyrate in Ghee can help to increase your gut micro biome for a healthy digestive tract (Rivière, A et al, 2016).
Organic Time’s Ghee is made from the same organic grass fed butter they sell.
In a lot of cases it can be a great substitute for butter and other oils. Though it is important to remember it is still high in fat, no matter how healthy too much of anything can be bad for us. So enjoy in moderation on your organic time popcorn, delicious roast dinner or use it in your baking!
Chinnadurai et al, 2013. High conjugated linoleic acid enriched ghee (clarified butter) increases the antioxidant and antiatherogenic potency in female Wistar rats. National Dairy Research Institute. 12:121
Rivière, A et al, 2016. Bifidobacteria and Butyrate-Producing Colon Bacteria: Importance and Strategies for Their Stimulation in the Human Gut. Frontiers in Microbiology. 7: 979
Sharma et al, 2010. The effect of ghee (Clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation. Journal of Research in Ayruveda. 31(2): 134-140