43946452 homemade ghee in container on a table
By: Tofiq007 on Unlimphotos

Is Ghee Healthy For You: 101 Guide to Ghee Preparation

Ghee is often regarded as ‘liquid gold’. Ghee has been used in our routine diet and chores since the ancient period. However, the question is “is ghee healthy for you?”

The concept of ghee is the product of history that started from 1500 BCE onwards. The term ‘ghee’ was born from the Sanskrit word “sprinkled.”

Coterminous to Ghee

Ghee is a form of clarified butter. Ghee is believed to be an inquisitive item that attracts and fascinates people to itself. It is believed that ghee can not be replaced by any other item for it is so aromatic, tasty, and a long-term preserved item and healthy.

is ghee healthy for you
Photo by Megumi Nachev on Unsplash

Preparing Ghee

Ghee is prepared broadly through two means.

First, ghee is manufactured in factories. Second, through the traditional or Ayurvedic process. The former is done when the objective is to reach the masses, and the latter is followed when it is to be fed to family and friends. The industrial process is followed for bulk production, and the Ayurvedic or traditional method is considered when ghee is to be produced in small quantities.

However, there tend to be variations when the quality factors are considered. If we consider quality, then assuredly, the Ayurvedic process is a healthier or more qualitative one.

There are no humongous differences in their production process, excluding the fact that suppose we are cooking anything in our houses, we would surely ensure sanitation, hygiene, or cleanliness as well as the magnitude as we use small utensils. However, it is different to produce the same product in factories and through the support of modern technology.

Process in the Formation of Traditional Ghee

Generally, five steps are followed in making Vedic or traditional ghee. These are

  1. Procurement boiling,
  2. curdling,
  3. churning,
  4. separating, and
  5. heating.

So, while considering the health scale of ghee, the process by which it is purified or clarified is important.

We have often heard this quote

“the more you grind, the more you shine”

The value of ghee is from its unique process. The origin of process of making ghee starts with a cow which gives milk, and from milk, butter is produced. After that, heating butter for a long time gives you priceless gold i.e. Ghee.

So, ghee is produced by melting regular butter, then simmering it and gently caramelizing butter until the milk solids separate from the fats. Once separated, the milk solids are removed, which means butter is transformed into a golden, pure fat with a high smoking point, and eventually, ghee is produced.

Ghee since its evolution is customary to be used as a lubricant,  a component in cooked foods. Medically, ghee is being used in Ayurvedic treatment eg, in the process of Panchkarma and in treating food poisoning.

Ghee has been an important source of relieving patients with various respiratory problems, promoting flexibility, enhancing digestion, and bolstering the immune system. So, it has a myriad of benefits. Along with this, it aids in reducing the symptoms of bronchitis, asthma, and excessive mucus condition.

Furthermore, Dr, Bhavsar is of the view that cow ghee is exceptionally beneficial and a remedy in curing allergies, boosts immunity, helps with alopecia i.e. hair fall, enhances memory or mental health and nasal-related issues such as sinusitis.

The process through which it can be done is through the process called ‘Nasya’. According to this method, two drips of ghee are to be put in your nostrils (either in the morning or before you get to your sleep). Typically, it improves your whole nervine system and makes you healthy both physically and mentally.

Nature of Ghee

Additionally, ghee is anti-inflammatory, so using it helps in relieving your sinus problem. It rejuvenates and maintains the skin. Typically, the navel is linked to the rest of our body so massaging it with ghee is good for the face and skin as well. Ghee consists of several elements such as, various vitamins eg. vitamins A and vitamin E, omega, several fatty acids, and an immix of linolenic acid.

According to Rujuta Diwekar, having a teaspoon of ghee in each meal during periods will help you improve your health, especially for the five days when the digestive system works in fluctuation. Furthermore, ghee is proven to be beneficial to the eye. As per the Ayurveda, the conjugated mixture of ghee, Triphala or three fruits and honey ameliorates ocular complications. Ghee nourishes your skin, scalp, and hair.

Ghee is preferably consumed in sattvic bhojan (a healthy diet) since ancient times to eradicate the symptoms of diseases in the body.

Health Benefits of Ghee

39732152 homemade ghee in container on a table 1
By: Tofiq007 on Unlimphotos

Ghee has numerous health benefits. There are variabilities in the profitability of ghee as well. There are different sources of ghee for eg. Cow ghee, and Buffalo ghee. But, qualitatively and popularly, cow ghee is used more than buffalo ghee.

Cow ghee is beneficial for skin, eye and brain functions as it comprises Vitamin A, similarly, it has numerous advantages in digestion for it has anti-fungal, antioxidant compounds. Compared to ghee butter has more fats so is tough to digest.

A clear distinction between both is that cow ghee is based on their texture is that usually yellow texture is of cow ghee and the white texture is of Buffalo ghee. Apart from this, ghee is preferred over butter for it has more advantages, butter has less storage capacity and fewer health-related benefits than ghee. Its smoke point is 485°F (250°C), which is substantially higher than butter’s smoke point of 350°F (175°C).

Ghee has comparatively less compound of milk protein than that curd or butter. However, ghee has by and large distinct advantage over butter. Butter intake is good, especially when the average temperature is more because it is cold in its nature.

Ghee has varieties of fats eg. saturated fats which are said to be not useful to some people. However, it has preferably more usefulness. Furthermore, it has several calories, fats, saturated fats. Calories: 102<Water: 16%, Protein: 0.12 grams, Carbs: 0.01 grams, Sugar: 0.01 grams, Fibre: 0 grams, Fat: 11.52 grams, Saturated: 7.29 grams, Monounsaturated: 2.99 grams polyunsaturated: 0.43 grams, Trans: 0.47 grams apart from the benefits of ghee olive oil is also said to be good for body and skin health.

Conditions in Which You Should Avoid Ghee

 Five health conditions in which you should avoid ghee:

If you notice that intaking ghee gives your body rashes, a feeling of vomiting or diarrhoea it means you are allergic to it. In such conditions, you should avoid taking it and you could replace it with other healthy items.

People with ailments in relation to heart, cholesterol, and obesity should avoid it. Moderation is apparently a solution to almost everything. You can take ghee if you are obese people and a moderate heart-related issues but the condition is that, is limited and not often.

People with obesity, liver-related ailments, and pregnant women with digestive issues should not consume ghee (only a minimal amount). So, we have read that there are positive aspects of having ghee on the one hand and side effects or negative impacts on the other. Several different views counter one aspect with the other one.

Nutritionist Renuka Rkheja states,  saturated fat is not harmful but taking things like ghee that has excessive saturation of fat has the potential to trigger heart diseases by increasing the cholesterol level in your arteries.

Disadvantages of Consuming Ghee

As aforesaid, ghee has the compound of lactose so allergic people should stay away from it. This is often asked a question, does ghee cause acid reflux and it could be detrimental to consume it with other fatty foods?

So, nutritionists say, the answer is pure ‘no’. They stated that pure ghee, in fact, reduces acid reflux, however, impurities or admixture of other compounds even in small quantities could affect your digestion and can trigger acidity, heart rate and cholesterol levels tend to rise and can cause obesity.

According to Dr Radhamony, ghee should be avoided by a person having chronic indigestion and stomach issues like IBS-D, it should be avoided during fever or cold also, pregnant women with proportionately more weight should also sideline ghee consumption, ghee should also be overlooked if you have disease in your liver or spleen.

Variations Pertaining to Consume Ghee Based on Health Factors

There are variations on the account of using ghee by a person with high cholesterol and heart disease or cardiovascular issues eg. as per the nutritionists, ghee, undoubtedly has a high admixture of fatty acids eg. fats, oils, and steroids which is detrimental to a person with high cholesterol and heart disease, but on the other sphere, there are variabilities as well.

First, with regards to the heart, healthy fatty acids such as monounsaturated Omega-3s showed to be advantageous in dealing with unhealthy cholesterol and heart-related complications.

P. Mohan Chandar considers that a specified amount, i.e. about 15 grams of ghee regularly is healthy, the condition would be to intake it in a liquid form. Moreover, nutritionists recommended to put ghee in your food at least one time a day. This is to be ensured that you are getting around three to six teaspoons of ghee per day/per person (but, there are exceptions to it).

There are several mediums in which you can have ghee. First, in your food, but one of the prerequisites for this is that your food should be warm otherwise, ghee might affect your throat and can lead to a cold. Second, you can use it in milk for it is suggested for women undergoing periods and can be consumed by others too. So, there are a number of advantages of consuming ghee as a taste booster and health beneficiary.

Ways of Using Ghee

Ghee can be used broadly in two different ways in your food, which has different beneficial outcomes. First, as a frying tool and second, above your cooked but warm food (as mentioned above). Ghee, in relation to other healthy foods, creates an amazing correlation.

A Distinctive Ayurvedic Manner of Treating Bodily Causes by Ghee

Intaking ghee in the forenoon is confirmed to be beneficial and treats your body as a remedy. This is also an important source of nutrition which is useful in dealing with several digestive and internal issues. 

Avanti Deshpande, a nutritionist says that cooking oil is always better for cooking rather than ghee and suggested ghee in your daily diet by applying it in chapati, in your rice, daal and basically in cooked food. This is the best way to add ghee to your diet. Usually, cooking oils like mustard oil or soybean oil are proven to be more beneficial in frying any dish.

Ghee is produced in several states of India, and the largest ghee market in India is situated in Uttar Pradesh. Based on the consumption of Desi ghee (clarified butter), Rajasthan is the largest state.

Affordability of Ghee

Ghee is comparatively costlier and is mainly afforded by richer classes. However, in rural areas, most people have cows, and buffaloes, so they make butter, ghee, and clarified butter by themselves. However, the issue in the urban areas wherein not every second house affords ghee rather a ghee is a distant question, some don’t have money to at least buy the cheaper or first product i.e. milk.

However, average estimates have drawn the fact that the cost of ghee is justified as the long and complex procedure is taken forth for the production of the same. And ghee is an irreplaceable commodity because of its marshmallow touch and its breathtaking taste.

Ghee is on the higher side for it is more beneficial, healthy and not harmful to our health. But, the condition is “moderation”.

Does Ghee Expire?

It is frequently asked whether the ghee expires or not. The nutritionists say, ‘yes’, it does. However, if it is domestically made, its term can increase a little more and can extend for a year. That is also an important factor that adds to its preferability as it can be stored for a longer period.

Middle View in Assessing the Pros and Cons of Consuming Ghee

To a considerable scale, we can say ghee is typically healthy and beneficial. But, every food that you eat has to be in tune with your body’s constitution and imbalances. One man’s medicine could be another man’s poison. So, in the name of health don’t oversee things but overhaul them by keeping positive and negative consequences in the apparatus.

Many nutritionists have adopted the ‘central’ view. They say that the excessive consumption of ghee would have a detrimental impact not only on our physique but on the internal organs and their smooth functioning as well. A fine proven fact is that a person knows him/herself better than anyone.

And as Hippocrates once said

“If you are not your own doctor,

You are a fool”

Conclusion

Ethically you, yourself know what is good or bad for you and thus accordingly cognitively take the decision then whatever your objective either food or anything.