Ghee is a type of clarified butter. It is very commonly used in the Middle East and India. Butter is heated slowly until all the water evaporates. The process leaves behind milk solids. These solids are strained or skimmed off if there is need. The remainder is clarified liquid fat called ghee. As low heat is applied to the ghee, generally below 100 degree, it contains more nutrients compared to standard clarified butter.
Ghee is also used with herbal medication in Ayurveda, a centuries old medicine practiced in India. Recently, it has gained popularity as a healthier option to standard butter. Though many studies have confirmed its health benefits, more studies are needed.
A single teaspoon of ghee has:
- Calories- 42
- Protein- 0
- Fat- 5
- Carbohydrates- 0
- Fiber- 0
- Sugar- 0
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
You also get vitamin E from ghee. Vitamin E has some important antioxidant properties. Studies have linked antioxidants such as vitamin E with reduced risk of cataracts, cancer, and arthritis, and heart disease.
Benefits of Ghee
Ghee is a very rich source of vitamins, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Though fat should be consumed in limited quantities, research has shown consuming fatty foods like ghee can help your body with some important minerals and vitamins.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Ghee has been used to treat swelling and burns in Ayurveda. However, this isn’t scientifically proven yet, but ghee has a fatty acid known as butyrate. It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. According to some studies, butyrate soothes inflammation within your body.
2. Resists Obesity
Ghee has ample conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. Studies suggest this CLA may help in resisting obesity. Some others also suggest CLA helps in decreasing excessive weight gain and reducing mass of body fat in some individuals.
3. Support Heart Health
No doubt ghee is rich in fat but it also has concentration of monounsaturated Omega-3s, which are healthy fatty acids. These help in keeping the cardiovascular system healthy. According to some studies, if you make ghee a part of a balanced diet, it reduces unhealthy cholesterol levels.
4. Healthy Option for Lactose Food Items
Ghee is prepared by removing milk solids. So, it only contains traces of casein and lactose. Casein and lactose are milk sugars and proteins. People who suffer from lactose intolerance or dairy allergies can fulfill their fat requirements from ghee.