Ghee is a type of butter that provides interesting nutrients and enhances the flavor of food. What are its benefits and consumption recommendations?
The ghee It is a food that is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine. Specific, It is considered one of the healthiest sources of fat. In fact, in recent years it has become popular and many people have decided to include it in their regular diet.
According to this ancient medical practice, this butter promotes longevity and protects against the development of some diseases. It is also believed that it lubricates tissues, improves elasticity, enhances memory and stimulates digestion.
Anyway, there is concern about the presence of saturated fats in its composition and its possible inappropriate use. Do you have doubts about this food? Below we tell you more about its properties, uses and consumption recommendations.
What is ghee and how is it made?
The ghee It is a type of clarified butter that is made from cow’s milk butter. It is very popular in the kitchens of India, Pakistan and the Middle East, where It is used both in sweet and salty foods and to mix in drinks and infusions.
To obtain it, part of butter made with cow’s milk. This is subjected to mild heat (no more than 100 degrees Celsius) to get the water to evaporate. The solids are separated, which makes it possible to obtain a product made up entirely of lipids.
The ghee itself was created as a method of preserving butter from high temperatures. In fact, it does not need refrigeration, although it is recommended to keep it in a dark place. Its consistency can change throughout the year, depending on the temperature.
Broadly speaking, the differences with butter are small. The ghee It contains a higher percentage of fat. Therefore, it offers a higher amount of butyric acid and other short-chain fats with interesting effects.
It also loses some components such as lactose and milk proteins (including casein). For this reason, it is considered something more digestive. It is recommended to choose the product from grass-fed animals, as its nutrient content may be more positive.
Health benefits of ghee
The ghee It is a food that provides a good number of nutrients. Thus, its moderate consumption is considered an ally of health, as long as it is in the context of a varied diet.
Although there is a lack of scientific studies that corroborate them and allow advice to be made for the general population, these have been listed thanks to the Ayurvedic tradition.
From the nutritional point of view, the advantages of ghee are largely due to the presence of fatty acids, such as omega 3, butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid (or CLA). In addition, it also contains some fat-soluble vitamins (A and E) and antioxidants.
Promotes the absorption of some nutrients
Eating fatty foods can increase the bioavailability and absorption of some vitamins and minerals. In addition, the ghee adds new nuances of flavor to dishes, which can be more appetizing.
It is a good cooking fat
Clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter and some vegetable oils. In this way, is a perfect choice for high temperature grilling, baking and sautéing without risk of losing nutrients.
It has positive effects on cardiovascular health
According to the authors of this article published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease, Clarified butter contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) with antioxidant and antiatherogenic activity. Therefore, it is suggested that it may be an important food component for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Supplementation of the diet with a source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) shows a reduction in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Even less cholesterol deposition is observed in the liver and in the aortic artery.
Helps protect the digestive system
One of the fatty acids contained in ghee is the butyrate. East Plays an important role in the intestinal balance and in the protection of the mucous membranes, which translates into some positive effects at the level of the intestine.
It should be noted the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activity and the prevention of colonic carcinogenesis (process by which healthy cells become malignant cells). Too It helps improve the defense barrier against pathogens and enhances intestinal transit.
Among other things, thanks to the softening effect on the stomach wall, the consumption of ghee counteracts some ailments such as indigestion, acid reflux or gastritis.
Supports the immune system and vision
The Vitamin A It is essential for the formation of some tissues and mucous membranes of the body, including the retina. For this, is a nutrient of special importance for normal vision and to prevent some pathologies, such as age-related macular degeneration.
It is also important for the proper functioning of some organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys. Similarly, it is necessary for defenses and reproduction.
Possible contraindications of ghee
60% of the final composition of the ghee belongs to saturated fatty acids. Due to this characteristic, there is concern about its possible relationship with an increase in blood cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
For the moment, this negative effect has not been corroborated with animal or human studies. Observations indicate that diets with a 5 to 10% caloric supplement from the ghee they have not had significant effects on triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
However, the main dietary guidelines and expert associations It is still recommended to reduce the consumption of saturated fats below 6% of total energy. Thus, it is advisable to use this food moderately and in small quantities.
Keep in mind that its intake is not recommended in people intolerant or allergic to lactose or milk proteins. Although these solid parts are removed during the manufacturing process, the final product may contain traces that are harmful to those with sensitivities.
The key points about the benefits and contraindications of ghee
Fat is necessary for optimal functioning of the body and must be included in the daily diet. Ghee is one of its possible sources, bringing a nutty flavor and a smoky touch to all kinds of dishes.
It is a food with a great tradition in India, where it is valued for its medicinal properties. Among these stand out antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and digestive protective activity.
However, it can be said that there are no superfoods capable of improving health on their own. Therefore, it is necessary to accompany them with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
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