Today I am writing about ghee. Why? Because I love this stuff and 95% of my meals are made with ghee. You must also be wondering why ghee when its all Saturated Fatty Acit (SFA), and full of Cholesterol?
Well let me tell you why. Ghee (clarified butter) is a short chain fatty acid, used for many purposes. Mainly it is used in cooking. Ghee is made from milk (the best is from cow, but buffalo milk can work too). The milk is converted to unsalted butter which is then boiled (carefully) to removed the milk proteins and lactose.
Ghee, like butter, is very good for cooking as it has a very high smoke point. It is better than butter from my perspective as it has been removed of impurities and lactose, which is beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant.
Saturated fats are still considered a major cause of heart disease (5, 7). The belief is that saturated fats increase Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL). There are plenty of arguments for and against this belief. USDA recommends consumption of saturated fats to be less than 10% of your total calorie intake. But there are studies that indicate otherwise (10, 11). Here is a study that compared ghee to mustard oil (12). Not sure why Indians are using mustard oil over ghee since they basically invented ghee.
Remember in the 70s when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advised the public to avoid foods that are high in cholesterol, like shrimp and eggs? So what happened with that? What happened was that they decided in 2015 that there is no link between cholesterol and heart disease (1, 8, 9).
Do you also remember the advise we got about how eating fats causes morbid obesity and diabetes? The USDA informed us to cut out fats, and as a result, fad diets targeted us, promising we would lose weight fast and without worrying about proper nutrition and exercise. As a result, people put on more weight because they substituted healthy fat with carbohydrates. Fats are required by our body. Fats provide us with satiety, insulation, protect our organs, are the highest source of energy, act as messengers, and help proteins do their job. And that’s why following a low-fat diet or eating low-fat foods will not help you lose weight. For example, two tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese has 2.5 g of carbohydrate whereas full-fat cream cheese has 1.6 g of carbohydrates.
Another example is fruit juice. Fruit is full of sugar and not a healthy way to consume fruit (FYI: The USDA applies the same dietary guidelines to fruit juice as it does to fruit). But lets say you drink orange juice. One cup of orange juice (248 g) is 26 g of carbohydrates whereas an orange (140 g) only has 18 g of carbohydrates, plus the fruit contains fibers which help your gut digest or excrete the excess sugar.
As you can see, science is not very accurate. They get things wrong all the time. They have been discovering things that naturalists and ayurvedics have known for centuries.
Fats are good for you and are very necessary. Don’t give up on them. Use them appropriately and with moderation. Limiting them in your diet will only create further issue. Try and stick to 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 30% fats. This can be modified to your needs. As I said earlier, 95% of my cooking oil comes from ghee and I love it. I have no problems with my LDL or High Density Lipoproteins. And a good nutrition plan and exercise is very important. You know the saying “You are what you eat” is very true; exercise alone will not help.
All opinions in this article and web site are my own and from my reading/research and my certification as a sports nutritionist. They are not peer reviewed journal or sponsored publication. Before you make any changes to your diet please consult your physician as I don’t accept any liability injury or any detriments to your health due to nutritional changes made based on this post.
Respiratory Therapist since 1999. Degree in BA/MIS. Started CrossFit in 2016. Obtained CrossFit Level 2 Certificate in 2019, also obtained Sports Nutritionist Certificate in 2020 from American Fitness Professional Association.
Passionate about further education in fitness/nutrition and coaching/teaching others about fitness and nutrition.