The Top 9 Reasons YOU Should Be Using Ghee
By Cindy Santa Ana
When it comes to cooking oils, there is a lot of confusion and nutritional myths surrounding which oil is best – and the answer isn’t that simple. However, there are a few standout oils that I recommend incorporating into your cooking repertoire.
My new book, Unprocessed Living, goes into great detail on how to select the best oil for each cooking purpose. You need a stable high-heat oil for stir-frying and pan-frying, a medium light-bodied oil (like olive oil) for light sautéing and salad dressings and a finishing oil (like flax seed or macadamia nut oil), which should never be heated. But overall, my favorite cooking oil is ghee.
What Is Ghee?
Essentially, ghee is clarified butter with the milk solids removed. It was traditionally used in India for Ayurvedic cooking. Because the milk solids have been removed, those who are casein and lactose-sensitive can enjoy the taste of butter again.
9 Health Benefits Of Ghee
1. Ghee Is A High-Heat Oil: It’s a stable saturated fat that can withstand high cooking temperatures and doesn’t oxidize as quickly as other cooking oils. This is important because oxidized oils cause inflammation in the body. Ghee’s smoke point – the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke and generate toxic fumes and harmful free radicals – is nearly 500°F, which is higher than most cooking oils and much higher than butter’s smoke point of 350°F.
2. It Contains Healthy Vitamins: Ghee is rich in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2, which are critical to heart, bone, brain and immune system function.
3. It’s Great For Those Who Are Dairy-Intolerant: As I mentioned above, all of the milk solids have been removed, including the casein and lactose that can upset tummies for some.
4. It’s Rich In Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): CLA is the essential fatty-acid found almost exclusively in grass-fed animals and 9 phenolic antioxidants, as well as numerous other minerals. These are believed to protect against cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
5. It Is Shelf-Stable: Due to its low moisture content and lack of dairy, ghee won’t go bad at room temperature like butter does and retains its original flavor and freshness for up to a year without refrigeration.
6. It Is A Rich Dietary Source Of Butyric Acid: Loaded with short chain fatty acids such as butyric acid – a fatty acid, which is believed to prevent cancers and tumors – ghee helps restore the integrity of the gut lining, reduces inflammation, has antiviral properties and has been shown to benefit those with gut disorders such as ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease.
7. It Increases Vitamin Absorbency: The fats in ghee aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals from other foods, strengthening the immune system. Great for sautéing veggies!
8. It Has No Harmful Levels Of Omega 6 And 9 Fatty Acids: The ratios of omega 3 to 6 are in proper proportion. Ghee doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils or trans fats that can cause heart disease, like vegetable and industrial crop oils.
9. It Helps Break Down Your Food: Ghee does this in several key ways, from stimulating and balancing the secretion of necessary stomach acid that facilitates the breakdown of our foods (especially our proteins) to helping deliver the nutrients within the food to the cells.
Where Do I Find Ghee?
It’s important to purchase ghee from a reputable source to be certain that your ghee is from grass-fed or pastured animals. Ghee is concentrated and if the original source contained antibiotics, hormones or the animal was fed GMO corn or soy, you can be certain you’ll be consuming this too. Some good brands to look for are Pure Indian Foods, Tin Star Ghee, Purity Farms or you can even make your own very easily on the stove or in a slow-cooker.
Cindy Santa Ana is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in weight loss, clean eating transformations and thyroid disease. She works with clients to help them reach their ideal weight, increase their energy, and live a healthy balanced lifestyle, while juggling their career and personal life.
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