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Food Therapy Tip: Ghee vs Butter

Sweet carrots cooked in ghee

Sweet carrots cooked in ghee

 

 

 

I have just completed an Ayurvedic Cleanse that included a lot of ghee in the process. This prompted me to do a little more research on why the properties of ghee are so much better than butter and it has been quite informative. Much like the molecular make-up of coconut oil, “When comparing ghee to butter in terms of health, one reason for the more favorable past research record of ghee versus butter might be the increased amount of medium- and short-chain fatty acids in ghee. Butter contains about 12-15% of these medium-chain and short-chain fats, whereas ghee contains about 25%. (Our bodies metabolize medium-chain and short-chain fats differently than long-chain ones, and medium- and short-chain ones are not associated with cardiovascular problems in the same way as the long-chain ones are.)”(George Mateljan)*

Essentially ghee is considered clarified butter, but the process of making it is a little more involved. I found out that not all ghee is created equal when we took on a new local producer of this product(Simply Ghee). The flavor of their carefully made ghee, from organic grassfed milk, is totally different than the commercial ghee I’ve tasted on the marketplace. The flavor is buttery and rich. Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter because all the milk fat solids have been removed, which makes it a good choice for cooking at high temperatures.

In Ayurveda, it has long been used to promote health and bolster the immune system. “Long a favorite of yoga practitioners, ghee lubricates the connective tissues and promotes flexibility, says Dr. Vasant Lad, director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Traditionally, the preparation has been used to promote memory, intelligence, quantity and quality of semen, and to enhance digestion. Modern science tells us that ghee also harbors phenolic antioxidants, which bolster the immune system.”(Yoga Journal)**

It’s also a product that is much used in the Paleo Clean Eating diet because all the casein and milk fat solids are taken out.  This makes it easier to digest for those people who may be lactose intolerant but still want the satiating flavor of butter. Although” technically, since it comes from dairy, ghee is not considered Paleo, but it is completely Primal…it is still a dairy product.”*** 

*http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=9

**http://www.yogajournal.com/health/56

***http://thepaleolist.com/2014/03/05/is-ghee-paleo/