Sangeetha Pulapaka

Ghee, or clarified butter, has a special place in Ayurveda as an ingredient for nourishment and healing, apart from its role in the daily rituals of cooking and worship. In India, gheeused to be the preferred edible fat. Lately it has come under a cloud—its high content of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol is believed to be responsible for the increased prevalence of coronary artery disease in Indians.

But there’s a reason our grandparents still swear by it. It lubricates joints, is beneficial for skin, (ensures) stronger immune function, better memory, heart health, fertility, and also for assimilation of vitamin D.

Ghee is prepared by simmering butter to just over 100 degrees Celsius, until most of the water has evaporated. The precipitated milk solids are then removed. From a nutritional stance, both butter and ghee are derived from the fats of whole milk, and contain around 80% milk fat; about two-thirds of that fat is saturated.

The doubt about ghee exists because people confuse ghee with any other saturated fat. Ghee has a very unique carbon atom structure, much smaller than the usual and commonly found and rightfully feared saturated fat. This unique carbon atom chain is what gives ghee all its therapeutic, almost magical, properties. In fact, people should use ghee liberally in their food,

But many debate on this. What do you think? Is ghee good or bad?

While the debate over ghee rages for us lesser mortals, the gods are unaffected. They need, and get, their daily dose in sweets etc.