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September 09, 2007

Fat

So I said no to refined oils, but I am definitely not into the low fat thing. Fat is an important part of anyones diet for skin, hair, brain function...and being very Vata myself, it's especially important. But not all fat is equal under the eyes of Ayurveda.

Ghee is clarified butter, and you can buy it from Indian grocery stores, or many supermarkets, or make your own very easily. It is butter that is heated until the solids separate, leaving a clear golden nutty liquid which does not need to be refrigerated. It has a high smoke point making it suitable for high heats, and contains no lactose.

Ghee is supreme. It is light enough for occasional use by kapha, and it stimulates digestion without heating pitta. It is both restorative and cleansing, excellent for the eyes and brain and even lowers cholesterol. Ghee is high in saturated fat, which unfortunately get some bad press at the moment, but saturated fat comprise of about 50% of our cell membrane. There is a lot of new research showing that saturated fat is not the bad guy, it looks as though modern medicine is finally catching up with Ayurveda.

In a research study published in 1967, two populations in India were studied. The first population lived in northern India and were meat and ghee eaters. They did in fact have high cholesterol.

The second population lived in southern India and were vegetarians but, instead of eating ghee, ate plastic-food margarine and refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils. This second group did have lower cholesterol levels, but they had 15 times higher rate of heart disease than the northern population.

From this article.


And don't even get me started on ghee's incredible flavour!

3 comments:

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

As a Vata you might enjoy this idea, which is one of my favourite snacks: bread (toast for me) with a thin layer of ghee smeared on it, and sprinkled with spices (the Ethiopian berbere spice is my favourite)!

Thanks for dropping by my site and leaving your comment, I've added yours to my list of links!

spillay said...

Very happy to read this post today!!!.... Why? I've been stuffing my face with ghee balls (you know, the one that is made from moong bean flour and crumbles in your mouth when you take a bite?). Have been feeling guilty.... but not anymore thanks to this post :)

Julia said...

Spillay they are my favourite sweets ever! And don't feel guilty, ghee and mung are two of Ayurveda's most cherished foods. Yum, I might have to make some soon...