Is Ghee Good for Weight Loss? Clarifying the Truth

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Is Ghee Good for Weight Loss? Clarifying the Truth Blog – HealthifyMe Blog – HealthifyMe – The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Ghee, or clarified butter, has always been a part of our meals, whether in cooking or as a condiment. But the opinions on Ghee are divided when it comes to weight loss. Some people swear by it, while for others, it is a complete no-no. This confusion leads to a dilemma – is Ghee good for weight loss, or do we need to avoid it? This article aims to uncover the truth about Ghee’s role in weight loss.

I try and incorporate ghee while cooking for my family in every meal possible like using it for tadka and smearing it on a vegetable paratha. As a kid I would relish on ghee and jaggery roti roll, and my kids enjoy the same as breakfast on busy school mornings. My ultimate comfort food is moong dal khichdi topped with ghee. I also try using ghee while baking – like replacing butter with ghee while making bread and buns. It gives a nice earthy flavour along with its benefits.  
As they say in the west Butter makes everything Better. But for Indian cooking its definitely Ghee!!

— Nahida Wankhade (Product Nutritionist)

The discussions on weight loss are primarily around the big things – like going to the gym, cutting down on carbs, and increasing protein intake. However, the little habits we adopt and the ingredients we use while cooking plays a significant role in our weight loss journey. In Indian cuisine, fats are an essential cooking element, and Ghee is one of the most prevalent fats. So, the question arises – can Ghee help us lose weight, or is it an obstacle in our journey?

The following sections will explore the health benefits of Ghee, its nutritional value, and its impact on weight loss. The article also explains the science behind Ghee and its effect on body weight. So, read on to find out the truth about Ghee and weight loss.

Ghee: An Overview

Ghee is pure butterfat extracted from milk and is a staple in Indian cuisine and other foods. It has a slightly roasted, nutty background note that sets it apart from butter. While several brands sell it with different flavours depending on the milk quality, it is best to make Ghee at home.

One can use both buffalo and cow’s milk to make pure homemade Ghee. That is because both contain essential nutrients that benefit the mind and body. For example, buffalo milk’s Ghee contains essential minerals like calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. On the other hand, cow milk’s Ghee is more enriched and is a powerhouse of minerals, vitamins and calcium. Additionally, cow Ghee has a better shelf life than buffalo Ghee and is higher in antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Therefore, when making healthier choices, cow Ghee holds an edge.

Summary

Ghee is an excellent source of healthy fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins, aiding weight loss. Despite this, many people trying to lose weight avoid Ghee without considering its health benefits. Ghee is not only a healthy cooking ingredient, but it also possesses properties that can keep your system cool. Its combination of taste and health benefits makes it a popular choice.

Nutritional Properties of Ghee

As per the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), one tablespoon (approximately 14g) of Ghee contains the following nutrients.

Energy: 123kCalProtein: 0.04gTotal Fat: 13.9gCalcium: 0.56mgPotassium: 0.7mgCholine: 3.12mgVitamin A: 118µgRetinol: 115µgBeta Carotene: 27µgCholesterol: 35.8mg

Ghee for Weight Loss: A Tasty Path to a Leaner You

Despite the misconception that ghee is unsuitable for weight loss due to its high-fat content, health and fitness experts recommend incorporating it into one’s daily diet. That is because Ghee is packed with essential nutrients that promote overall health, especially when made at home using cow’s milk.

The Magic of Ghee for Weight Loss

Ghee contains saturated fats, which can be unhealthy when consumed excessively. Research shows that Ghee from pure grass-fed cow’s milk can contain up to 64% saturated fats. However, incorporating Ghee into a weight-loss diet is an effective way to lose unwanted fat. Traditionally, fat-based dairy products like Ghee and butter are associated with weight gain and obesity. Therefore, learning that Ghee can aid in weight loss may seem contradictory. But here is how Ghee can help with weight loss.

Improves Digestion

Research shows that Ghee contains fatty acids that aid in smooth digestion. Furthermore, these fatty acids promote the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, E, D, and K while regulating hormones. 

Fatty Acids

According to research, Ghee contains more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than butter.  Study shows that omega-3 helps reduce abdominal fat mass and percentage in overweight or obese individuals on a weight loss diet. Hence, Ghee helps reduce body fat levels and helps tone the body.

Helps Burn Fat

Ghee has the unique ability to burn stored fat cells in the body for energy, leading to faster weight loss. Additionally, amino acids in Ghee can shrink fat cells around the stomach, thighs, and buttocks. Therefore, incorporating a moderate quantity of Ghee into a weight loss diet plan can be beneficial for preventing rapid fat accumulation in the body.

It Helps Regulate Thyroid Function

Research suggests Ghee also benefits those suffering from thyroid-related disorders that may cause unintended weight gain. Ghee aids in the better assimilation of vitamin D, which regulates thyroid function and prevents unwanted weight gain.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

It is essential to know that the fat in Ghee is different from other fats as it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). As per research, CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid that, when consumed daily, supports weight loss and protects against carcinogenic diseases. 

Grass-fed Ghee is particularly rich in CLA, containing up to five times more than non-grass-fed Ghee, making it the preferred choice for those seeking to enjoy the benefits of Ghee for weight loss. In addition, another research shows that CLA isomers are antiobesity, antiatherogenic, anticarcinogenic, and antidiabetic.

Ghee is also suitable for people with lactose intolerance as it does not contain casein or lactose, making it easily digestible. 

The Detoxification Benefits of Ghee

In addition to its weight-loss benefits, Ghee can contribute to detoxification and a healthy colon. Butyric acid in Ghee acts as a natural colon cleanser, helping flush out toxins from the body and maintaining a healthy colon. In addition, Ghee acts as a natural laxative, promoting regular bowel movements. Also, it helps to eliminate fluid buildup in the body that can contribute to weight gain.

Summary

Ghee is a valuable weight-loss ingredient due to its unique fatty acid profile and essential nutrients. In addition, it aids digestion, promotes the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, and helps burn stored fat cells in the body for energy. Therefore, incorporating a moderate quantity of Ghee into a weight loss diet plan can be beneficial for preventing rapid fat accumulation in the body.

What Does Ayurveda Have to Say About Ghee and Weight Loss?

Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, highly regards Ghee for its numerous health benefits. It includes contributing to longevity, disease protection, and joint lubrication. In addition, consuming Ghee, especially desi Ghee, is believed to aid in healthy weight management.

With regular exercise and stress management, Ayurveda suggests incorporating small amounts of Ghee into meals to support weight loss goals. However, seeking advice from a healthcare provider before incorporating Ghee into your diet or lifestyle is crucial, especially if you suffer from any medical issues or are taking any medications.

Summary

Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, recommends the consumption of Ghee, especially desi Ghee, in small amounts, along with exercise and stress management techniques to aid in healthy weight management.

Various Ways to Use Ghee for Weight Loss

Here are some ways you can consume Ghee for weight loss, along with recipes:

Use Ghee instead of butter or oil: 

Using Ghee instead of butter or oil in cooking and baking is better. It has a higher smoke point than butter, which makes it ideal for frying and sautéing.

Spread Ghee on Toast

Ghee can be a healthy alternative to butter or margarine on your morning toast.

Recipe: Ghee and Cinnamon Toast

Ingredients

Bread: 2 slicesGhee: 1 tbsp Cinnamon

Method of Preparation

Toast the slices of bread.Spread the Ghee on each slice of toast.Sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Add Ghee to Your Morning Coffee

Adding Ghee can help you feel fuller for longer and even boost your metabolism.

Recipe: Bulletproof Coffee

Method of preparation

Brew 1 cup of coffee using your preferred method.To the coffee, add one tablespoon each of Ghee and coconut oil.Blend the mixture until it is frothy and smooth.

Use Ghee in Soups and Stews 

Ghee can add a rich, nutty flavour to soups and stews and help you feel full and satisfied.

Recipe: Lentil Soup with Ghee

Ingredients

Ghee: 1 tbspChopped Onion: 1Chopped Carrots: 2 Chopped Celery stalks: 2 Dried Lentils: 1 cupVegetable broth: 4 cupsSalt, pepper, herbs & spices: As per your taste

Method of Preparation

Melt one tablespoon of Ghee in a large pot set over medium heat. Sauté one chopped onion until it turns soft and translucent. Then, incorporate two chopped carrots, two celery stalks, and one cup of dried lentils into the pot. Pour into it four cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil.Lower the flame and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes until the lentils become tender.Season with salt, pepper, and your favourite herbs and spices.

Precautions and Tips

Ghee can be better than butter or oil during your weight loss journey. However, it is essential to use it right. Here are some tips for consuming Ghee for weight loss:

Limit your intake: Ghee is high in calories and fat, so you should consume it in moderation. Ghee contains many calories and a high amount of fat. Therefore, it’s critical to pay attention to how much Ghee you eat and to modify your consumption as necessary.Choose high-quality Ghee: Look for Ghee made from grass-fed cows and free from additives and preservatives. High-quality Ghee is rich in nutrients and may be more beneficial for weight loss.

Just Saying

Here’s a fun fact – in ancient India, wrestlers and athletes would consume a spoonful of Ghee before their matches or competitions for an energy boost. That is because ghee contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which provide a quick source of energy to the body. 

The Final Word

Ghee is a delicious and healthy meal addition, particularly for weight loss. Despite misconceptions that Ghee is unsuitable for weight loss due to its excessive fat content, it can be beneficial to incorporate moderate amounts made from cow’s milk into a weight-loss diet plan. 

Due to its unique ability to burn stored fat cells and shrink fat cells around specific body areas, Ghee can be a valuable component for active weight management. So it is no wonder why Ghee is making a comeback in modern times. Overall, it is worth considering incorporating it into your daily diet with advice from health professionals.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is Ghee, and how is it different from butter? 

A. Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originated in South Asia. In this process, one simmers butter until the water and milk solids get removed. It results in a nutty, golden liquid. Ghee is different from butter because it has a higher smoke point, a longer shelf life, and is lactose-free. 

Q. Does Ghee contain fewer calories than butter? 

A. No, Ghee and butter have similar calorie contents as both get made from milk fat. However, Ghee has a higher concentration of healthy fats. In addition, it is more easily digestible due to the removal of milk solids.

Q. Can consuming Ghee help with weight loss? 

A. Ghee is calorie-dense and high in saturated fat, so moderation is essential for weight loss. However, it can get included as part of a balanced diet. 

Q. Is Ghee high in saturated fat? 

A. Yes, Ghee is high in saturated fat. It is a clarified butter commonly used in South Asian cuisine. It has approximately 60-65% of its saturated fat content. 

Q. How much Ghee should I consume daily for weight loss? 

A. Ghee is high in calories, so moderation is essential for weight loss. Start with 1-2 teaspoons daily and incorporate it into a balanced diet along with a proper exercise routine. Consult with a healthcare provider for personalised recommendations.

Q. Can Ghee be included in a low-carb or ketogenic diet? 

A. Yes, one can include Ghee in low-carb or ketogenic diets. It is a high-fat food with no carbs. It can be used as a cooking oil or added to the flavour and healthy fat recipes.

Q. Is Ghee suitable for people with lactose intolerance? 

A. Yes, Ghee is often suitable for people with lactose intolerance. During the clarification process, the lactose in milk gets removed, making Ghee lactose-free. However, it is always best to consult a health expert to determine what is safe for your dietary needs.

Q. How should I consume Ghee for weight loss? 

A. Moderation is crucial. Use Ghee in small amounts to avoid excess calorie intake. Replace unhealthy fats with Ghee, such as using them for cooking instead of vegetable oil or butter. Avoid consuming Ghee with high-calorie foods and pair it with healthy options like veggies or whole grains. Be mindful of your overall calorie intake and maintain a balanced diet while incorporating Ghee for weight loss.

Q. Can Ghee be used as a cooking oil substitute for weight loss? 

A. Ghee can be used as a cooking oil substitute for weight loss. Ghee is high in healthy fats and has a high smoke point, making it a good choice for cooking at high temperatures. It is also rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants. Its high smoke point also makes it ideal for frying and sautéing. However, like all oils, one can use it in moderation as it is calorie-dense. A balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial for weight loss.

 

Q. Are there any potential risks or side effects of consuming Ghee for weight loss?

A. Ghee has healthy fats and is often used for weight loss but has high calories. So, it would be best if you eat it in moderation. Overeating Ghee can make you gain weight and cause health problems. Before adding Ghee to your weight loss plan, consider your dietary needs and any health issues you already have.

Research Sources

1. U S Department of Agriculture

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103844/nutrients

2. Kumar, Anil & Naik, Satya. (2018). Ghee: Its Properties, Importance and Health Benefits.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339499398_Ghee_Its_Properties_Importance_and_Health_Benefits

3. Karandikar YS, Bansude AS, Angadi EA. Comparison between the Effect of Cow Ghee and Butter on Memory and Lipid Profile of Wistar Rats. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 Sep;10(9):FF11-FF15. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/19457.8512. Epub 2016 Sep 1. PMID: 27790463; PMCID: PMC5071963.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5071963/

4. Salman HB, Salman MA, Yildiz Akal E. The effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on weight loss and cognitive function in overweight or obese individuals on a weight-loss diet. Nutr Hosp. 2022 Aug 25;39(4):803-813. English. doi: 10.20960/nh.03992. PMID: 35815739.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35815739/

5. Sharma H, Zhang X, Dwivedi C. The effect of Ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation. Ayu. 2010 Apr;31(2):134-40. Doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.72361. PMID: 22131700; PMCID: PMC3215354.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215354/

6. den Hartigh LJ. Conjugated Linoleic Acid Effects on Cancer, Obesity, and Atherosclerosis: A Review of Pre-Clinical and Human Trials with Current Perspectives. Nutrients. 2019 Feb 11;11(2):370. doi: 10.3390/nu11020370. PMID: 30754681; PMCID: PMC6413010.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6413010/

7. Health Benefits of Ghee (clarified butter) – A review from Ayurvedic perspective by Sindhuja S, Prakruthi M, Manasa R, Shekhara Naik R, Mahesh Shivananjappa

https://www.ipinnovative.com/journal-article-file/12521

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