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Ghee: clarified butter is a healthy option to replace traditional butter

With the growing demand for healthier foods, a “new type” of butter has gained prominence, becoming practically indispensable on the menu of people who are adept at a balanced and as natural diet as possible: ghee. Also known as clarified butter or ghee, it is used in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian culture as a healing and rejuvenating food.

Giovana Morbi, orthomolecular nutritionist, explains that ghee, better known as clarified butter, is very popular in Indian cuisine. “If you talk to a real Indian, he will say that ghee and clarified butter are not the same thing. However, in fact, there is only a small difference between the two, which is one of the steps in the production process. But nothing significant,” she says she. That’s why, in Brazil, ghee is easily called clarified butter.

As many people already know, the cow is a sacred animal in India. Thus, because ghee is prepared from cow’s milk, it is considered a very powerful food, according to nutritionist Giovana.

“Clarified butter is nothing more than a pure oil, without toxins and salt, extracted from butter (as the name implies), in a process in which water, solid components and toxins from cow’s milk fat are removed. , including lactose. Therefore, in general, it can be consumed by lactose intolerant people”, explains Giovana.

Health benefits of ghee

But what are the health benefits of ghee (or clarified butter)? Why replace traditional butter with clarified butter?

Giovana points out that, in Ayurveda, ghee is considered a regenerating and rejuvenating food. Among the health benefits it offers are:

  • It is beneficial for the liver;
  • Strengthens the body’s natural defenses;
  • It is good for gastrointestinal problems (it is widely used in the treatment of ulcers);
  • Promotes lung health;
  • Helps improve memory;
  • Helps make joints more elastic, resulting in a lower risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease;
  • It is excellent for digestion, as it stimulates the production of gastric juices;
  • It is versatile, and can be used even in preparations that go on fire for a long time;
  • It may be an option for those allergic to lactose (but this depends on the person’s allergy sensitivity level, so it should be viewed with caution, and guided by a healthcare professional).

How to make ghee?

Clarified butter can be found in most health food stores today. But, whoever prefers, can produce their own! There are several ways to prepare, according to Giovana, but, below, the nutritionist teaches one of them.

You will need:

  • 500 grams of unsalted butter
  • A tall or thick-bottomed pot
  • a cotton fabric

Preparation mode:

  1. In the pan, put all the butter and take it to the low fire so that it melts slowly. If the butter burns, it’s not good.
  2. Let it cook until a white foam forms on the surface (detail: this white foam is nothing more than lactose).
  3. Slowly remove the foam with a slotted spoon or large spoon.
  4. Repeat the process until the foam stops forming (which will take a while depending on how much butter you use and how good it is).
  5. After absolutely removing all the white foam, let the butter rest for about 30 minutes so that the rest of the solids sink to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Strain the liquid. You can use a clean cotton cloth or sterile gauze to help.
  7. Place in a glass jar with a lid and store in the fridge (to last longer).

According to the nutritionist, the recipe yields 400 grams of clarified butter. “You don’t need to keep it in the fridge, but it’s good to last longer. It doesn’t go rancid and has a shelf life of 3 months,” she says.

Below you can see a video also teaching a way to prepare clarified butter at home:

“If you want, you can also add other flavors to your butter, such as fine herbs, garlic… It’s delicious!”, suggests the nutritionist.

How to use ghee butter

Although today it is already a great success, there are still some doubts about the consumption of clarified butter. Below, you can see the clarifications for the main ones.

1. Can I use ghee butter in any recipe? Can it be heated?

Yes, it is super versatile, and can be used simply to spread over wholemeal bread, for example, as in cooking dishes.

“A big advantage is that it withstands high temperatures very well. Unlike some oils that, when subjected to very high temperatures for a long time, can produce substances that are extremely harmful to health. With clarified butter, however, this does not happen! That’s why it’s a good food to use in preparations that go on fire for a long time”, highlights Giovana.

2. Who has lactose intolerance can consume?

Ghee is pure oil, free of toxins and salt, extracted from butter. Water, solid components and toxins from cow’s milk fat are removed, including lactose. Therefore, in general, clarified butter could be an option for those intolerant to this component, since, in the heat, milk proteins are denatured and theoretically removed.

“However, people with serious allergies to this food should consume with caution. How the person’s body will react depends a lot on the sensitivity level of the allergy, but, in general, the digestion of this type of butter is much easier”, says Giovana.

It is necessary to know that the elimination of lactose may not be complete in the process, so people allergic to milk protein or intolerant people should only bet on clarified butter with medical advice.

3. Are there any contraindications?

“Only people with a high level of allergy to milk proteins should be careful with their consumption”, highlights Giovana.

4. Butter ghee weight loss? Can it be used freely in a slimming process?

It is not correct to say that a food by itself loses weight. “Ghee butter definitely does not help you lose weight. It’s an oil, a fat, so it’s caloric, but it’s healthier. Even so, it should be used sparingly”, emphasizes Giovana.

“Despite being excellent for health, no one should eat ghee butter freely. It is, yes, a good food, healthier and purer than regular butter, however, it has calories and is a saturated fat. Always eat with conscience”, adds the nutritionist.

Where to buy

Ghee is found in most health food stores. The price is a little high: a 268ml bottle, for example, costs around R$31. Thus, those who choose to make it at home usually save significantly, but, of course, do not have the practicality of buying it ready-made.

  • Ghee clarified butter without Lactose Lorenzzo for R$24,90 at Kitanda
  • Ghee Lzero lactose Lotus for R$31.70 at Loja da Mimo
  • Organic Ghee Butter for R$83 at Loja da Mimo
  • Organic Ghee Butter for R$32 at Tudo Saudável

Now you know why ghee has been increasingly successful among people who are adept at healthy eating! Remember that, even though it is beneficial to health, it is a fat, it has calories, and that, if consumed in excess, it can be harmful to health.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.

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