“As long as you live, live happily, and even if you have to take a loan, ensure that you can drink ghee” ー these are the golden words of Maharishi Charvaka, a famous Ayurveda guru, for ghee or as some would call it, "golden nectar." Ghee is so versatile that if you know the miraculous benefits it provides, you will be like, OMGhee!
Whether it be rituals, cooking, applying to the skin, or hair, ghee participates everywhere. There are many things to check, like the type of cow, method of extraction, ingredients, and more before buying. The only thing that you need to do is to buy the right kind. We have prepared a detailed buying guide and selected the brands providing good quality ghee and have collaborated with an expert, nutritionist Ruchi Wadhwa, so to hear some authentic advice, keep scrolling!
Since time immemorial, ghee has been lauded and regarded divine in our culture because of its countless uses that are not only exclusive to cooking and personal use, but is also used in many of our rituals and temples.
Ghee contains a saturated fat called short-chain fatty acids, that are known to provide energy to the body and regulates digestion, and help get rid of stubborn fat. It also lubricates joints, nourishes the skin, boosts fertility, and more. Furthermore, ghee is regarded ideal for people that have diabetes because it can regulate blood sugar level.
It has a very high smoke point of 250-degree Celsius which means it can be used for high cooking and will not break down up to that temperature. For your reference, an average oil has a smoke point of 150-degree Celsius.
Desi ghee is the most popular type of fat in India, and it has been used for religious, nutritional, sensory, therapeutic, and cosmetic purposes since Vedic times. It is a calorie-dense food that consists of short-chain fatty acids (SFA's) and is known for its digestibility, antioxidants, and growth promoting properties.
Since India is a tropical country, it was hard to preserve the butter at room temperature, so, clarification was done to butter to make the ghee. Ghee and butter can be used interchangeably but there are many areas where ghee wins over butter.
The smoke point of ghee is higher than the butter, which means it is more suited for high-heat cooking. You can easily deep fry and cook a more delicious puri or pakoras with ghee.
Ghee can be heated up to 250-degree Celsius, while, butter can be up to 176-degree Celsius. Compared to butter that contains traces of lactose, ghee does not have lactose or casein which makes it easily consumable by people who are lactose intolerant. Moreover, when it comes to freshness, ghee can remain fresh up to 3 months whereas butter can lose its freshness just after a few days.
Both ghee and butter provide a similar amount of calories, all of which come from fats. Despite being more saturated, ghee is considered better for weight loss and maintaining serum lipid levels (fat-like substances in blood: cholesterol and Triglycerides; their excess in the blood increases the risk of developing heart disease) as it is known to reduce total Triglycerides by 28%.
There are many things that you need to consider before hunting on that one bottle. From the milk source to the ingredients, we have played our part in researching, reviewing, and gathering all the necessary information you need to know. Our expert, nutritionist, Ruchi Wadhwa, will also give you some insights based on her professional background.
Cow milk is more famous than buffalo milk because it is suitable for everyone - from children to the older generation. Cow ghee is rich in minerals, vitamins, protein, and calcium. It is easy to digest because it is lower in fats and has fewer calories. Some findings say cow ghee also helps in weight loss.
Buffalo ghee, on the other hand is rich in magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. Buffalo milk has more fat and calories than cow's milk, hence, it is difficult to digest. Buffalo ghee is usually used by those who are engaged in heavy physical activities like kushti, wrestling, and other kinds of sports.
Despite being lower in terms of calories, vitamin A, and CLA content, cow's ghee usually gets preferred over buffalo's ghee as it is richer in nutrients like vitamin B12, D & K, and has significant amounts of antioxidants such as vitamin E, Beta-Carotene and more which are known for their anti-cancer properties.
Whey and casein are the two major types of milk proteins. Further, casein is divided into two categories that are A and B casein. Today, A1 and A2 milk types are famous terms used to describe the quality, nonetheless, they are the sub-types of B casein. Originally, cows produce the A2 type but these days A1 are now also available.
Some researches claim that American cows like Jersey and Holstein Friesian contain A1 type of milk. This type produces a compound called B casomorphin 7 (BCM7) which can increase the risk of arteriosclerosis, it is a process which restricts the blood flow to one's organs and tissues, and can suppress the immune system.
On the other hand, most Indian cows produce only A2 type of milk that is safe for consumption. To give you a reference, human milk also has an A2 type of B casein. You may select desi cows like Tharparkar, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, and Rathi as they are highly recommended because they are known to have a high level of Omega 3 that cleans the cholesterol deposits of the blood vessel.
In recent times, a lot of research has been done on A1 and A2 milk types. The current evidence does suggest some relationship between A1 protein and NCD's such as Type-1 diabetes, heart diseases, SIDS, autism, and digestive disorders. Therefore, at present, the potential health benefits of one over the other are still debatable and need more evidence to make a conclusive statement.
There are many methods to prepare ghee. However, according to Ayurveda, the Bilona method is the only traditional method to extract pure ghee because the churning done during the process is bidirectional. Milk is heated in earthen pots and wooden vessels are used to extract the butter.
This traditional ghee is used as a medicine in Ayurveda and it helps improve eyesight, cures dryness, boasts anti-aging effects, regulates digestive system, and many more. In addition, ghee from the Bilona method has a longer shelf life. It can last for years if stored properly in a tight glass jar.
To meet the rapid demand, companies these days use machines that churn hundreds of kilograms of ghee in a few minutes. Whereas the Bilona method is a tedious process since 30 kilograms of curd is used to obtain 1-kilogram pure ghee. Unlike the Bilona method, machine-produced ghee has a shorter shelf-life and is hard to digest.
Ceramics have always been an eminent part of our traditional Indian kitchens, and cooking in earthen pots enhances both the flavor and nutritional value of food. Therefore, the ghee prepared by the Bilona method is 100% pure, nutritious and flavorsome.
There are a few ingredients that you should strictly avoid. Vanaspati, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and palm oil are some of them. Still, in India, palm oil is commonly used because it is cheap and has the same smell, taste, color, and texture as desi ghee. Trans-fats found in the palm oil badly affects cholesterol as it increases the bad cholesterol and decreases the good cholesterol.
Since cooking in India is usually done at a higher temperature of about 180 degrees, vanaspati ghee is not really suitable for it because it has a lower smoke point and it breaks down after 110-120 degrees.
Anything cooked beyond the smoke point can produce free radicals that can cause many health problems such as cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, cataract, and more. So, it is better to look back at the ingredients list before buying the ghee.
It is very easy to confuse vegetable ghee for desi ghee as both have similar grainy texture and color. So, you need to read the label while buying, and if you find any vegetable oil like cotton seed oil, palm oil, etc., as a part of the ingredients list, it's better not to buy.
If you're a lazy ghee eater then you can choose a glass container with a tight screw-on lid as it can prevent the moisture and will increase the shelf life and quality of the ghee.
However, the plastic ones are common in the market today because it reduces the production cost. Be wary that those that come in a plastic container have a shorter shelf life! So, if you're a frequent ghee-eater then you have the option to buy the plastic one but be ready to lose its authenticity.
Ghee is naturally stable as it is almost 100% fat, mostly from saturated fatty acids, which do not oxidize quickly. Moreover, the moisture content of ghee is significantly less, which further adds to its stability. Ghee should be stored in air-tight, colored glass containers, away from sunlight, to retain its flavor and further enhance its shelf life.
Brands like Vanalaya, Farm Naturelle, Shree Radhey, and more are not very famous in the Indian market but they provide good quality ghee. So, scroll down and check.
Gir Cow Ghee
Sahiwal Cow Ghee
Vedic A2 Ghee
Gir Cow's A2 Ghee
A2 Gir Cow Ghee
Ahinsak Gau Ghee
A2 Desi Cow Ghee
Organic Gir Cow Ghee Made From Traditional Bilona Method
Pure Desi Sahiwal Cow Ghee That Is Rich in Anti-Oxidants
Ghee That Contains Ayurvedic Medicinal Properties Like Ashwagandha, Shankpushpi, And more
Gir Cow Ghee Loaded With Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
Desi Cow Ghee With 12 Months of Shelf Life
From a Company That Uses Ethical Method Called Dohan to Raise Cows
A2 Tharparkar Cow Ghee Is Known for Its External Healing Properties
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|Quantity||200 ml||500 ml||500 ml||250 ml||1000 ml||1000 ml||500 ml|
If you're looking for other healthy oils, look no further! Check out the links below to help yourself.
If you can afford to buy the ghee, it is better to have a quality one. Although quality products can be expensive, the apt approach would be to eat less rather than eating unhealthy. The supply-demand circle will adjust if many people started to buy quality organic ghee made by the traditional Bhartiya method.
Author: Nikhil Deora
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