I went through a “dairy-free” phase in my life. In the past few years I have cautiously added dairy back in, but I tend to stick to dairy that is free of A1 beta-casein, which I have read is very harmful. One of the first “dairy” products I added back in is ghee. I am not sure if it is O.K. for everyone who has a sensitivity to dairy, but I have not had a problem with it in our family.
So what is ghee? From the book “Eat Fat Lose Fat“:
“Ghee, or clarified butter, is butter from which the milk solids have been removed. It is a wonderful fat for cooking because it does not burn as easily as regular butter and also has a delightful flavor and color”. – Source
I find it surprising how many people have never heard of ghee, but I did not discover it until I read up on the pros and cons of dairy 5-6 years ago. I actually prefer it to butter, and here is why.
1. It does not have to be refrigerated, I can store it in my cupboard. This makes it easy to travel with, I don’t have to place it in a cooler. Since it is not refrigerated, it is always soft and creamy. I love that.
2. It does not contain A1 casein. This is the protein in dairy that many people are sensitive to. If not fully digested it becomes a free radical that is harmful to the body. If not digested it can become BCM7. What is BCM7? BCM7 is unquestionably a powerful opioid and hence a narcotic. (Source)
3. As mentioned, it does not burn as easy as butter, it is great to cook with. It is a saturated fat, which makes it controversial in some circles. However, I feel more comfortable cooking with saturated fats. I have read they are good to use for cooking. “Saturated Fats, found predominantly in animal fats and tropical oils like coconut oil and in lesser amounts in all vegetable oils (and also made within your body, usually from excess carbohydrates), saturated fats are structured so that all available carbon bonds are occupied by a hydrogen atom, which makes them highly stable and also straight in shape, so that they are solid or semisolid fat at room temperature. As a result of their unique composition, they are less likely to go rancid when heated during cooking and form dangerous free radicals that can cause a litany of ills, including heart disease and cancer.” (Source).I find that last part very interesting, considering how much saturated fats are under scrutiny right now.
4. It tastes great. Coconut oil is a good oil to cook with, but my husband does not care for the taste of coconut oil, but he tolerates ghee. (Ghee is basically butter without the allergenic proteins).
5. When I lived in South Korea, I liked ghee because of the cost. Organic Valley organic butter was very expensive, (because of import fees). The cost was approximately $30.00!! (Fortunately I was able to order ghee through iherb). When I lived in South Korea, my iherb orders did not have the import fees added on to them.
I prefer the Organic Valley brand of ghee. It is the brand I have used for many years. It is a little expensive, but I have found Thrive Market to have the best price for it. If you are not a Thrive member yet. it is worth checking out their website. It is sort of like a “Sam’s Club” for health conscious folks. You can get a 15% discount on your first order by clicking here … http://thrv.me/ircMeJ
If you are interested in reading more about fats and how the right kind of fats can improve health, I recommend reading the book Eat Fat Lose Fat. I have seen improvement in my cholesterol by removing complex carbohydrates and sugar from my diet and adding in healthy fats like ghee, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and well sourced olive oil. (I also removed canola oil from my diet COMPLETELY. I do not buy anything that contains it and I do not cook with it). My cholesterol was never “high”, but I did find it interesting that my numbers improved when I incorporated good quality fats and removed the poor quality fats.
Have you used ghee? Do you prefer it to butter?