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Why Clarified Butter Is Good for You ?

Could butter—that icon of dietary naughtiness—actually be good for you? As it turns out, yes. One type in particular boasts a slew of surprise benefits: ghee, the clarified, concentrated form of the ingredient—an ancient staple of Indian cooking in which water and milk proteins are removed from cow’s milk butter through boiling, skimming, and straining. Hot on the heels of bone broth, ghee has been turning up with increasing frequency at the sort of hip, health-conscious establishments where the unabashed use of animal products might be least expected. “This may sound shocking coming from someone who’s known for guzzling organic green juice, but my diet is 40 to 60 percent fat,” says Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon, who, though she mostly avoids animal foods, consumes ghee regularly and sells it at her stores. “I like to think of ghee as spiritual butter; when made with Vedic integrity”—that is, according to the instructions of traditional Hindu scripture—“it feeds our life force, calms the mind and nerves, and promotes the spiritual or psychic heat that is created through yoga. Getting enough good fat has radically enhanced my energy.” Ghee’s fat is “good” because it’s rich in medium chain triglycerides, or MCT, the same type found in health-nut-flavored coconut oil. These fatty acids are absorbed quickly by the body, making them a good source of energy, and have been linked to decreased hunger, increased metabolism, and weight loss. It’s also rich in butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid which is anti-inflammatory and an essential component of strong immune and digestive systems; the anti-cancer and pro-weight-loss fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA); and vitamins A, D, and E, and K. Ghee is also a healthy choice as a cooking oil due to its unusually high smoke point of 450–485 degrees Fahrenheit (as compared with, say, extra-virgin olive oil’s 325–375 degrees)—the temperature at which oils begin to burn and release toxic, health-harming compounds. And, it “especially sings in vegetable dishes, because it adds a flavor and richness that cannot be achieved with basic butter or oil,” says Christina Lecki, a chef, ghee aficionado, and protégé of April Bloomfield’s who until recently ran the kitchen at New York’s The Breslin.

What’s more: Because the milk proteins have been completely removed from ghee, it is pure oil—stripped of its “dairy” components—and can even be eaten by the lactose intolerant; this quality also allows it to last several months unrefrigerated.

But it’s Ayurveda—the 5000-year-old wellness tradition in which ghee plays a prominent role—that makes the strongest case for the substance. According to the Charaka Samhita, one of the field’s classical writings, ghee can be used to improve vision, promote longevity, and enhance strength; and improves complexions, memory, and intelligence, to name just a few benefits. Indian teachings also credit ghee with emotional and spiritual healing properties, such as calming the nerves and developing intuition. And who, these days, couldn’t use a spoonful of that? Source : Vogue
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