There’s a four-letter word that comes instantly to my mind when people complain of lifestyle-related problems—diabetes, hypertension, a bad back, high cholesterol. Ghee. You read right, ghee. Ghee—clarified of impurities, strengthened with all the essential fatty acids—is a miracle worker. It increases the strength of our joints, improves the texture of our skin, hair and nails, works wonders for our insulin sensitivity, helps to burn fat efficiently and keeps the brain alert. Difficult to believe? Then ask yourself why we tend to believe low-fat fibre-enriched biscuits, fortified with calcium and iron, are good for us. (Baseless theory, by the way.) Are we turning out to be a generation that only believes in things packaged well? Despite its negative image, ghee is good fat. We need the type of fat it provides for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins like A and E. Both work as antioxidants and are rich in anti-ageing properties—and also help to keep our immunity levels sky high. The fatty acids in ghee also provide strength and hydration to our overworked joints, like those of the lower back and the knee, and help to keep our muscles agile and strong. Of course, like with all good things, overdoing ghee backfires. You should only add two teaspoons of it to your daily diet. Does the thought of that make you gag? Consider this. Gram to gram, a low-fat biscuit has more fat than two teaspoons of ghee. In terms of quality, ghee wins hands down over that biscuit. Above all, nothing can compare with the taste of fresh hot ghee on dal, chawal or garam rotis—or even sauted mushrooms. Did I mention that you need to exercise regularly to reap the benefits of ghee?
(A fortnightly column on nutrition and fitness, by the best-selling author of Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight)