It wasn’t that long ago that butter was declared a no-no by nutritionists and health experts — but oh, how (thankfully) times have changed. Once thought to increase risk of heart disease, butter has a long history of being labeled deliciously healthy, then dangerous, then good again, and, well you get the picture, as Bon Appetit magazine notes. Today, we know that this nutrient-rich dairy product isn’t a major health risk, and that it contains good fats that can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and may even “improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity,” according to TIME magazine.
But before you go on slathering this yummy condiment on every dish, it’s worth noting that experts consider butter a “neutral” ingredient that, just like other saturated fats, should be consumed in moderation. What’s more, using grass-fed butter is recommended because it’s higher in vitamin K2 and Omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’re lactose-intolerant, there is a solution: ghee. A staple in South Asian and Arabic meals, ghee is clarified butter that doesn’t contain salt and milk fats. Most commonly available at Indian markets, ghee can also easily be made at home — and in a recent episode of The SASS with Susan Yara and Sharzad Kiadeh, 4th & Heart founder Raquel Gunsagar showed us exactly how to do it ourselves.
So what are the advantages of ghee? For starters, it won’t raise or lower your cholesterol. It also has a higher smoke rate, which means it won’t burn as quickly as traditional butter or oils. Ghee also has a longer shelf life and can last for three months unrefrigerated when stored in a closed jar. In addition, clarified butter is also high in butyrate, “a short chain fatty acid linked to an immune response that can decrease inflammation and help improve the digestive system,” according to Huffington Post Canada.
There are beauty benefits, too: ghee can be used as a moisturizer for dry skin and to treat inflammation, burns, and swelling when applied directly to the skin.
Ready to make your own ghee? Watch the video below to find out how: