Written by Ashwin Dewan and published on 23 July 2021.
For decades, people have had contrasting opinions on ghee. While some denounces ghee as harmful, the other praises its many health benefits. So, is ghee for babies good or bad? Find out yourself!
Shajil Kumar, a journalist, loves to recall a fond childhood memory, which involves ghee. During childhood, lunch and dinner consisted of several dishes made with Ghee. Shajil also remembers dollops of ghee being sprinkled on top of steaming hot rotis or rice. That he or his family members hardly fell ill and had glowing skin and lustrous hair can only testify to the benefits of ghee at a time when many people are avoiding ghee for being unhealthy.
Ghee, the Indian clarified butter, is one food item you would normally associate with many fond childhood memories. Poured on top of rotis, in the making of many sweets like Ladoos, ghee is wonderfully aromatic and serves many other functions also. It is considered sacred and used as the main ingredient in some Ayurvedic medicines.
Dr Ashok Kumar says consuming a spoon of ghee every day can be beneficial. However, consuming it in excess can be harmful. He adds that ghee has certain properties that can even improve memory.
However, along with the many benefits of ghee for babies, there are many myths surrounding it too. It is harmful to health, it is fattening, eating too much ghee can lead to blocked arteries, are some common myths that many of the people have about ghee. But, are they true? Find out by going through this article.
While the goodness of ghee for young children and adults are often discussed, benefits of ghee for babies is not spoken about. So, does it mean that babies can't have ghee? Of course, they can, and here are a few benefits of ghee for babies:
With so many benefits of ghee for babies, you must be wondering when to include ghee in your baby's diet.
You can begin giving ghee to your baby as she turns 6 to 7 months of age. This is the time when you begin introducing her to solid foods. You can begin by adding ghee to her meal.
Ghee is packed with nutrients and it is essential to include it in your baby diet. But, too much of anything is bad, and this is the case with ghee as well. Excess ghee for babies can harm their health.
According to experts, you can begin by adding three to four drops of ghee to your baby's meal. After your baby turns 1-year-old, you can increase the amount of ghee you give her.
You can consult your child's paediatrician to understand when to begin giving ghee to your child and how much to give.
Nowadays, a variety of ghee made from the milk of various breeds of cows and buffaloes is available in the market. So, which of these is the best choice for your child?
The ghee made from A2 milk is considered the best for babies. It is considered to be beneficial to the heart and also has medicinal properties.
Myth #1: Giving ghee to babies harms their health
Fact: Although there is a widespread notion about ghee being harmful to health, it is not true. Only a few fatty acids present in pure ghee led to a rise in cholesterol levels. Around 32% fat in pure ghee is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which is a good form of dietary fat - the kind that olive oil is rich in. In fact, desi ghee scores over many polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) rich oils like sunflower, corn and cottonseed oil.
Myth #2: Ghee for kids causes obesity and weight gain
Fact: People often associate consumption of ghee with a gain in weight. However, it is lipolytic by nature, which pertains to the chemical breakdown of fat. Ghee is also rich in conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which is not only good for the heart but aids in weight loss. So, unless taken in excess, there is no need to worry about weight gain.
Myth #3: Ghee damages the health of joints
Fact: Joint pain is a major health problem and can lead to swollen joints, red bruises and excruciating pain. If so, including small amounts of ghee in the diet may help. The benefits of ghee on the body both inside and out are numerous, which includes lubrication of the joint health. In fact, pure ghee has been used since ages for the treatment of joint pains as it is nourishing and provides strength to the body and the muscles.
In fact, Dr Ashok says that ghee is used in the treatment of many degenerative diseases including neurological and bone-related diseases.
Myth #4: Ghee is bad for the heart, may lead to stroke
Fact: Ghee is often looked down by many people as something that is unhealthy and bad for the heart. However, it is loaded with antioxidants, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and fat-soluble vitamins like A, E and D due to which ghee can potentially be used in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Myth #5: Ghee is extensively used in preparing Ayurvedic medicines
Fact: Ghee is one of the main components in many Ayurvedic medicines. Its ability to reach the deepest regions of the human body makes it ideal and effective in treating many diseases. It is well-known for its ability to cancel the harmful effects of toxins in the body as well.
Ghee has a property called Ayusham in Ayurveda, which is believed to prolong the lifespan of an individual. Ghee also aids in cellular repair and regeneration.
Famous for its aromatic smell, Ghee is used in a number of Indian dishes. Apart from imparting flavour and taste, Ghee has many health benefits as discussed in this ClipBook.
About the expert:
Dr Ashok Kumar, M D (Ayurveda) is an Associate Professor at Dharma Ayurveda Medical College and Hospital, Chennai.
About the author:
Written by Ashwin Dewan on 12 October 2017.
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