Winter superfood: 3 healthy ways to eat ghee as mercury drops
Moderation is the key when incorporating ghee into your winter diet. From khichdi to soup, here are healthy ways to consume ghee in winter season.
Having ghee in winter is both a medicine as well as a feel good factor. A storehouse of healthy fats and vitamins A, D, E, and K, ghee can nourish the entire body, benefitting bones, skin and immune function. People who are obese or overweight should approach ghee and recipes made of it with caution as excessive consumption can lead to weight gain and exacerbation of chronic disease risk factors from blood sugar to blood pressure. Ghee in moderation can help boost heart health, digestive health and prevent inflammation. Add a dallop of ghee to your piping hot bowl of dal/soup, or add it on top of your roti for an irresistible aroma as well a filling meal. (Also read | Winter-friendly millets: 5 delectable ways to enjoy Ragi in cold weather)
How much ghee to eat
While many people avoid ghee in their meals as they fear fat accumulation and high cholesterol levels, but a nutritionist busts this myth.
"It's a myth that ghee increases cholesterol. One can include ghee in their daily diet. Ideal dosage of ghee is 1-2 tsp or max 3 tsp. One also needs to keep a watch on monthly cooking oil consumption," says Shruti K Bhardwaj, Chief Dietician Zydus Hospitals, Ahmedabad.
Bharadwaj says that though ghee has a high smoking point, it should still be avoided in deep frying and instead must be used as a topping and for roasting.
Dr Bimal Chajjar, cardiologist at Saaol Heart Center, emphasizes the importance of maintaining a heart-healthy diet, even during the winter months. Contrary to common belief, he suggests that incorporating ghee into your winter diet can be done in a healthy manner.
"Ghee, a form of clarified butter, is a traditional ingredient in many Indian households. High quality and organic ghee is recommended in small quantities. Ghee contains healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which can contribute to cardiovascular health," says Dr Chajjar.
HEALTHY WAYS TO ADD GHEE TO THE DIET
1. Sauteing or roasting vegetables
One way to add ghee to your winter diet is by using it as a cooking medium for sautéing or roasting vegetables. This not only imparts a rich flavour but also enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins present in the vegetables. One must opt for a balanced combination of colourful vegetables to ensure a diverse range of nutrients.
2. Warm beverages
Additionally, ghee can be incorporated into warm beverages like herbal teas or turmeric milk. This not only provides a comforting and nourishing drink but also aids in the absorption of certain fat-soluble compounds present in these beverages. However excessive sweetening must be avoided to maintain health benefits.
3. Khichdi or daliya
Choose whole grains over refined ones and incorporate ghee into dishes like khichdi or daliya. This helps in providing sustained energy and promotes a feeling of fullness. It is important to keep in mind portion control and ensure that ghee is used in moderation to avoid excess calorie intake.
Dr Chajjar says those with lactose intolerance can rely on clarified butter (ghee) as a trust-worthy dairy product as it is virtually lactose-free. This also makes it a suitable option for individuals who may experience digestive discomfort with other dairy products.
Dietitian Shruti Bharadwaj suggests the following ways to add ghee to the diet
- Add on top of dal and vegetable.
- Add in your soup.
- Add into daily rice preparation or khichdi.
- Have ghee chapati.
- Make paratha with ghee.