We’ve repeatedly heard from various sources, whether a doctor, a teacher or a health enthusiast colleague, about the dangers fats pose to our health and the importance of minimizing our fat consumption. But what these caring information providers weren’t aware of was a very important fact:
It isn’t so much the amount of fats in our diets, but rather the types of fats we consume, that really impact our overall health.
All Fats are not Created Equal
Unhealthy, or “bad”, fats increase cholesterol and your risk of certain diseases, whereas healthy, or “good”, fats help to protect your heart and support overall health.
So, how do you know the good from the bad? There are four main types of fats, each present in different types of foods:
1) Trans Fats
Trans fats are found seemingly everywhere, from vegetable shortening and fried foods, to many prepackaged snacks. In order to give products a longer shelf life, the chemical makeup is modified, transforming the naturally occurring fats into ones our bodies don’t recognize. As unnatural as these are, it’s no surprise that consumption of trans fats has been associated with many health issues.
2) Saturated Fats
Present in whole-fat dairy products, butter and animal products, saturated fats have received a bad rap, often being cited as an unhealthy fat. When consumed in moderation, they are actually part of a healthy diet, enhancing calcium absorption and immune function, along with providing other benefits.
3) Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats are in many oils, including olive oil and corn oil, as well as avocados and nuts. They are considered a healthier fat, and can be beneficial to your heart when part of a well-balanced diet.
4) Polyunsaturated Fats
Polyunsaturated fats, also considered heart healthy in moderation, are found in grain products and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.
Healthy fats are essential to both our overall wellness, serving vital roles in both our physical and emotional health. While trans fats should be avoided as much as possible, the other three types of fats all provide different health benefits and should be mindfully consumed as part of a regular diet.
Is Ghee a Healthy Fat?
Since it’s derived from butter, ghee does have a fairly high fat amount of saturated fat, however, it has many benefits that make it a healthy alternative to butter or oil. And the butter used in making ghee is from grass fed cows. Why does this make a difference? Butter from grass fed cows is so much healthier than butter from cows fed hay, as it contains many more nutrients.
Ghee, just like butter, can be used to add rich flavor to many dishes, but without the unhealthy effects associated with butter. While butter has been found to increase unhealthy levels of cholesterol, studies on both animals and humans have shown a decrease in levels of unhealthy cholesterol as a result of frequent consumption of ghee. This could be due to the results of a 2013 study, published in “Lipids in Health and Disease”, which found that ghee is useful in preventing heart disease because it protects the arteries from hardening by removing unwanted cholesterol.
The Healthy Choice
Forget what your well-meaning colleague preached to you about needing to completely cut out all fats from your diet. Instead, replace the not-so-good-for-you fats with healthy ones that promote overall health. While you’re at it, try including ghee as a regular part of your diet for additional healthy heart benefits!
Want to learn more about the health benefits of ghee? Check out our website or Facebook page for more information on our unbelievably delicious ghee products.