If an oily espresso isn’t how you start your day, you might just be missing a trick – or so proponents of bulletproof coffee would argue. This trendy drink mixes together caffeine and butter with a hunk of ghee, a clarified butter originally from India. Taken together, the bulletproof-coffee crowd says, these ingredients are the fool-proof way to fuel your #bestlife. But this isn’t the first time ghee has popped up on the health scene. For years, it has featured prominently in Ayurvedic medicine, said to help with everything from ulcers to constipation.
Yet recently, thanks to the acceptance of high-fat diets, it has become mainstream. “High-fat keto is trending right now,”says Alexia Biarkan, keto specialist at Aesthetics International. “People are turning back to preparing natural, wholesome foods, but for long-term health, it’s crucial to pick fats that are actually good for you, she adds. “The mistake many are making is they eat low quality and toxic fats, like cheese and creams. Toxins can cause inflammation, which is a common cause behind weight plateaus.”
Here’s where ghee comes in, says Biarkan.
“It’s the ideal fat option. Although ghee is a dairy product, it doesn’t contain casein, which is the inflammatory protein in dairy.” This means most people, including the lactose intolerant, can take advantage of ghee’s nutritional benefits, including its vitamin A, E, and K. It’s also great for protecting against cardiovascular disease, says Zeina Maktabi, a UAE nutritionist (@upcloseandhealthy). “Ghee is rich in linoleic acid, a type of fat known to protect against carcinogens and artery plaque (what causes strokes and heart attacks).”
Ghee even provides butyric acid, which is good for nourishing intestinal cells and repairing gut lining, says Maktabi. “So the short answer to the question of whether you should use ghee?” asks Maktabi, before quickly responding: “Yes.” Justine Dampt, founder of healthy treat company Encas, suggests a bit more caution. It can be healthy, she acknowledges. “But keep in mind that one person’s food might be someone else’s poison.” There’s no real one-size fits all. “It really depends on your objectives. But if you’re someone who eats animal products or is trying to stabilise their weight, continues Dampt, “Ghee is a good option for you”.