is ghee good for diabetes
Nutrition

Can Diabetic Patient Eat Ghee?

Which oil do I use for cooking? Is ghee good for diabetes? Can my son eat butter? These are a few very common questions we might hear people ask doctors, nutritionists, dieticians, gym trainers, etc if they are living with, or know someone who is living with diabetes. These concerns and questions are natural, no one would mind them. This is because the severity of not following a strict and healthy diet can be quite devastating for a person with diabetes. Any spikes in the blood sugar level that go undetected will go untreated. This would affect mood, fatigue levels, thirst, urination, and of course, blood sugar levels

This is why, when a person is newly diagnosed with T1D or T2D, the doctors make it a point to educate them about the supreme importance of food and controlling the level of sugar intake. If the person does not fall into the habit of a strict regime, the later consequences might get tough to deal with.

Ghee for Diabetes

Ghee is a staple factor in India. Almost all Indian households make good use of ghee. Whether they use it on top of their rotis or parathas, use it for frying or add it to sweets like sheera, ghee is one of the most used items in the kitchen. However, can people with diabetes eat ghee? How will ghee impact their health? Will it cause a spike in the sugars? The answers to these questions are important. 

We see several advertisements on TV or in newspapers that promote the use of healthier cooking oil options, but that is generally not the case. These oils tend to do more harm than good to the body and the heart. Ghee is then turned to as it is considered to be one of the healthier options in the kitchen. It has made its way into the recipe books, along with the good books of many nutritionists, health experts, and cooks. Since it is made at home from milk or malai, one can see to it that there is no adulteration, and is obtained in its purest form. The disadvantage of ghee is that it has a large amount of fat. That is because it is essentially butter. 

Ghee is also used as a medicine since it has several essential nutrients that are known to keep people with diabetes healthy. So, to gain a thorough understanding of whether people with diabetes can eat ghee, understanding its other properties and benefits would be helpful.

Several nutritionists have been asked to weigh in on the effects of ghee on a person with diabetes, the common consensus has been that ghee can be considered a medicine for someone with diabetes. Even with the fats and fatty acids, they work healthily to metabolize and balance high blood sugar.

Effect of Ghee on the Glycemic Index (GI) of Food

People with diabetes need to consume food with a lower glycemic index. The glycemic index indicates how fast and how high a food category makes the blood sugar levels spike. Foods with a high GI can cause severe problems (both long-term and short-term) for a person with diabetes. A constant high level of blood sugar caused by high GI foods can easily be avoided with the number of options we have in today’s day and age. 

Ghee works just the same, adding ghee to food is known to reduce the overall glycemic index of the food. This regulates blood sugar levels. Foods that would end up causing a spike in the sugars would now be tame. Another major benefit of ghee is that it can be added to rice and eaten – the addition of ghee helps in the easier digestion of rice. Rice, which is an otherwise problem-causing food for a person living with diabetes, now becomes edible to a certain extent with ghee! How amazing is that?

In other words, the question ghee good for diabetes is now answered even at the level of a healthy glycemic index.

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How to use Ghee for Diabetes?

Since ghee makes food tastier, we usually add a lot of it to our food. However, to understand if people with diabetes eat ghee, the answer would have to come in terms of how much ghee can someone with diabetes eat? It is advised by expert nutritionists that one should not add more than one teaspoon of ghee to dal or rice. Similarly, even to any other food with a high level of carbs, only one teaspoon of ghee should be added. This quantity, even though minimal, works well to ensure proper digestion of the food. 

Experts also advise the use of ghee instead of oil for cooking. We usually use a different assortment of oils that we feel are healthy, probably peanut or sunflower oil, however, there is concrete evidence that suggests that when oil is replaced by ghee, the benefits are far higher. Ghee, in excess, might work to reverse the benefits it was originally supposed to offer. Consulting a doctor regarding the accurate use of ghee would be best.

The best way to use ghee would be to understand that pure ghee is good for people with diabetes. Pure ghee is the one made out of a cow’s natural and unadulterated milk. One can also use homemade ghee instead of store-bought ghee to ensure its purity even more.

Reasons to Add Ghee in your Daily Diet

The benefits of a certain quantity of ghee have already been proven. However, if you are looking for more reasons specific to the question – is ghee good for diabetes, you can find your answers here. 

  • Ghee or clarified butter provides healthy fat to the body. This helps in absorbing the nutrients in the food that you are eating. This regulates the blood sugar levels in the body
  • It is also known to work well in regulating the smooth functioning of the digestive system. The right amount of ghee works to alleviate the symptoms of constipation.
  • Linoleic acid present in ghee helps to reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases. These diseases can also be caused by complications of diabetes
  • Ghee is also known to melt down the fat deposits in the body. 
  • Additionally, it also helps to boost the gut hormone. Once the functioning of the gut hormone is improved, it also enhances the secretion of insulin. 
  • Ghee is a rich source of Vitamin K and antioxidants. Both these work to improve immunity. If a person with diabetes consumes the right amount of ghee, their immunity, which is weakened owing to their condition, might see an improvement.
  • Organic and pure ghee can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
  • The glycemic index of the foods is lowered if ghee is added to it. So, adding ghee to rice and certain parathas might work in your favor once in a while.

Bottomline

Ghee, one of the most used forms of butter in most Indian households, has several medicinal properties. Ghee has low carbohydrates, so people with diabetes can include it in their diet. Ghee can be used over rice, in daals, while making parathas, on top of rotis, etc. While it is a useful ingredient, it is equally important to remember to use ghee in moderation. Over-consumption of ghee can lead to a deposition of fat which might increase the complications associated with diabetes and even otherwise. Using homemade ghee from cow’s milk would be best.

FAQs


Which ghee is best for diabetes? 

Cow ghee has an above-average heating point that helps to preserve all the vital nutrients of the food during the process of cooking. Using organic and pure ghee would be the best for people with diabetes as it would be devoid of any artificial adulterants and unhealthy ingredients.


2. Does ghee have insulin? 

No, ghee does not have insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted from the beta cells of the pancreas inside a person’s body. Even the consumption of ghee does not require the intake of insulin as it does not have carbs. However, ghee can be fatty, therefore, if you are a person with diabetes and have a history of cholesterol, you may not have to take insulin but might have to reduce the amount of ghee. 


3. Is ghee better than butter for diabetics?

Ghee is considered to be the healthier alternative and a better cooking option for persons with diabetes. Ghee is a source of healthy fats that helps to absorb the nutrients from the food that is consumed. It also has a history of being used for medicinal and culinary uses.

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