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Is Ghee Good for Diabetes?
Which oil do I use for cooking? Is ghee good for diabitics? 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.
Diabetics should be cautious about their dietary choices. They must think about their options because eating has a big impact on blood glucose levels. For example, 'healthy cooking oils' that typically promise good health cause more harm than good.
Is Ghee Beneficial For Diabetes? Despite having a high fat content, ghee is recommended by many health experts. Ghee has traditionally been used as a therapeutic ingredient containing essential nutrients. These may help a diabetic's general health. What makes ghee so beneficial to diabetic patients? Let's investigate.
Yes, can be beneficial for people with diabetes. Adding ghee into other high GI foods helps to lower their GI values. Ghee can be spread on those foods or added to paratha, rice, Dosa, and dals. This lowers their GI values and makes them a safe choice for diabetics.
Table of Contents
Nutritional value of Ghee
The dietary facts for one tablespoon (14 grams) of ghee are listed below:
|Saturated fat||9 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat||4 grams|
|Polyunsaturated fat||0.5 grams|
|Vitamin A||13% of the Daily Value (DV)|
|Vitamin E||3% of the DV|
|Vitamin K||1% of the DV|
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. Also read about urine sugar level
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. Also know about Indian diabetes diet.
Ghee glycemic index
Due to the presence of antioxidants and omega 3-fatty acids, the glycemic index of ghee is low. It supports both the preservation of intestinal and neural health. Desi ghee nutrition is excellent for all health-conscious people, not only diabetics.
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 is good for diabetes or not is now answered even at the level of a healthy glycemic index.
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. Also know about best medicine for diabetes in India.
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. Also know more about diabetes diet chart.
Benefits of eating ghee daily
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.
1) Very Nutritious
While there is ongoing debate surrounding the role of fats in a diabetic diet, understanding the specific nutritional composition of ghee is crucial in assessing its suitability for individuals with diabetes. Ghee primarily consists of fats, with a significant portion being saturated fats. Additionally, it contains small amounts of vitamins A, E, and K, as well as antioxidants such as butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). These components, along with its low moisture content, contribute to the unique properties and potential benefits associated with ghee. While ghee is calorie-dense, its composition suggests potential benefits that go beyond its energy content. The presence of CLA and other antioxidants, for example, may offer anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing properties, which could be beneficial for individuals with diabetes.
2) Healthy For Your Heart
Ghee contains a unique composition of fats that sets it apart from other types of fats. It is primarily composed of saturated fats, which have been traditionally associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, emerging research suggests that not all saturated fats are created equal, and the specific fatty acid profile of ghee might have a neutral or even favorable effect on heart health. One notable component of ghee is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that has been linked to potential cardiovascular benefits. CLA has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the buildup of plaque in the arteries. By reducing inflammation and promoting healthier blood vessels, CLA found in ghee could potentially support heart health in individuals with diabetes. Furthermore, ghee contains butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. It is important to note that while ghee may offer potential benefits for heart health in individuals with diabetes, moderation is key. Ghee is high in calories and saturated fats, so portion control is essential to prevent excessive calorie intake and potential negative effects on cholesterol levels. Additionally, ghee should be consumed as part of an overall healthy diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and other heart-healthy fats
3) Minimises Inflammation
Ghee has been suggested to minimize inflammation in people with diabetes. Ghee is rich in butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that has been associated with anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Inflammation is a key contributor to the development and progression of diabetes and its associated complications. Studies have shown that butyric acid can reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory molecules and modulating immune responses. Furthermore, ghee has a low glycemic index, meaning it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes, as controlling blood sugar is crucial in managing the condition and preventing inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a significant contributor to the development of cardiovascular diseases, and reducing inflammation can help protect the heart. The presence of butyric acid in ghee may contribute to its potential anti-inflammatory effects, thereby supporting heart health and minimising inflammation in individuals with diabetes.
4) Good For Hair And Skin
Ghee, a form of clarified butter often used in Indian cuisine, has various hair and skin health advantages. Ghee may nourish and moisturise the skin when applied topically, making it appear smoother and more luminous. It is high in important fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E, and K, which support healthy skin cell renewal and defend against free radicals, hence minimising wrinkles and symptoms of ageing. The moisturising qualities of ghee help relieve dryness and provide relief from disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. Furthermore, its natural antibacterial and antifungal characteristics might aid in the battle against infections and the maintenance of healthy skin.
Ghee works as a deep conditioning treatment for hair, increasing moisture retention and making hair smoother, shinier, and more manageable. It aids in the repair and strengthening of damaged hair follicles, hence minimising breakage and split ends. Ghee also includes vitamins that nourish the scalp and promote hair development while preventing hair loss. Its natural antioxidants shield hair from environmental damage as well as the damaging effects of styling products and heat equipment. Individuals can have healthier, more vivid hair and skin by introducing ghee into their hair care practises.
5) Has Cancer-Preventing Qualities
Ghee has been suggested to have cancer-preventing qualities. While research on this specific topic is limited, there are certain aspects of ghee that contribute to its potential cancer-preventive properties. Ghee is a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid known for its anti-cancer properties. CLA has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and promote their destruction. Additionally, ghee contains antioxidants such as vitamin E, which can help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, reducing the risk of cancer development. Furthermore, ghee is a source of butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid with potential anti-cancer effects. Butyric acid has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, promote apoptosis (programmed cell death), and prevent the formation of tumors. However, it's important to note that the evidence regarding the specific cancer-preventing qualities of ghee is limited and more research is needed.
6) Increases Energy
Ghee is believed to increase energy levels in several ways. Ghee is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins A, E, D, and K, as well as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These nutrients are easily absorbed by the body and serve as a concentrated source of energy, providing a quick boost. Additionally, ghee contains fatty acids that are metabolized more slowly than carbohydrates, resulting in a steady release of energy over an extended period. This helps to maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day, preventing spikes and crashes associated with consuming high-carbohydrate foods. Furthermore, ghee contains butyric acid that serves as a preferred energy source for the brain. By providing the brain with a readily available fuel, ghee can enhance cognitive function and improve mental clarity, leading to increased energy levels. Ghee also has a low glycemic index, meaning it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. By preventing rapid blood sugar fluctuations, ghee helps to stabilize energy levels and avoid energy crashes commonly associated with consuming high-sugar foods.
7) Keeps You Warm Internally
Ghee, commonly known as clarified butter, is a popular element in Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic treatment. It has several health benefits, including the capacity to keep the body warm within. Ghee has the unique property of having a calming and warming impact on the body when taken.
Ghee contains a high concentration of beneficial fats, including butyric acid, which has anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits. The body easily metabolises these lipids, providing a consistent source of energy. When consumed, ghee nourishes the body from within and aids in the production of heat, which is necessary for maintaining an ideal body temperature.
According to Ayurvedic principles, ghee is a "heating" food because it stimulates the digestive fire, known as Agni. A healthy Agni is essential for proper nutritional digestion and absorption, which in turn supports the body's metabolic functions. Ghee helps generate internal heat and improves overall warmth in the body by boosting Agni.
Furthermore, ghee is thought to have a balancing impact on the Vata dosha, one of Ayurveda's three doshas (bioenergetic forces). Vata is related with coldness, aridity, and insecurity. Consuming ghee helps to balance Vata and gives the body a sense of warmth and stability.
Finally, ghee keeps you warm on the inside by nourishing you, enhancing metabolic heat production, and balancing the Vata dosha. Its high fat content and capacity to boost Agni make it an important element for sustaining internal warmth and supporting general well-being.
8) Helps In Weight Loss
Ghee may have potential benefits for weight loss when consumed as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Ghee is rich in healthy fats and can provide a feeling of satiety, helping to reduce cravings and overeating. Including moderate amounts of ghee in meals can contribute to a sense of fullness and aid in portion control. Adding to this, ghee contains MCTs, which are easily digested and quickly converted into energy by the body. MCTs have been shown to boost metabolism and increase fat burning, potentially aiding in weight loss. Furthermore, ghee helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins and minerals from other foods. Proper nutrient absorption is essential for overall health and can support a balanced metabolism, promoting weight management. Ghee also has a low glycemic index, meaning it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. By avoiding rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar, ghee helps regulate appetite and cravings, which can be beneficial for weight control. However, it's important to note that ghee is calorie-dense and should be consumed in moderation as part of a calorie-controlled diet. To achieve sustainable weight loss, it's crucial to focus on a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, regular physical activity, and overall lifestyle changes. Consulting a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance on incorporating ghee into a weight loss plan.
Disadvantages Of Consuming Ghee
Like any food, ghee has its potential disadvantages. Here are some key points to consider:
1) High In Saturated Fat
Ghee is rich in saturated fat, which, when consumed in excess, can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. A high intake of saturated fat has been associated with clogged arteries and an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks. It is important to moderate the consumption of ghee, especially for individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions or those at risk.
2) High-Calorie Content
Ghee is calorie-dense, providing about 120 calories per tablespoon. While it can provide energy, excessive calorie intake can lead to weight gain and obesity. Individuals seeking weight loss or those with calorie-restricted diets need to be mindful of their ghee consumption to maintain a healthy calorie balance.
3) Lactose And Dairy Sensitivities
Ghee is derived from butter, which is made from milk. Although the process of making ghee removes most of the milk solids and lactose, individuals with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies may still experience adverse reactions. It is important for those with dairy sensitivities to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before consuming ghee.
4) Lack Of Essential Nutrients
While ghee is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, it lacks other essential nutrients found in whole foods. Relying heavily on ghee for nutritional needs may result in deficiencies of important vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. It is crucial to maintain a varied and balanced diet that incorporates a wide range of nutrient-rich foods.
5) Potential Oxidation And Acrylamide Formation
Ghee has a high smoke point, making it suitable for high-temperature cooking. However, when ghee is repeatedly heated or exposed to air for a long time, it can undergo oxidation, leading to the formation of harmful compounds like free radicals. Additionally, the browning process during cooking can create acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic substance. Proper storage, limited reuse, and moderate cooking temperatures can help minimize these risks.
6) Individual Allergies And Sensitivities
While rare, some individuals may have specific allergies or sensitivities to ghee itself. Symptoms may include skin rashes, digestive issues, or respiratory problems. It is essential for individuals with known allergies or sensitivities to dairy products or ghee to avoid its consumption and seek suitable alternatives.
It is important to note that the disadvantages mentioned above should be considered in the context of overall dietary patterns and individual health conditions. Moderation, variety, and balance are key principles when incorporating ghee or any other food into a healthy lifestyle.
How much Ghee a person with diabetes should eat?
Despite how beneficial ghee may be, people should be careful not to consume too much of it. Approximately 500 g of ghee should be consumed monthly in a healthy amount. Make sure not to use more ghee than is advised.
It implies that one or two tablespoons of ghee per day is a healthy limit for diabetics. Make sure diabetics don't take more than these recommended dosages. Although it might not be harmful for their glucose levels, it might have a significant impact on their cholesterol levels.
Does ghee increase blood sugar?
Because it contains antioxidants and omega 3-fatty acids, ghee has a low glycemic index. It supports both digestive and neural health. Desi ghee nutrition benefits everyone who is concerned about their health, not just diabetics.
Fatty acids included in ghee help to stabilise and metabolise elevated blood glucose levels.
Cow Ghee Vs Buffalo Ghee: Which is better for diabetes?
Cow ghee provides more reasons than buffalo ghee to be a superior choice in terms of health advantages. "Cow ghee's nutritional value improves both your physical and mental well-being, and it also has several medicinal benefits. Because of this, it is highly regarded in Ayurveda and is employed for a number of therapeutic purposes.
Compared to cow ghee, buffalo ghee takes a little longer to digest. Therefore, cow ghee may be preferred over the other by those with low metabolism.
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. Also know how to reverse prediabetes.
Which ghee is best for diabetes?
Cow ghee in diabetes 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.
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.
Does Ghee raise insulin levels?
Ghee's glycemic index is low. Consequently, it doesn't increase insulin as much as foods with high glycemic index, such as white bread, white rice, etc. For diabetics, a moderate amount of ghee is advised since it inhibits the release of glucose into the blood.
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.
This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.