Q: I enjoy Indian food very much and it appears very healthy, with many vegetables that are tasty and interesting. But most Indian recipes are made with clarified butter or ghee. I imagine this is not very beneficial from the point of view of fat and atherosclerosis, but I may be wrong. Could you explain and give your opinion?


Answer :Ghee-clarified butter, with the milk solids removed-is made by heating unsalted butter to separate the milk solids from the pure butterfat. Although practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine in India claim that ghee has special health properties, some experts argue that the prevalence of ghee in Indian cuisine is actually a contributor to the high rates of heart disease in that country. In any case, Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), says that since ghee is butterfat, its high in saturated fat. Substitute liquid vegetable oil, she advises. It may not taste quite the same, but given all the other seasonings it is a small price to pay for lowering your saturated fat intake. And, as always, go heavy on the vegetables when you are putting the dish together.


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