Ghee, or clarified butter, has been used for centuries in India. Ayurveda talks about using ghee as a therapeutic agent. About thirty years ago, it became fashionable to do away with ghee and switch to refined vegetable oils instead. You were at risk for high cholesterol. High cholesterol would trigger heart diseases, or so you were led to believe. Around this time, foods high in cholesterol were being shunned around the world. Eggs, for example, were being eaten without the yellow. So does ghee cause high cholesterol?
Cholesterol is in itself a complicated subject. Your body needs cholesterol to function. Healing, cell repair etc. all need cholesterol. Research has shown that almost 95% of the cholesterol in your body is endogenously produced. Only a small fraction of the cholesterol is coming from your food.
In fact, ghee seemed to lower your cholesterol levels. Yes, you heard that right. The study found that instead of increasing, ghee helped lower your cholesterol. Very-Low Density Lipoproteins, Low-Density Lipoproteins and Triglycerides were all lower as an outcome of consuming ghee. So what was going on?
We tend to look for simple cause and effects in science. However, the human body is a complex organism. We, therefore, have to evaluate it holistically instead of isolated events. For those who were suffering from cardiovascular risk, the cause was over-consumption of calories across all food categories instead of just ghee or fat. Excess calories were being stored in the body as fat, resulting in LDL particles breaking off and entering your bloodstream. The unregulated growth of LDL in your blood would now attract plaque, which would cause the blockages that your Doctor was dreading. So it was not the consumption of a single ingredient but the overall quality of the food that you ate. Unknowingly, you may have switched from a good quality fat to a poor quality one.