Living with PCOS means restricting your diet, but is ghee good for PCOS? Know more about this heavenly golden liquid!
When living with PCOS, it is a hard and fast rule to mind your diet. Does this mean you should give up on your cultural food? Ghee or clarified butter is a traditional staple in the Indian kitchen, but is it a no-no if you have PCOS? Is ghee good for PCOS? Does it have any properties that can help improve your condition? Let’s find out.
Nutritional Value of Ghee
Ghee is prepared by heating butter to separate liquid and milk solids from fat. The milk solids turn yellowish or brown in colour and settle at the bottom, where the liquid ghee is then separated from. Ghee prepared from cow milk is considered healthier when compared to ghee made from buffalo milk or other sources.
The nutritional value of 100g of ghee from any dairy source according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is as follows:
|100 g60 g4 g0 g
|Did You Know!Ghee has a High Smoking Point!Unlike other oils and fats, ghee does not oxidise and produce free radicals. It can be stored without refrigeration for longer, provided it has no moisture content in it. Additionally, ghee does not burn as it has a high smoking point of 485° Fahrenheit. This makes it more suitable for high-temperature cooking.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. In women with PCOS, the ovaries produce an excess amount of male hormones called androgens, which are usually present in a smaller amount in women.
Due to this hormonal imbalance, the ovaries are unable to release eggs (ovulation), which causes irregular menstrual cycles. Irregular ovulation can also cause numerous small, fluid-filled sacs to develop on the ovaries. Excess androgens can cause unwanted facial hair, acne, weight gain, hair loss, and other complications such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease etc.
Amazing Benefits of Ghee for PCOS
Ghee may help you manage PCOS in the following ways:
Supports Weight Loss
Ghee is a good source of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), a type of omega 3 fatty acid, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Studies suggest that the DHA and CLA present in ghee improve metabolism, which means the way the body changes food and drinks into energy, and help reduce excessive weight gain and promote the burning of excess calories in your body.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Most women with PCOS often experience insulin resistance, which means the cells in their body lose the ability to take up glucose from the bloodstream. This results in excess glucose in the blood resulting in increased production of insulin to stabilise blood sugar levels. The increase in insulin stimulates the production of excess androgen in your body, which may worsen the symptoms of PCOS.
Studies suggest that butyric acid in ghee improves insulin resistance and helps stabilise blood glucose levels. This can help prevent the production of excess androgen and manage the symptoms of PCOS.
Individuals with PCOS may be more prone to developing low-grade systemic inflammation. This may be due to insulin resistance that causes excess glucose to build up in the bloodstream for a long time, which can lead to chronic inflammation.
Ghee is anti-inflammatory in nature, thanks to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids and butyric acid. Studies suggest that butyric acid has potent anti-inflammatory effects which can counteract systemic inflammation and lower your risk for obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, etc.
Ways to Consume Ghee for PCOS
Ghee is versatile and can be consumed in different forms. Adding ghee to any dish enhances its flavour and aroma.
- You can add a spoonful of ghee to rice, chapati, roti, and dosa. It enhances the flavour and nutritional value of the dish.
- You can replace the oil used for cooking with a small amount of ghee. It is important to limit your consumption to 10 to 15 ml of ghee per day.
- You can consume a spoon of ghee on an empty stomach, as it is thought to improve gut health and digestion.
- You can consume a spoonful of ajwain or carom seeds, roasted in a spoonful of ghee before a major meal to ease digestion.
How Much Ghee per day in PCOS is Acceptable?
You can add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of ghee each to your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Limit your consumption to 10 to 15 ml per day.
Is Taking Ghee on an Empty Stomach for PCOS Effective?
Taking ghee on an empty stomach can boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss. Thus, it may indirectly help in PCOS management by helping you control your weight.
What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Ghee?
- Ghee is dense in calories, and though it can help reduce weight, overconsumption may lead to weight gain.
- Ghee is high in saturated fats, which can increase your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol levels that may increase your risk of heart disease.
- During the process of making ghee, it is subjected to high heat, which oxidises the cholesterol present in it. Oxidised cholesterol, when deposited on the walls of your arteries, can pose a serious threat to your heart health.
What are the Other Health Benefits of Ghee?
- Ghee is an excellent source of Vitamin A. It is an antioxidant that protects your cells against free radical damage that can cause cancer and heart disease.
- Ghee helps your body absorb fat-soluble minerals and vitamins from your food.
- The omega-3 fatty acids present in ghee may help reduce inflammation and help prevent heart disease.
- Ghee contains very low levels of lactose and casein (milk proteins). It can be a healthy substitute for butter and other dairy products for those who are intolerant to lactose and casein.
- Ghee contains butyrate, which is generally produced by gut-friendly bacteria in your colon. It is important for preserving your colon health, as butyrate has anti-cancer properties.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Ghee or clarified butter is rich in nutrients like vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid.
- Ghee helps to manage the symptoms of PCOS by helping you lose weight, stabilising your blood sugar levels, and reducing inflammation in your body.
- You can take around 2 to 3 teaspoons of ghee daily, which is approximately 10 to 15 ml. Having it on an empty stomach can help relieve constipation and aid in metabolism.
- You can have ghee at any point of the day but overconsumption can lead to weight gain and an increase in bad cholesterol levels, which may increase the risk of heart disease.
- Ghee helps your body absorb fat-soluble minerals and vitamins from foods, protect your eye health, may reduce inflammation and improve digestive health, can be a lactose-free substitute for butter, and may protect against heart disease.
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Friendly Asked Questions
Having dairy products in moderation may be good for PCOS. Overconsumption can increase androgen production in women with PCOS and lead to acne and weight gain.
Yes, ghee may be good for PCOS patients. Ghee can help you lose weight, improve insulin sensitivity in your cells, and may help reduce chronic inflammation in your body, all of which can help relieve PCOS symptoms.