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No traditional Pakistani recipe is ever quite complete without ghee. Although until a few years ago, it was believed that ghee causes a host of health problems, recent research studies have concluded that saturated fats such as good old desi ghee can help you stay healthy and strong.

Whether you are a fitness enthusiast who exercises regularly, or you want to shed a few pounds, moderate ghee consumption is believed to hold the answer to both. This is because ghee not only reduces body fat in the long run, it also increases muscle strength, exercise endurance and lubrication of connective tissues (particularly beneficial for people suffering from bone or joint diseases).

It does this by breaking down the bad cholesterol and fats (LDL) in your body, which triggers the metabolic rate, leading to faster food digestion and absorption.

If you are suffering from cardiovascular disease, you have probably been told that food cooked or fried in ghee will worsen your heart condition, yet cardiologists are realising that since ghee is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, it is actually good for your heart.

Furthermore, the presence of vitamin A in ghee prevents vision-related disease, while vitamin E promotes regeneration of skin cells, which is why a tried and tested todka is applying a thin layer of ghee whenever you suffer a minor burn.

While you will find a wide-ranging variety of packaged ghee in supermarkets, it is simple and cost-efficient to prepare it at home. Boil milk in a pan; gather the cream that settles on top of the milk once it cools down, transfer it into a larger pan and let it cook until all the milk has evaporated, leaving you with pure, golden ghee.

NB: Remember to consume ghee and other saturated fats in moderate amounts.

– Saba Gul Hasan
The writer is a nutritionist.