Grandmother’s tales are not wrong. We have oft heard her say, a spoonful of ghee for a growing child is important for his/her growth. Our brain is made of about 60% fat. The neurons in our brain running signals back n forth, the immune system that protects us from Alzheimer’s and dementia, the cell growth and repair that happens, and nervous system to create all our conscious and subconscious movements and decisions…all of them are fueled by fat.
Fat, the word itself brings on the villain, images of an ungainly, blobs of lard, that latch onto your tummy, waist and hips that makes you cringe even having to face the mirror. Let me assure you however that there is something called the healthy fat, that is much needed by the body to prevent brain disorders and keep depression at bay. DHA(fatty acids) help in memory, motor skills and speaking. Saturated fats maintain hormonal balance and repair and regenerate damaged cell membranes.
The important fatty acids, Omega3(linoleic acid) and Omega 6 cannot be produced by the body that means we have to eat them in our diet. If one scours the internet you will find that healthy fats will always include eggs, olive oil, avocado, salmon, nuts and coconut oil as the topmost. Ghee is not included merely because it was touted as bad for people that were lacto averse. However, there has been no such known instance where a lactose intolerant person has reacted to ghee. Infact, ghee can be called the nectar for the brain. However for its best benefits, it is important that ghee be consumed without being heated to its smoking point.
Fat also helps in the absorption of fat soluable vitamins A, D, E and K. These are essential for healthy hair and skin, hormonal balance, a healthy reproductive system and strong bones and immunity.
Very often we will see that thinner people have dryer skin, get specs slightly earlier, sometimes also suffer painful or irregular periods, and have lower immunity to cold, coughs and flu. Fats are food for the brain, for it to function to the best of its capacity you cannot delete it from your diet. While I certainly do not advocate an overload of fat in one’s diet, 30-40% of healthy polyunsaturated fats will keep the body and brain in a well-polished condition. This percentage will ofcourse differ for those already obese or those with a heart condition. But even for those, one must not completely eliminate fat from their diet. So people, one rule for everyone, do use your granny’s advice, enjoy the healthy nuts and do grease your chappatis lightly with ghee.