If you avoid dairy products because of a lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivity you may wonder whether or not to add ghee and Ghruta to your avoid list. Is ghee lactose free? And is it safe for those who are lactose intolerant?
What is Lactose Intolerance?
Dairy products, such as milk, kefir, and yogurt contain lactose, a type of sugar. The enzyme lactase is needed to digest lactose, and many people don’t have adequate enough levels of lactase to digest the lactose contained within dairy foods. Risk factors for lactose intolerance include age, ethnicity, premature birth, and illnesses that affect the small intestine (1). Adults are more likely than children to experience lactose intolerance and it is not uncommon for people to struggle more with digesting dairy as they age. Also, your genetic roots can make you more or less likely to have enough lactase to digest dairy products. For example, individuals of Middle Eastern and Southern European descent are more likely to experience lactose intolerance than Northern Europeans. This may be linked to whether or not one’s descendants practiced cattle domestication (2).
Choosing Lactose Free
If you do struggle to digest dairy, you will want to choose foods that are lactose free. You can easily do this by eating plant-based foods. However, there are many benefits to eating good quality dairy products and you may wonder, is ghee lactose free and is it safe for me? Due to the way in which ghee and Ghruta are prepared, these nutritious, ojas-building foods contain little to no amounts of lactose. When ghee is prepared, the butter fat is separated from the lactose and casein-containing milk solids. Furthermore, PIOR Livings’ Ghruta is slowly cultured and separated, with the resulting butter further cultured, simmered and separated again. Ghruta produced by this method has the purest lipid molecules. Therefore, even those who are lactose intolerant generally do fine with eating ghee and Ghruta.
Benefits of GheeNow that we have established that ghee is generally safe for those who eat a lactose-free diet, you may wonder about ghee and what all the buzz is about. Ayurveda holds ghee and ghruta in high regard and ghee is also becoming more popular in the West. These are just a few reasons to eat ghee. Ghee...
- Nourishes the brain.
- Gently stimulates agni, the digestive fire.
- Builds ojas.
- Is a versatile cooking oil with a high smoke point.
So, for all those lactose-sensitive people, ghee is a generally a safe option for you. If you are new to eating ghee and Ghruta, tread lightly, and you may want to try cooking with ghee or spreading ghee on your morning toast.
Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Her Ayurveda practice is based in Asheville, North Carolina and she is the co-owner of Iyengar Yoga Asheville.
(1) Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Lactose intolerance. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lactose-intolerance/symptoms-causes/syc-20374232 (2) Nutrients. (2020). Genetics of lactose intolerance: An updated review and online interactive world maps of phenotype and genotype frequencies. 12(9), 2689. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092689