Ghee is a key ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine and cooking. Ghee is also becoming an increasingly popular food in the West. This may be due in part to the popularity of paleo, keto, and other low-carb diets. Ghee is delicious, versatile, and has many health benefits. You can cook your veggies in ghee, spread ghee on toast, and even put ghee in coffee or tea.
Why Ghee In Coffee?
Adding butter and/or MCT oil to your morning brew has become fairly commonplace, so much so that you can even order butter coffee or similar in some of the more trendy coffee shops. However, for the more traditional coffee and tea drinkers, you may be wondering about the risks and benefits of this curious health trend.
The basic idea behind adding ghee, butter, and/or MCT (medium chain triglycerides) to your morning java is to even out energy, suppress the appetite, and prevent mid-morning hunger pains, sugar crashes, and energy slumps. Many people who follow a low-carb diet such as the ketogenic diet, replace the morning meal with this beverage. Also, there are many people who have reported weight loss, as well as increased energy and focus in connection with starting their day with butter coffee.
So why add ghee to coffee? Ghee in coffee functions in much the same way as butter coffee…blogger Sonakshi Kohli aptly dubs ghee coffee, “the desi answer to the West’s obsession with bulletproof coffee.” The idea is to even out energy levels and provide a feeling of fullness that will last until lunch time. This will make you less likely to indulge in between-meal snacking, to experience energy crashes, or to overeat at lunch.
Ghee Coffee Versus Butter Coffee
So why ghee coffee instead of butter coffee? The answer lies in the benefits of ghee over butter. Remember, ghee-making involves removing milk proteins. Therefore, even those who are lactose intolerant will often do just fine with ghee. Ghee is a more pure fat than butter. Also, ghee and Ghruta (a premium type of ghee) is rich in digestible, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, including Omega 3s. In addition, Ayurveda considers ghee to be a sattvic (pure) food that enkindles the agni (digestive fire) and nourishes ojas (vitality).
Also, on a practical note, ghee is more liquid than butter. Therefore, it stirs more easily into coffee or chai. Furthermore, though butter is delicious, many coffee drinkers will appreciate the slightly sweeter taste of ghee, and its smooth texture is certainly a plus.
Ghee in Coffee: What to Consider
There is mixed evidence as to whether or not starting your day with butter coffee or ghee coffee is beneficial for your health. From an Ayurvedic perspective, it is always important to look at the whole person—their constitution, diet, habits, and lifestyle. For some, having a cup of chai, coffee, or herbal coffee with a teaspoon of ghee is great way to start the day. For others, they may need to eat a light meal or a hearty breakfast in addition to their morning beverage. It all depends on your appetite, metabolism, and constitution. However, if you like to add a spoonful of butter to your morning brew, try ghee instead!
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.