The consumption of great value products like full cream milk, cream, butter and ghee during the last one century continued to receive a great beating world over because of the cholesterol scare. Just after‐45 years, now the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee of the US have not found any appreciable relationship between dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol.
T he role of milk and milk products in health and wellness of human has been well documented in Indian Vedas, Upanishads, Samhitas and other ancient books. Owing to their nutritional and therapeutic virtues, milk products have been maintaining a very special place in Indian dietary regimen since time immemorial. In fact, ghee has been an integral part of our culture to impart strength to human body and as an essential ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicinal formulations. The worth of ghee remained indispensable in its usages in the religious and social ceremonies.
In the modern life characterized by extreme hurry and stress, synthetic medicines with harmful side effects and unhealthy foods with little nutritional value have gained importance. Gradually, allopathic medicines have obscured from public awareness the intrinsic virtues of ghee known to provide power for a sound body, mind and spirit.
Ghee is the elixir and nectar of life. It is reported that high fat dairy products reduce the incidence of type-2 diabetes in human beings because of the abundant presence of saturated fatty acids (C4 to C14). Fat soluble vitamins exert a direct effect on insulin secretion. Vitamin D enhances the insulin response for glucose transport. Milk fat contains about 4-7 mg of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) per g of fat which reduces the risk of cancers. CLA refers to a mixture of positional and geometrical isomers of linoleic acid (cis-9, cis-12, C18:2) with two conjugated double bonds at various carbon positions in the fatty acid chain. Body also requires certain essential fatty acids which cannot be synthesized inside. Besides linoleic acid, arachidonic, linolenic and omega-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are supplied by milk fat. The consumption of PUFA is associated with reduced cardio-vascular disease risk by improving the arterial hemodynamics and by reducing arterial stiffness. Milk fat supplies some antioxidants like beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and phospholipids which delay ageing and prevent night blindness.
The consumption of great value products like full cream milk, cream, butter and ghee during the last one century continued to receive a great beating world over because of the cholesterol scare. The world wide deaths in human beings caused by starvation, mal-nutrition and communicable diseases and now the emergence of environmental pollutants should have outnumbered the death caused by coronary heart disorders, diabetes and cancers.
But cholesterol scare is the biggest medical scam of the time. In 1970, the US Nutritional Advisory bodies issued repeated warnings to stay away from high cholesterol foods to avoid clogging of arteries and heart diseases. Just after 45 years, now the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee of US have not found any appreciable relationship between dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol consistent with the previous recommendations.
When we eat more food rich in cholesterol, our bodies make less and rev up synthesis during deprivation. The majority of the cholesterol is produced by the liver. Brains are primarily made up from cholesterol and it is essential for nerve cells to function. Cholesterol is the basis for the creation of all the steroid hormones including estrogen, testosterone and corticosteroids. High cholesterol level in the body is a clear indication that the liver is in good health. Our body needs about 950 mg of cholesterol per day for metabolic functions and the liver is the main producer. Experts now say that there is nothing like LDL or HDL which impact the health. However, warnings from a group of medical experts that people with a particular health problem such as diabetes should continue to avoid cholesterol rich diet. The information that cholesterol is harmful so permeated the consciousness that the marketers advertised their food with labels of ‘no-cholesterol’, ‘low cholesterol’ or ‘reduced cholesterol’. Paid promoted stories make great rounds. The current turn around on cholesterol must be seen as a sign of progress in nutritional sciences. The ancient wisdom of Indians on ghee as an elixir of life has proven to be a truth. The Indian dairy industry must promote the consumption of high fat dairy products for health and wellness.