Raj Patel MD is a resident physician in Houston, Texas and this article has reached more readers in the South Asian community in California than any other. Its a good read. He dscribes how, along with so many other Americans, people from the South Asian community cut back on saturated animal fats (for them, ghee) and their health suffered as a result.) His website looks at what a healthy Indian diet is and offers all kinds of recipes. It seems the best thing this community can do is bring in brown rice and cut out (or back) on processed white flour and rice (and potatoes). His opinions are backed up by research for example he states, ” A large study showed that eating white rice regularly makes your more likely to develop diabetes, while brown rice makes you less likely”. He covers all the elements of Indian food that are so nutritious: “mostly plants” (like Michael Pollan), spices, dahl and other legumes, yoghurt and fermented foods, pickles and chutney, oils and ghee, nuts and brown rice and whole grains. He offers research that suggests that eating his “Healthy Indian Diet” these foods can reduce the incidence of cancer , heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimers.
On his website there are recipes with videos and lots more information on how his Healthy Indian Diet works…
Growing up, I thought that ghee was dangerous. Uncles and aunties would say, “We’re cutting back on ghee,” or, “We don’t use that stuff anymore, it’s so bad for you.” I wondered why ghee got such a bad rap, and soon I learned everyone’s doctors had been urging them to drop ghee because something called saturated fats – which ghee has in abundance – causes heart attacks.
‘Desis,’ it turned out, were susceptible to heart attacks. Someone from our community had a heart attack almost every month, or so it seemed then, and sometimes an uncle we knew would die from it. So finding what caused heart attacks was a really big deal. Now fast forward to today, and here’s a new thought. What if we were wrong about ghee? What if eating ghee, or using ghee to cook food, never caused heart attacks?
Research in the past decade strongly suggests that ghee was not the problem. If we were wrong about ghee, we were not alone. At the same time Indian-Americans were droppingghee, Americans were dropping butter (from which ghee is made) for margarine, a processed oil-and-milk product. The replacement of butter, which had been eaten traditionally throughout America’s history, was part of the bigger phenomenon of Americans adopting a low-fat diet.
The motivating factor was the “lipid hypothesis.” Research since the 1950s led experts to believe that diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats would cause coronary heart disease, the kind that led to heart attacks. Although the science was not complete or entirely convincing, the idea that lipids (or cholesterols) cause heart attacks became accepted as fact. In the 1970s, the U.S. government, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and other groups, hoping to slow down the rise in heart disease, began a massive campaign to convince us to stop eating foods containing a lot of fat. This is why your doctor told you to drop ghee.
continued at: Why We Were Wrong About Ghee – The Healthy Indian Diet.