It is hard to imagine an Indian meal without dollops of ghee in it. On second thoughts, maybe not dollops, just a spoonful, or half, now that all of us are becoming super health-conscious.
Please don’t think about skipping on ghee completely. Those rotis and parathas aren’t going to taste very nice, then. Nor will the Indian sweets like laddoos and halwas that you have gorged on during the festivities. (We know you lost the count of calories during Diwali; you can’t fool us!)
Besides, ghee, also known as clarified butter, has ample health benefits, which we will touch upon later. But, first and foremost, let’s unpack the whole cacophony about A1 and A2 ghee debate.
What is A1 and A2 Ghee?
For the uninitiated, a few years ago, the wellness market was hit by the incredulous storm of the A1 vs A2 milk debate.
And in case you are wondering why we are suddenly talking about milk, it is because ghee is made chiefly of milk fats and some proteins—A1 or A2. This could get a little jargon-y and complicated, but sit back and double down; understanding this is highly vital for your health.
Back to milk. So, milk has primarily two types of proteins: Casein and Whey. And we are not talking about whey protein powders here. Instead, our focus is on casein, which accounts for almost 80% of the milk’s protein content.
Casein can further be classified into different subtypes, but we only need to concentrate on beta-casein.
So far, so good? Now, this beta-casein has two main variants, called A1 and A2. Yes! We have finally made it to these names. But why do we need to know them at all?
A1 and A2 Sources
Ok, so we know A1 and A2 are proteins found in milk, from which we make our Indian diet’s staple ghee. But here’s an important distinction, not all milk has A1 and A2 proteins. Confused? Let’s clarify.
We do know that there are different breeds of cows, don’t we? And if we harken back to ‘Operation Flood,’ many breeds were crossbred to improve their milk yields. While this definitely addressed the milk shortfall that our previous generations suffered from, it did so at a cost that became clear much later. Anyway, the crux is that these hybrid breeds, including Jersey, Holstein Friesian, and Ayrshire, produce milk that contains A1 proteins.
As for A2 proteins, these can be found in our indigenous cow breeds—Gir, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, and Tharparkar, to name a few.
So, what’s the price you ultimately pay for A1, and why should you be concerned?
The Harm Caused by A1 Ghee
A1 protein is nutritious, no doubt, but it has come under fire over the release of a peptide known as Beta-casomorphine-7 (BCM-7), after being processed by our bodies. Why is BCM-7 a concern, you ask? This is because:
- It is known to have morphine-like effects. Therefore, kids love their milk so much and are constipated.
- As per some studies, A1 aggravates the risk of type 1 diabetes, autism, neurological disorders, and hormonal imbalances.
- ‘Histidine’ present in A1 protein causes allergic reactions, such as dermatitis (skin allergy), rhinitis (running nose), and even asthma, on being released as ‘Histamine.’
- A1 protein is unsuitable for lactose intolerants, as it isn’t easily digestible.
A2 is Better than A1
Now that you are aware of the harmful consequences of consuming A1-rich milk and, consequently, A1 ghee, should you opt for A2 ghee?
Absolutely yes! In contrast to A1 ghee, no study has found any adverse effects of consuming A2 ghee. Indeed, A2 ghee is known to be super healthy and highly nutritious. Some of the ways in which A2 ghee improves on A1 ghee are:
Unlike A1 ghee, which is pasty to the touch, A2 ghee is granular and is generally likened to breast milk. This is because A2 milk is colostrum dense with almost 90 active components, thus facilitating child growth. A2 ghee can be introduced to your little one’s diet as soon as they turn one.
Since A2 ghee is indirectly sourced from indigenous cows that are naturally grazed and aren’t pumped with artificial hormones, A2 ghee manages to retain all its nutrients. It contains cerebrosides that amplify brain power. Now you know whom to blame for all your dumb moments—just kidding!
A2 ghee’s real deal lies in the fact that it is immensely beneficial for health. Being rich in strontium, it serves as an immunity booster. So, be ready to bid bye to all those immunity-enhancing gummies. Additionally, it is known to prevent the occurrence of chronic diseases, including migraine, asthma, thyroid, acid reflux, and even cancer.
A2 ghee is an excellent source of Vitamin D and Omega 3, thus keeping off that extra fat around your belly and minimizing elevated cholesterol concerns. Yes, you can stave off obesity even after eating ghee!
Consuming A2 ghee is a no-brainer for lactose intolerants. After all, A2 ghee is rich in lactic acid, which enables easy digestion and is colon friendly. It is high in butyric acid, that aids digestion and contains proline amino acid, which prevents the formation of BCM-7—the main culprit behind all digestive disorders.
Add A2 Ghee’s Essence to Your Life
Phewww! That…was a long and non-exhaustive list. Congratulations if you have read through it all. And if you just scrolled down to know the crux of the debate, A2 ghee handsomely wins over A1 ghee. It has high nutritive value, and if you are a cook, you will be pleased to know that it has a high melting and smoking point, thus making it an ideal cooking option out of all the alternatives out there. So, what are you waiting for? Switch over to A2 Ghee now!