Is gravy bad for you?

It seems to be like any other food, yet I’ve heard it’s unhealthy. On the scale of tasty, but bad for you, where would it rank?

Gravy is basically fat mixed with (bleached white) flour.

Use that information to place it on your own subjective “tasty, but bad for you” continuum as you wish. :slight_smile:

You’ll need to be more specific. There are tons of kinds of gravy out there - some made from more fattening or high-cholesterol things than others. There’s low-fat gravy, low-carb gravy, vegetarian gravy, etc.

I think it depends a lot on how you make it. My mom’s recipe uses butter or margerine and flour, cooked in a pan until golden brown, then beef or chicken broth is added. My wife’s family uses corn starch, water, and the drippings of whatever meat is being served (broth used to augment if not enough drippings are available). I think my mom’s recipe is healthier, but not by much, and it could never be misconstrued as healthy.

Gravy is the topping of the gods.

You can’t survive on it exclusively, but in moderation, like alcohol, is very good for your soul. :smiley:

I would argue that it’s reasonably good for you because it’s mostly water. Gravy will have a tiny bit of protien from the stock, a tiny bit of fat from the butter and a tiny bit of carbs from the flour. But because roux is such a powerful thickener, the bulk of it is water. That is, unless you stir in several lumps of butter at the end to give it a glossy finish.

Plus, the amount of gravy used means that it’s probably more important what your eating it with.

Scrooge in A Christmas Carol says “There’s more gravy than of grave about you!” to his partner’s ghost.

I guess there’s more grave in gravy than we suppose! :smiley:

It does depend on how you make it…you can use 2 tbsp of butter and flour to a can of broth and the whole mixture isn’t so bad–just a lot of salt. If you make your own broth you can cut down the fat and the salt and it is practically health food :stuck_out_tongue:

I love chicken soup–if I added butter and flour to thicken it, there’s gravy and spread out between servings, your not so bad off.

Gravy does have a pretty hefty load of carbs, especially if you’re on a lower carb diet. 2 Tbs of white flour has 11 g of carbs.

It’s still amazingly tasty stuff, though.

Yeah, but you can make over 2 cups of gravy with 2 TBSP of flour. I don’t think you could/would eat that much. Standard serving is what…1/4 cup for a whole plate? Regardless, gravy w/o mashed taters or bread stuffing is just sad–which I why I like Thanksgiving more than Christmas :smiley:

My flour says 22 g of carbs for 1/4 cup, BTW…is that 4 TBSPs?

1 tbsp of flour makes enough gravy for even the most ardent gravophiles, meanwhile, they are pouring it over a massive lump of mashed potatos which is pretty much pure carbs. And 1 tbsp of flour at 5g of carbs is pretty trivial considering that most people eat many hundreds of grams.

Need I say more?

I agree, but if you’re watching (and that’s how you’re trying to be ‘healthy’ as per the OP), you may miss those carbs.

I hate gravy on mashed potatoes, but I love it on meat. :smiley:

My grandpa is 81, and swears by the stuff. However, if you’re going to go with his diet, you need to make sure the gravy is accompanied by extra salt, and butter, along with some sort of fried meat. Of course, he’s been told to stay away from that kind of stuff after having several heart attacks and bypass surgery. He showed those doctors though, because as he will tell you, he hasn’t changed his diet at all and he’s doing fine. (When taking this story into consideration, please note the small sample size.)

Gravy granules (for making heretical instant gravy…) contain various additives including MSG, so if you are a cheater this may have it’s own health disadvantages.

This reminds me of my mother’s words of wisdom (I grew up in the Midwest, if that helps to make sense). We had two things to remember:

  1. Boys have raging hormones.

  2. Gravy is Good.

On its own, gravy is unhealthy (relative to other foods). Like any fat/oil, it is best used sparingly. It is, at the purest form, just meat juices/fat and thickener (flour or starch), condensed down a bit.

BUT; It tastes good, it serves well, we have boats for it, and if a guest would like a little more juice/flavor to the meat, then gravy is… um… gravy!

On the scale of tasty, it rates 8-10 usually. The healthy scale? I’d say it rates like any other fatty food, “Bad for you but OK in small doses*.”

*Thanksgiving excepted. Then, gravy is OK in any dose.

The gravy served on The Sopranos is good for you if you are a friend of ours.

I typically mainline it for the weekend.

No, gravy is primarily liquid, such as water or milk. The amount of fat varies with the amount of gravy desired, but generally the amount of fat in a serving is not going to be very high.

Then you ain’t makin’ proper Southern gravy. My wife makes sausage gravy and biscuits, and will often put a pound or more of sausage in the pan. It’s good enough to make a grown man cry, but I think I can say with some assurance that it is not healthy. I guess that’s why she only makes it once per year.