Ghee vs Butter: What’s the Difference?
The question “Should I be using ghee or butter?”
is one that many people ask. Many people are looking for answers from their doctors, dietitians, and other health professionals. They want to make sure they’re getting enough nutrients and avoiding harmful foods.
But what exactly do these two items have in common? And why does it matter which one you choose to use in your kitchen?
What Is Ghee?
Ghee is clarified butter made from whole milk. It comes from cows that have been given antibiotics, growth hormones, and other drugs to increase their milk production. These practices are not only cruel but also ineffective. Instead of increasing milk production, the practice actually decreases it because cows don’t produce as much milk when they’re sick.
In addition to being unhealthy, ghee is high in saturated fat. Saturated fats raise your blood cholesterol levels and increase your risk of developing heart disease. If you eat too much saturated fat, it will affect how much you gain weight and how quickly.
You may feel hungry all the time even though you’re eating healthy food, which means you’ll overeat and put on pounds faster than if you ate less calories overall.
How Do I Use Ghee?
Ghee can go on top of anything you’d normally put butter on: bread, cookies, toast, and much more. It’s a common addition to Indian food, like the popular curry dishes, and can also be used for other international cuisines like Italian or French food. When mixed with spices, ghee can help bring out the flavor of many different meals.
Can I Cook With Ghee?
Yes, you can cook with ghee. It has a higher smoke point than butter (450 degrees Fahrenheit), so it can be used to make stir fries, deep-fried dishes, and other high-temperature recipes. Because it’s so high in fat, it can be stored for a long time without going bad. Most people keep their ghee in the fridge or freezer to extend its shelf life even longer.
Why Should I Use Ghee Instead of Butter?
Ghee is better than butter for many reasons. It’s a traditional food that has been used in Indian cooking for centuries and has plenty of health benefits. It can help lower your blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve your digestion. Ghee contains high levels of butyrate, which is a short-chain fatty acid that helps keep your intestinal tract healthy.
It also can help prevent and treat osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones become porous and brittle as you age. Ghee contains high levels of vitamin K2, a nutrient that helps build strong bones by regulating the placement of calcium within them. Ghee is a great food to use if you struggle with weight issues, as it’s very satiating when eaten in moderation.
Butter vs Ghee: Which Is Healthier?
Both butter and ghee are high in fat. In fact, they’re both about 80% fat, 15% water, and 5% carbs. They also have a similar amount of calories: 100 grams of butter has around 773 calories, while the same amount of ghee has 874.
A big difference is that butter contains some vitamins and minerals, while ghee has none. Since it’s “clarified,” ghee has no trace amounts of dairy in it, making it easier to digest than butter. Ghee is a better choice if you’re lactose- or casein-intolerant.
They both have the same amount of saturated fat, which is why many people choose to avoid them. Unfortunately, many people use ghee to add flavor to their food without thinking about their health. They’ll eat large quantities of ghee because it tastes good without considering the consequences.
Many people don’t think about how much ghee they’re eating until they start gaining weight.
Babies should never eat ghee, as it can cause them to develop asthma or allergies. Ghee can also cause anaphylactic shock in people who are allergic to dairy. If you’re allergic to dairy and have ingested ghee, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Ghee vs Olive Oil: Which Is Healthier?
Ghee is very similar to olive oil in many different ways. They have a very high smoke point, which means they can both be used for cooking at high temperatures without degrading their chemical structure and creating harmful free radicals.
Olive oil contains antioxidants and other nutrients, while ghee is basically just fat. Ghee has a slightly higher fat content (85% vs 80%). Olive oil has more total carbs (5% vs 0%), but the majority of those are fiber, which isn’t metabolized by the body.
Ghee has less protein (0.3% vs 1%), but this isn’t a large difference. They both have a similar amount of calories (916 vs 1,460 per cup).
So which is better?
For the reasons mentioned above, ghee is a better choice. It has no carbs and is low in protein, making it less likely to be stored as fat. It’s also more calorie-dense, so you get full faster.
Use Ghee Instead Of Other Oils
Ghee isn’t a miracle food, but it is a good option if you’re looking for a cooking oil that can be used for high-heat cooking or any type of stir-fry. If you cook foods that have a high water content, ghee can help protect them from burning since it has a higher smoke point than most common cooking oils. Ghee can also add a delicious buttery flavor to your foods.
Ghee is a good option if you’re looking for a cooking oil that can be used for high-heat cooking or any type of stir-fry.
It’s even more beneficial if you have skin conditions like eczema, as the fat in ghee can help alleviate dryness and other signs of inflammation. Ghee can be used to cook foods like eggs, vegetables, meats and more. You can also use it as a spread on breads or crackers, or you can add it to your favorite recipes to enhance the flavor.
When cooking with ghee, keep in mind that a little goes a long way. You don’t need more than a tablespoon or two to cook with, and you should avoid using more than what’s recommended in your recipe.
Ghee can be found at most health food stores, Whole Foods and online. It’s a bit more expensive than cooking oils like canola, vegetable or peanut oil, but a little bit can go a long way. It can keep for up to two years if kept in a cool, dry place, or it can be refrigerated or frozen to extend its shelf life.
Ghee vs Butter
Butter and ghee have similar properties. Butter is made from churning cream until it separates into butter and buttermilk, while ghee is made by simmering butter to separate the milk solids from the oil. Ghee is then cooked a bit longer to remove any possible bitterness, giving it a richer flavor.
Butter contains water, milk proteins and whey, giving it a lower fat content (between 65-85%) than ghee (which can be anywhere from 85-88%). Contrary to popular belief, butter contains very little lactose and isn’t likely to cause issues for those who are lactose intolerant. It does still contain trace amounts of lactose, as well as small amounts of sugar.
It also contains cholesterol.
Ghee contains no lactose or sugar and has no cholesterol. It’s also much higher in fat, having about 90% of its content as fat, while butter is only about 80% fat.
How To Make Ghee At Home
While ghee is fairly easy to find at most health food stores, it’s actually really easy to make it at home. All you need is some high quality unsalted butter and a saucepan.
Cut the butter into chunks and place in a saucepan. Turn the heat on medium and let the butter melt. Once the butter has melted, turn the heat up to medium high and let it cook.
As the butter cooks, foam will appear at the top. Stir it so that the foam rises to the top of the pan and skim it off with a spoon. The milk solids will start to sink to the bottom and the butter will start to bubble as it cooks. Once the bubbling has mostly subsided, the ghee is ready. Pour it into a jar or bowl and let it cool.
You can keep your ghee in the refrigerator for up to two years or you can seal it up and keep it at room temperature for a few months. Just make sure it’s stored in a jar instead of a plastic container since plastic can leech chemicals into the ghee.
You can also make flavored ghees by adding a couple of cups of strong coffee, herbs, vegetables or even wine to the butter as it’s simmering.
Ghee Nutrition Facts
Ghee is very high in saturated fat, containing about 55% of its content as saturated fat. It is lower in calories than butter, however, since much of the milk solids and water have been removed. Nutritionally, it is nearly identical to clarified butter (which is made by simmering butter until the milk solids settle to the bottom).
With no cholesterol or lactose, ghee’s only nutritional downside is its very high saturated fat content.
Ghee vs. Olive Oil
If you have heart disease or you’re worried about cholesterol, it’s probably best to avoid ghee since it’s very high in fat. It contains no carbohydrates or sugars, and only trace amounts of protein, so while it won’t spike your blood sugar levels like regular butter will, it’s still not a healthy food.
If you need a butter substitute, olive oil is a much healthier option. It has a very mild flavor that can be enhanced with herbs and spices. Just be careful not to cook it at too high of a heat or for too long since it has a lower smoke point than butter so it can burn easier.
Olive oil also contains antioxidants, which have been known to protect against some types of cancer.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effect of feeding rancid ghee (clarified butter) to rats. by S Tawde, NG Magar – Indian Journal of Dairy Science, 1957 – cabdirect.org
The vitamin. D. content of butter and ghee (clarified butter). by PK Dikshit, S Ranganathan – Indian Journal of Medical Research, 1950 – cabdirect.org
True or False? Butter, Ghee, Lard & Tallow–Are Saturated Animals Fats the Kings and Queens of the Frying Pan? by V Del Monte – titaniumprox.wordpress.com
“Ghee”-The Ambrosia by VR Kotecha, FV Chancellor – garrysun.com
Diet and diet reform by M Gandhi – 1949 – sindhicollege.com