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GHEE vs. BUTTER, Which is Better

This is a debate that is not new to any food connoisseur, especially those who enjoy dishes from Indian or Middle Eastern areas. Ghee isn't a new phenomenon.

A rich, golden cousin to butter, it originated in subcontinental India thousands of years ago. While ghee has been around for centuries, it has become increasingly popular in Western diets, such as keto and paleo.

What is Ghee? Ghee is a clarified butter, which means it goes through a heating process that removes milk solids. What this means is that the end product is very low in lactose or completely lactose-free. Ghee is typically prepared by simmering butter, which is churned from cream, skimming any impurities from the surface, then pouring and retaining the clear liquid fat while discarding the solid residue that has settled to the bottom. Spices can be added for flavor. The texture, color, and taste of ghee depend on the quality of the butter, the milk used in the process, and the duration of the boiling time.

Ghee is an ideal fat for deep frying because its smoke point (where its molecules begin to break down) is 250 °C (482 °F), which is well above typical cooking temperatures of around 200 °C (392 °F) and above that of most vegetable oils.

Southern parts of India have a habit of adding ghee to their rice before eating it with pickles and curries. They are among the biggest consumers of ghee. Indian restaurants typically incorporate large amounts of ghee, sometimes brushing naan and roti with it, either during preparation or just before serving

So the question is should you make the switch from regular butter to ghee?

Is ghee healthier than butter? 

Most dietitians will tell you that "healthier" is a relative term. There really is not a steadfast clear cut definition. If you have lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy, ghee could be a better option. If not, real butter comparatively has less calories than ghee.

A tablespoon of unsalted butter contains about 102 calories compared that the same amount of ghee has about 123 calories.This is based on information published on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food database.

With this in consideration, then who should avoid ghee?

While ghee may be a better option for those with a dairy intolerance, you should still consult a medical professional before trying ghee if your body has a history of reacting poorly to other dairy products. Ss always check with your primary care physician before making such changes to your diet, as each individual’s health needs and concerns are unique to them.



Jaffrey, Madhur (1982). Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking, p. 211. London: BBC Books. ISBN 0-8120-6548-4

Landis, Denise (2003). All About Ghee Archived 20 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine New York Times - Food Chain

L. Sserunjogi, Mohammed; Abrahamsen, Roger; Narvhus, Judith (1 August 1998). "A Review Paper: Current Knowledge of Ghee and Related Products". International Dairy Journal. 8 (8): 677–688. doi:10.1016/S0958-6946(98)00106-X.

Sahni, Julie (1998). Julie Sahni's Introduction to Indian Cooking, p. 217 under "usli ghee." Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0-89815-976-8



This article was written by Michael R. Grigsby, one of the news editors for LCTI, LLC. Michael is passionate about the outdoors, photography, strength sports, and powerlifting, and he is dedicated to bringing you accurate and insightful news reports on a wide range of topics. He loves connecting with readers and is always happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions about this news article, please feel free to contact Michael at or by leaving a comment below.


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