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Benefits of Ghee vs. Butter

Updated on June 15, 2010

Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is a product which is used primarily in India. It has become a product of increasing interest to people in the United States because it is said to be a healthy alternative to butter. Ghee offers the same basic taste as butter but some of the fat has been removed from the butter which is why many people believe that it's a better product and should be used as a butter substitute.

Here are some of the benefits of ghee that people have cited over the years; you'll have to try them for yourself to determine whether or not they are true:

  • Better for people with cholesterol problems. It is said that ghee is lower in fat than butter which means that it's a better choice for people who have problems with high cholesterol.
  • Doesn't burn easily. If you're the kind of person who burns everything that you cook then you have probably burned butter in the past. You are not likely to have that problem with ghee.
  • Easier to digest. Because there is less fat in ghee, it is easier for most people to digest than butter is.
  • Longer shelf life. Ghee can be stored for a long period of time, longer than butter can, and it doesn't need to be refrigerated when it is stored. This makes it more convenient than butter and better in some people's eyes.
  • Mental health. People who believe in the healing powers of ghee say that it can restore balance to the mind and enhance brain function.
  • Relief for burns. Many people still believe that you can put butter on burns to soothe them. Try it and you'll quickly learn that butter keeps the heat in and hurts a whole heck of a lot. That's not the case with ghee which can be used on burns.
  • Religious importance. Historically ghee has been used in a number of religious ceremonies and rituals. As a result, there are some people who prefer ghee precisely because it has religious significance.
  • Skin improvements. Many people swear by the fact that ghee helps to promote a healthy glow to the skin from the inside out. That may or may not be true but there certainly isn't anyone who will tell you that butter does that!
  • Tastes better. This is obviously a personal preference but many people say that they like the taste of ghee better than the taste of butter because it's a lighter taste.
  • Weight loss aid. There are many people who believe that ghee stimulates the digestive system and actually causes people to lose weight just by eating it. It's probably not a good idea to go on a ghee-only diet but you might want to factor this in when weighing fatty butter against the use of ghee.

Whether or not ghee is better than butter really depends on what features you are considering. Ghee is lower in fat than butter but it still contains saturated fat and isn't healthy to eat in large quantities. Some people believe that there are various healing powers to ghee but others will say that's not true. In the end, it really boils down to a personal preference.


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    Kimpeterson 5 years ago

    Whoever wrote this ..needs to return to school. This is another prime example of misinformation being peddled around out there. There is nothing better for a person than Grassfed Ghee....and what a wonderful taste. Get rid of the "fake" hydrogenated stuff and get healed...nuff said.

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    Nick Jonathan 6 years ago

    Fat does not make you fat, processed carbohydrate and sugar make you fat.

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    Shah Aashiq 6 years ago

    Ghee is useful for health, but take only half spoon a day!

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    Sajjad 6 years ago

    They both taste good. Depends how you use them. They cant be bad for you as they are both natural. However some modern butters have additives and chemicals. The best butter is the one mad in Pakistan & India from buffallo milk. Its divine.

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    The Amazing Whitebread 6 years ago

    Another incorrect statement in this article is the butter has to be refrigerated. It doesn't! In our house, we haven't refrigerated our butter in almost a decade and have never been sickened by it. Not only does it taste better at room temp, but it's soooo much easier to use when it's soft!

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    JL Meal 6 years ago

    just keep in mind that margarine scars the arteries and makes the cholesterol build up and add blockage, rather than it being digested as with Ghee and butter both.

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    greatlove 6 years ago from Beaufort, NC

    Interesting info....I never heard of it before...

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    Michelle 7 years ago

    Like everyone else said, Ghee is ALL fat! You got your facts backwards. It's not the fat that is removed but the protein. It is casein free so people with milk allergies can tolerate it.

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    Domenic 8 years ago

    Ghee certainly has advantages over butter (makkhan in Hindi), but the tastes differ; so, will the dishes. Vanaspathi ghee or dalda, however, is very injurious.

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    mmcgrego 8 years ago

    I see you've bought into the common misconception that fat is evil. Research around and you'll find that the current research is in line with how we've traditionally eaten: fat is not only good for you, but an essential part of a healthy diet.

    the below statements you've made are incorrect:

    "Better for people with cholesterol problems. It is said that ghee is lower in fat than butter which means that it's a better choice for people who have problems with high cholesterol."

    "Easier to digest. Because there is less fat in ghee, it is easier for most people to digest than butter is."

    Ghee is MUCH easier to digest, but because fat is easy to digest. In properly prepared ghee the proteins and sugars have been removed, which are what many people have a hard time digesting.

    The gunk at the bottom is the protein, the sugar rises to the top in a white froth.

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    EAC 9 years ago

    Your comments that ghee has less fat than butter is completely wrong.... Ghee is 100% fat. The process of making ghee removes the butter solids (protien), salts if any, water, and any other particulate matter. What you're left with is all the fat. It's great for lactose intolerant folk because all the milk solids (where the lactose protein is stored) is separated from the fat... I think of this gunk at the bottom of the pan, when I prepare it, as all the artery-clogging junk of butter. Ghee should be consumed the same as butter and instead of butter. It's much lighter an oil than nut oils, and thus easier to digest. If you want more information on ghee I would speak to an Ayuvedic doctor or Naturopath.