What is Ghee?

With the Keto diet gaining popularity, healthy fats have gained a lot of attention lately. Along with favorites like coconut oil and olive oil, ghee butter is a type of fat made by heating butter (ideally grass-fed); but is it healthy and better for you than regular butter? Read on to find out the benefits of using ghee!


What is Ghee Butter?

Ghee is produced by heating butter to remove milk solids and water (1,2). When comparing ghee to clarified butter, ghee is simmered longer to bring out the golden, nutty and rich healthy fat, and has a higher smoke point than butter (it can be heated to higher temperatures before it starts to smoke). When the moisture is removed from the butter to create ghee it has a longer shelf life than clarified butter, as well as a stronger flavor (2). 


Benefits of Ghee

  • Rich in beneficial nutrients and contains several fatty acids that are important to health. (1)

  • Can help improve digestion. (1)

  • The casein protein and lactose are removed, meaning most people who have lactose intolerance or a casein allergy are able to consume ghee. (1,2)

  • The higher smoke point means that you won’t burn ghee as easily as clarified butter. This is important because when fat is burned above it’s threshold the oxidation can increase, which results in a production of harmful free radicals. Ghee butter’s smoke point is 485 degrees F vs. butter which is 350 degrees F. (1,2)

  • Ghee contains fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin. A, which supports immunity and skin health, vitamin E that repairs damaged skin, fights free radicals, and enhances heart health, and vitamin K is an important vitamin for bone health and normal blood clotting/wound healing. (2)

  • Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been linked to helping reduce inflammation, preventing cancer formation, decreasing fat mass, and even lowering blood pressure. Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid and linked to a long list of health benefits. (1,2)

  • Ghee is considered paleo (2)

  • Ghee is loaded with butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that plays a part in gut health. It has been shown to help support healthy insulin levels, fight inflammation, and provide relief for conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. (1)



Ghee Nutrition Ghee is high in fat and gives an extra dose of fat-soluble vitamins (listed above). Dr. Axe states that one tablespoon of ghee butter contains approximately:


112 calories 0 grams carbohydrate 0 grams protein 12.7 grams fat 0 grams fiber 391 IU vitamin A (8 percent DV) 0.4 milligrams vitamin E (2 percent DV) 1.1 micrograms vitamin K (1 percent DV)


Butter Nutrition: Per one tablespoon serving of grass-fed butter, 100 calories 0g carbohydrates 0g protein 11g fat 30mg cholesterol 0g fiber


While ghee is higher in calories it offers a more nutrient dense profile and is full of important vitamins that butter does not offer.


Where to Find Ghee

More and more grocery stores are beginning to carry ghee and it can often be found in the same aisle as coconut oil or in the ethnic food aisle. Ghee is also widely available online

When picking out a brand it is important to look for grass-fed ghee butter because it provides a higher nutrient concentration. 4th & Heart is a great brand for ghee, although there are many great brands out there! 




Sources:

  1. https://draxe.com/ghee-benefits/

  2. https://rachaelsgoodeats.com/whats-ghee-and-why-should-i-be-using-it-in-my-cooking/

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