Is shea butter better than Desi Ghee

Ghee: the healthy butter alternative?

Table of Contents

  1. What is ghee anyway?
  2. How is ghee made?
  3. The comparison: ghee vs. butter
  4. Is Ghee Healthier Than Butter?
  5. Knowledge to take away

What is ghee anyway?

Ghee, also known as Ayurvedic butter, is more likely to go under the name in this countryClarified butter known. Because ghee is nothing more than highly concentrated butter. Through controlled heating and skimming of the floating foam, your water and all milk components are removed.

Ayurvedic medicine has relied on the positive health properties of ghee, the name of which comes from the ancient Indian word "ghrita", for thousands of years. The term "ghrita" encompasses all medicinally used oils and it means something like "luminous" (adjective) or simply "oil" (noun).

Ghee comes from Ayurvedic cuisine and is concentrated clarified butter without residual water or milk protein components, known in this country as clarified butter.

How is ghee made?

Ghee is traditionally made in India and Pakistan. Due to the warm climate, the original idea behind concentrating butter into concentrated butter was to preserve it. In this way, ghee could be consumed for several weeks without it spoiling and becoming rancid in warm weather.

Even today, like coconut oil, ghee can be stored safely at room temperature (around 20 degrees). Because the concentrated butter no longer contains any quickly perishable milk components. Whether traditionally, industrially or prepared at home, all ghee preparations follow a basic principle:

Basic principle of ghee production:

  1. High-quality butter is heated slowly and gently at temperatures between 40 to 60 degrees while stirring.
  2. Water molecules evaporate and milk protein components float up as foam.
  3. Milk protein foam is skimmed off and the liquid butter fat is reduced until it has turned golden yellow and clear.
  4. Liquid clarified butter is transferred to sterile containers.

To the recipe ►

The comparison: ghee vs. butter

The nutritional values ​​of the two dairy products are almost the same. In addition, both channel fat-soluble vitamins and aromas from our food into the body.

Nutritional values ​​of one tablespoon (14 grams)Gheebutter
fat13 g11 g
Saturated fat8 g7 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids4 g3 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids0.5 g0.5 g
protein0 g0 g
carbohydrates0 g0 g
Vitamin A8 %*7 %*
Vitamin E.2 %*2 %*
Vitamin K1%*1%*

* RI = reference intake for an average adult (8400 kJ / 2000 kcal)

Even if the nutritional information hardly differs, ghee is more digestible than butter. The concentrated butter is almost free of lactose and milk protein. Ghee is an ideal alternative for people with a milk allergy and lactose intolerance who do not want to forego the fine buttery taste.

The fat content of both products consists mainly of saturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids also have positive effects on our organism, for example butyric acid.

Several studies indicate that this fatty acid has general anti-inflammatory and specifically anti-cancer effects in the body. In contrast to butter, ghee contains a higher proportion of butyric acid (1).

In addition, due to its more concentrated form, ghee contains a higher percentage of linoleic acid. The essential omega-6 fatty acid is one of the unsaturated fatty acids. It has a positive effect on fat metabolism and promotes fat loss (2).

Ghee and butter are both almost 100 percent fat. By removing all milk components, ghee is the better choice for allergy sufferers and people with lactose intolerance.

Is Ghee Healthier Than Butter?

The following studies indicate a health-promoting effect when consuming ghee and underline its reputation as a healthy butter alternative.

Less acrylamide formation

Ghee and butter are both rich in saturated fat, which means they can withstand high cooking and frying temperatures and produce less harmful acrylamide. Butter can be heated up to 175 degrees, the smoke point of the more concentrated ghee is 250 degrees. The formation of smoke should be avoided in any case.

In the case of vegetable fats and oils, the risk of acrylamide forming when heated is significantly higher than when using ghee. One study found that the acrylamide value was ten times higher when heating soybean oil to 160 degrees than when heating ghee (3).

Even though ghee can withstand higher temperatures, butter can because of its creamier and sweeter taste for baking be the better choice in moderate temperatures.

Ghee can withstand higher cooking and frying temperatures, but for baking up to 175 degrees, the creamier, sweeter butter is the better choice.

Influence on heart health

A number of human and animal studies indicate that moderate ghee consumption has a positive effect on heart functionality. This increases the HDL cholesterol level and prevents fat deposits in the arterial area. In addition, according to a human study with 206 healthy volunteers, ghee stimulates the formation of the protein ApoA, which is required for HDL synthesis, better than other fat sources. (4)

In the evaluations, however, there was also an increased Fasting blood sugar level measured, which is considered an indicator of diabetes (4).

In any case, the difference between animal and vegetable ghee must be taken into account. After production, vegetable ghee (Vanaspati) contains more trans fatty acids (14 to 40 percent) than animal ghee due to its higher unsaturated fatty acid content. Trans fats have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease (6). So what is the best way to incorporate fats into the diet?

"The ratio of animal fats to vegetable fats should be 1: 3. Most people eat too much animal fats. So-called trans fatty acids are also unhealthy: They are formed when fat is hardened and are often found in cheap margarine or in ready-made meals There is then in the list of ingredients 'fat partially hardened' ", explains Nutritionist Linda Marx

Ghee has a positive effect on heart health. Preferably animal ghee and not vegetable ghee should be consumed.


Compared to vegetable soybean oil, consuming ghee appears to lower the risk of developing cancer - including breast cancer. However, in order to be able to make reliable statements about the relationships, further investigations are necessary in this area (7).

Only animal experiments indicate a reduction in cancer risk when consuming ghee. <

Possible health risks

Even if, according to some studies, the LDL cholesterol level is not negatively affected, people with an already high cholesterol value should only consume both ghee and butter in moderation (one to two teaspoons a day).

Another health risk arises if excessively high melting temperatures are used in ghe production. This can lead to the oxidation of the contained cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is harmful to health and can promote heart disease.

Butter usually does not contain oxidized cholesterol because it is not reheated. (8th)

A possible increase in LDL cholesterol levels when consuming ghee and the possible level of oxidized cholesterol can lead to health risks.

Knowledge to take away

Ghee comes from the Ayurvedic diet and is concentrated butter fat without residual water or milk protein components. In this country, ghee is also known as clarified butter.

The health benefits over butter are small due to the similar nutritional composition. For those who want to cook at high temperatures or who suffer from a milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance, ghee is the better choice.