Ghee vs. Butter: What Is the Difference Between Ghee and Butter?

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Ghee vs. Butter

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Summary: Do you think ghee is healthier than butter? Even though they look the same, they're fundamentally different. Learn more about ghee vs. butter.


You’ve probably heard of ghee being the “better” version of butter, but is that true or is it just hype?

At first glance, it may not be easy to discern the differences between ghee vs butter

Ghee and butter look and taste similar, and are sold next to each other in grocery stores. 

This makes us wonder, “How are ghee and butter different? And which is better?

If you find yourself pondering the same question, you’ll get all essential questions about ghee vs butter answered here.

By the end of this article, you’ll know the differences between ghee and butter and whether ghee butter is a healthier butter substitute.

What Is Ghee Butter?

Let’s get the basics down first.

Ghee butter: is a form of clarified butter, a process that involves melting regular butter, evaporating the liquids, and removing one of the milk proteins, namely casein. 

Ghee butter

While butter is commonly used in Western countries, ghee has been used in South Asia and Middle Eastern countries for centuries.

More often than not, people tend to confuse ghee with clarified butter. However, there’s a big difference between both of them, so let’s talk about that.

Clarified butter vs. ghee – what’s the difference?

The biggest difference between clarified butter and ghee is the cooking time. 

Ghee is cooked longer to remove all the moisture, while clarified butter has a shorter cooking time. 

This gives ghee a rich nutty taste and longer shelf life compared to clarified butter.

If you’d like to give ghee a try, you might be wondering where to buy ghee from. The most common place to find it would be in the dairy or cooking oils section in most major grocery stores

However, if you prefer to make ghee yourself, that’s great! 

How to make ghee from butter

You can make ghee at home with these 8 simple steps:

  1. Unwrap organic unsalted butter and slice them into cubes. 
  2. Transfer those cubes into a small pot. 
  3. On low heat, without stirring it, let the butter gently melt to a simmer.
  4. As time passes, you’ll notice 3 layers, foams will form on the top, the middle becomes clear, and milk solids sink to the bottom.
  5. Use a spoon to skim off the foam while the ghee is cooking. (Note: do not touch the bottom of the pot with the spoon)
  6. After 25-30 minutes, the ghee should look clear and smell fragrant.
  7. Grab a glass storage container and something to strain the ghee such as a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or coffee filter.
  8. Pour the ghee into the container through the filter and store it at room temperature. If you want to keep it longer, store it in the refrigerator. 

What Are the Benefits of Ghee Butter?

Have you ever wondered, “Is ghee healthy?

Ghee has been used in the Ayurvedic diet for ages for good reasons. In this article, we’ll cover the top 5 ghee benefits that earned ghee the “superfood” reputation.

benefits of ghee butter

Your health is determined more by what you eat than by removing foods.

— Eric Edmeades, trainer of Mindvalley’s WILDFIT Quest

1. Ghee is a good source of butyric acid (BTA)

The reason why ghee has been believed to aid in digestion is because of butyric acid.

Butyric acid is a fatty acid that’s created when your gut breaks down dietary fiber. Its primary benefit is alleviating bowel disorders and reducing abdominal pain. 

Some studies have also shown that butyric acid may help in preventing and treating colon cancer by inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells. 

2. Ghee is rich in vitamin A

One tablespoon of ghee makes up 12% of vitamin A daily intake. 

Vitamin A is vital in protecting your eyes from age-related decline, supporting a healthy immune system and healthy bones.

3. Ghee soothes and heals skin

People who practice the Ayurvedic way of eating also use ghee as a medicine for healing wounds, burns, or rashes

Emerging evidence shows that vitamin A and E in ghee provide healing properties to the skin due to antimicrobial and antioxidant activities.

4. Ghee is casein-free

Casein in ghee has been removed during the process of making ghee.

This means the amount of lactose has been significantly lowered, to the point that lactose-intolerant people may be able to eat ghee safely.

However, this is different from person to person. Although ghee is casein-free, it may not be completely 100% lactose-free as it still contains some whey.

If you’re lactose intolerant, start with one teaspoon of ghee and gradually increase the dosage while observing your body’s reactions.

5. Ghee produces less acrylamide

Acrylamide is a potentially toxic compound that is created when fat is exposed to high heat.

Research that compared the amount of acrylamide produced between vegetable oils and ghee showed that ghee produces 50% less acrylamide. 

What’s the Difference Between Ghee and Butter?

Many believe ghee is healthier than butter because of the ghee benefits but is that true?

We’re here to debunk the myth and provide scientifically proven facts that help you make wise decisions about “ghee vs butter”.

What’s the Difference Between Ghee and Butter?

Nutrition-wise, ghee’s nutrition profile has slightly higher calories, fat, and cholesterol than butter. However, it also has a slightly higher vitamin A, E, and K. 

 1 tbsp of ghee1 tbsp of unsalted butter
Saturated fat7.9g7.2g
Unsaturated fat 4.1g3.7g
Vitamin A107.5μg97.1μg
Vitamin E0.4mg0.3mg
Vitamin K1.1μg1μg

If you’re on a weight-loss journey, the small fat differences most likely won’t affect your weight significantly. 

Cooking-wise, ghee is much preferable at high heat because it has a higher smoke point (about 400°F), so it won’t burn as quickly. This is perfect for frying and sautéing food. 

Taste-wise, you might wonder, “Does ghee taste like butter?

Although ghee is made from butter, they taste quite different. Ghee tastes like butter with a nuttier and roasted flavor. 

The nutty and roasted flavor comes from the caramelization of the milk solids on the bottom of the cooking pot. 

Lactose-wise, ghee has much lower lactose content compared to butter, which makes it a good choice for lactose-intolerant people. 

Is Ghee Good or Bad for You?

When we’re talking about ghee v.s butter, do you think ghee is a healthy butter substitute?

Ghee might sound cool and trendy, but that doesn’t make it necessarily healthier than butter.

Nutrition-wise, ghee and butter are on par, with ghee slightly higher in fat and vitamins. 

ghee butter vs. butter

For cooking, if you’re looking to stir-fry or sauté foods, ghee is a better option because of its higher smoke point.

In terms of lactose, if you’re lactose intolerant, ghee is a better choice for you.

Lasting transformation is not about giving people a bunch of restrictive rules. It’s not about telling people you can and cannot do this. It’s about changing their psychology.

— Eric Edmeades, trainer of Mindvalley’s WILDFIT Quest

The bottom line is that it’s about understanding your needs and choosing the right foods that can best support your health transformation journey.

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