How Does It Compare to Butter?

How Does It Compare to Butter?

Ghee and butter have similar nutritional compositions and culinary properties, although there are a few differences.

Calories and Nutrients
This is the nutrition data for one tablespoon (14 grams) of ghee and butter (1, 2):

Ghee Butter
Calories 112 100
Fat 13 grams 11 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams 7 grams
Monounsaturated fat 4 grams 3 grams
Polyunsaturated fat 0.5 grams 0.5 grams
Protein Trace amounts Trace amounts
Carbs Trace amounts Trace amounts
Vitamin A 8% of the RDI 7% of the RDI
Vitamin E 2% of the RDI 2% of the RDI
Vitamin K 1% of the RDI 1% of the RDI
Both contain nearly 100% of calories from fat.

Ghee is more concentrated than butter. Gram for gram, it provides slightly more butyric acid and other short-chain saturated fats.

Test-tube and animal studies suggest that these fats may reduce inflammation, promote gut health and inhibit cancer growth (3Trusted Source).

It’s also slightly higher in conjugated linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat that may help increase fat loss (4Trusted Source).

Overall, the differences between the two are small, and choosing one over the other likely won’t have a significant impact on your health.

However, ghee is completely free of the milk sugar lactose and the milk protein casein, whereas butter contains small amounts of each. For people who have allergies or sensitivities to these dairy components, ghee is clearly the better choice.

BOTTOM LINE:
Ghee and butter are nearly 100% fat, but ghee may be the better choice for people with lactose or casein sensitivities.
Use in Cooking and Food Preparation
Butter and ghee are rich in saturated fatty acids, which can handle heat at high temperatures without becoming damaged.

Heating ghee also appears to produce much less of the toxic compound acrylamide than heating vegetable and seed oils.

In fact, one study found that soybean oil produced more than 10 times as much acrylamide as ghee when each fat was heated to 320°F (160°C) (5Trusted Source).

Furthermore, ghee has a high smoke point, which is the temperature at which fats become volatile and begin to rise as smoke.

Its smoke point is 485°F (250°C), which is substantially higher than butter’s smoke point of 350°F (175°C). Therefore, when cooking at very high temperatures, ghee has a distinct advantage over butter.

However, while ghee is more stable at high heat, butter may be more suitable for baking and cooking at lower temperatures because of its sweeter, creamier taste.

 

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