Ghee is a type of clarified butter. It’s more concentrated in fat than butter, as its water and milk solids have been removed. Ghee is made by heating butter to separate the liquid and milk solid portions from the fat. Ghee and butter have similar nutritional compositions and culinary properties, although there are a few differences.

Here are ghee’s nutritional properties for one teaspoon:

  • Calories: 45
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg

Here are butter’s nutritional properties for one teaspoon:

  • Calories: 36
  • Protein: 0.04 g
  • Fat: 4.1 g
  • Saturated fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 1 mg

Ghee and butter: Difference

  • Ghee has a higher smoke point when compared to butter, so it doesn’t burn as quickly. This is perfect for sautéing or frying foods. Butter can smoke and burn at 350°F (177°C), but ghee can withstand heat up to 485°F (252°C).
  • Ghee contains a higher concentration of fat than butter. Gram for gram, it provides slightly more butyric acid and other short-chain saturated fats. Ghee is a form of refined clarified butter and is made by melting the regular butter. In fact, butter separates into liquid fats and milk solids. Once separated, the milk solids are removed, which means that ghee has less lactose than butter.
  • Ghee has a higher “smoke point” than butter, which means that it can be cooked to a higher temperature before beginning to burn. This trait makes it ideal for cooking and sautéing. When you sauté and fry with ghee, there is no hissing, popping or splattering. It also has a sweet aroma and actually becomes richer in flavor as well.
  • Ghee has a long shelf life of six to eight months, even at ambient temperatures and does not require refrigeration like butter. The low moisture content, presence of phospholipids, low-acidity levels and natural antioxidants contribute to the extension of its shelf life.

The use of ghee is often debated due to the presence of saturated fatty acids. This is mainly due to misunderstanding between ghee made from animal fats and vegetable ghee. Pure ghee is clarified butter. Vegetable-based ghee is used in restaurants. These cheaper oils are usually hydrogenated and have a high amount of trans-fats. Pure ghee has a rich flavor and doesn’t contain oxidized cholesterol or transfatty acids. Ghee is much more healthier than butter and is great for people suffering from lactose and casein intolerance as it is low on both the components. In fact, a little addition of ghee or butter to daily diet is not harmful, but keeping a check on the portion is the way to maintain a healthy weight.

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