Butter isn’t necessarily the food of the devil, but there is an alternative you could consider using next time you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen: ghee.
Butter can often get a bad reputation in the culinary world due to its high levels of fat and, despite evidence to suggest butter’s high levels of dairy fat can actually be good for you, many of us attempt to seek out what they believe to be healthier alternatives.
And, in the case of butter, there is an alternative you could (if you like the taste of it) consider: ghee.
The case of ghee vs butter was recently made by biohacker Dave Asprey on Instagram and, while you may not agree with everything he says, there is much to take away from this particular message.
What Is Ghee?
If you’ve not heard of it before, ghee is actually derived from butter, so offers much of the same with regards to taste, yet without some qualities that cause people to steer clear of butter in the first place. Ghee can also be a perfect alternative for those who are lactose intolerant.
According to Medical News Today, Ghee is made by clarifying butter, i.e. melting it down. This heating process separates liquid fats from milk solids, with the latter being removed. Doing so removes a lot of the dairy proteins found in butter, and it’s because of this that ghee can be more beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant.
Better still, you don’t even need to head out to a supermarket and spend loads of money on ghee, as you can make it yourself at home by melting a normal stick of unsalted butter.
Yet, because ghee is derived from cow’s milk, its nutritional profile closely mimics that of regular butter. However, as is pointed out in Dave Asprey’s post, ghee does contain a higher number of calories per tablespoon – 120 vs 102 – and is pure fat, as opposed to butter, which is “fat plus a tiny amount of carbohydrate and protein.”
You may now be questioning whether ghee is, in fact, better than butter, considering it contains more calories and is pure fat. Indeed, Medical News Today, touches on this subject, citing a 2010 study that found “ghee contains almost 50 percent saturated fat, which has led to concerns that it might increase the coronary artery disease in India.”
But, a 2018 study appeared to refute these claims, finding “the fat and cholesterol in the blood [of 200 people in north India] was healthier in the people who ate more ghee and less mustard oil as sources of fat in their diet.”
Ultimately, ghee isn’t necessarily a ‘healthier’ alternative to butter, but it is one you should seek out if you struggle to consume dairy products. Many users have commented on Dave Asprey’s post stating that they prefer ghee over butter. One even says they “brew coffee, then add ghee and put into a blender = next level good.”