What is ghee?

What is ghee?

If you’ve spent any time looking into healthy alternative diets like dairy-free, keto, or paleo, you’ve probably heard of ghee. Even if you haven’t intentionally looked into ghee, you’ve probably come across it in the fats and oils section of the grocery store. Some brands even provide flavors to choose from, such as garlic, Himalayan salt, black truffle, or even chocolate.

But if you’ve never tasted or cooked with ghee, you might not understand what the craze is all about. What is ghee anyway? Is it the same as clarified butter? How is it dairy-free? Read on and we’ll answer all your questions below.

What is ghee?

Ghee is a highly nutritious cooking oil that is suitable for high heat cooking up to about 480 degrees Fahrenheit or 250 degrees Celsius. It is a solid fat at room temperature and can be stored without refrigeration. You might recognize it from its characteristic golden yellow color.

Ghee is almost the same thing as clarified butter, but it has a unique, caramelized, slightly nutty flavor that clarified butter usually does not. It has traditionally been used in Indian cuisine and ayurvedic practices, but it is growing in popularity worldwide as people learn about the health benefits and tasty flavor of ghee.

Ghee is made using the traditional method of simmering organic, grass-fed butter until the milk solids separate from the oil and any water evaporates. The milk solids are then removed, and the oil is hand-filtered to remove any impurities. What’s left is just the pure, golden, healthy oil!

Health benefits of ghee

Ghee is a highly nutritious, healthy saturated fat that boasts a lot of health benefits and is a great swap for butter, coconut oil, or unhealthy trans fats or oils.

High in nutrients

Ghee is almost always sourced from the milk of organic grass-fed cows and contains tons of health-promoting rich vitamins and nutrients. It is a good source of fat-soluble vitamins including A, D, E, and K. It also is a great source of omegas 3 and 9, helping to assist in eye, bone and heart health as well as fighting off disease and inflammation.

Fights inflammation and promotes healthy weight loss

Ghee is also a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and butyrate, which are fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties and can boost fat loss.

CLA may be effective in preventing cancer, fighting inflammation, lowering blood pressure as well as reducing body fat and promoting fat burning.

Butyrate is essential to gut health. It provides energy to the cells in the digestive system and helps promote healthy gut flora. It also fights off inflammation and might help alleviate symptoms and heal some gut conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Safe for a dairy-free diet

Ghee is a creamy and luxurious fat that resembles butter in many ways, but it is entirely dairy and lactose-free. The extensive boiling and careful filtering processes remove all the lactose and milk solids or milk proteins, like casein, that tend to irritate the digestive system. So people who eat a dairy-free diet or suffer from lactose intolerance will be able to enjoy ghee without any issues. However, there is always the risk that the manufacturer might not have a 100% pure technique, so anyone with a severe milk allergy or other detrimental issues, should proceed with caution. 

How to use ghee

Ghee is a healthy oil for cooking because it has an extremely high smoke point of about 480 degrees Fahrenheit or 250 degrees Celsius. This means you can apply heat to it without worrying about the oil burning or causing any ill health effects. It is also very stable and has a long shelf life if stored properly, away from heat and moisture.

Ghee can easily be substituted for butter or oil in most recipes. It is great for frying, roasting, or sauteing savory foods, it is wonderful in baked goods, and is delightful even just to spread on toast. Many people use ghee in their bulletproof coffee or golden milk beverages every morning. Ghee is a very dynamic healthy fat and cooking oil that you can use for just about anything!

Curious? Try our grass-fed ghee today!

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Danny Urbinder

Danny Urbinder is a qualified naturopath and lecturer. He has been passionate about complementary and integrative medicine for over 25 years.

As a qualified naturopath who graduated from the Southern School of Natural Medicine, Danny lectured in Nutritional Biochemistry at the Australian College of Natural Medicine for many years. He also worked in functional pathology at Australian Reference Laboratories as Technical Services and State Manager.

For 15 years, since 2005, Danny worked at BioCeuticals as Director of Education and Director of Clinical Services. In 2012 he created and headed up FX Medicine, an online education platform bringing together education, research news and stories, to provide a high-quality reference source for those seeking evidence-based information on complementary and integrative medicine.