Ghee Explained

If you aren’t familiar with the increasingly popular “fat fad” that’s taking wellness communities by storm, then it’s about time you learned the big fat truth about this calorie-rich macronutrient and its powerful ability to influence your health. Gone are the days of low-fat, sugar-laden weight loss products, and in their place is an abundance of health promoting, quality fats sourced from foods like coconuts, avocados, and grass-fed animals. Ghee, also referred to as clarified butter, has become a popular source of healthy fat and a great alternative to conventional butter for the lactose or intolerant or averse. We’re breaking down how exactly how it is made, along with some of its health benefits.


It is a type of “clarified” butter that has a distinct golden colour and “nutty” flavour. While plain old butter is composed of butterfat, milk solids, and water, ghee is 100% pure butterfat, without the lactose. When butter is simmered over medium heat, its water content will eventually evaporate, and the remaining milk solids and butterfat can then be strained to produce that golden goodness we call ghee.


Though made from butter, ghee actually possesses its own unique nutrient profile. Thanks to the clarification process, the commonly allergenic dairy proteins lactose and whey are removed, making ghee an excellent butter alternative for those suffering from sensitivities or intolerances. Ghee also contains short and medium chain fats in quantities much higher than butter, making it a rich source of fat that is easily absorbed and used for energy by the body. Additionally, butyrate, a particularly healthy short chain fat found in ghee has been shown to reduce gut inflammation and help balance blood sugar. Ghee is also an excellent source of the fat soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K.


Ghee is typically used as a cooking oil, thanks to its high smoke point (i.e. ability to withstand higher temperatures without burning or losing nutrients). It can also replace butter in a wide variety of sweet and savoury recipes, and is often used in bulletproof coffee.


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Tannis Grauer is a clean-eating, dark-chocolate-loving, Certified Nutritional Practitioner from North Vancouver. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition, Tannis is a passionate coach/writer dedicated to fusing evidence-based lifestyle recommendations with a touch of sass and hippie wisdom.