Food Chemistry: What’s the difference between ghee and butter?
by Deep Shah
There are two types of people in this world—one who eat to live; and others who live to eat. But either way, both the types should eat healthily, and by healthy, I don’t mean a strict diet consisting of only salads and veggies, but something nutritious while being delicious. Our diet should include precise servings of all elements of a balanced diet, including daily calories from carbs, proteins, and fats. The calories contributed from fats should constitute 20 to 35 percent out of the total daily calorie requirement.
Fat is the source of essential fatty acids that our body is incapable of producing on its own. They help the body absorb Vitamins A, D and E, which are fat-soluble and can only be absorbed by fats. Thus, avoiding fats totally can have adverse effects on our health.
For long, ghee and butter have been reputed as great sources of fat in our dietary plans. Be it under the name of organic A2 cow ghee, desi ghee, makkhan, butter, oil, etc. fats have been considered an essential part of our diet.
Long before butter came into play, ghee has been widely used in Indian households. Our Shastras and Vedas serve as testimonials to this. There are prayers in Rigveda and Atharva Veda seeking that God may provide us with so much ghee that our houses are always full of this most nutritious food.
Our mothers’ and grandmothers’ endless efforts to add an extra spoon of ghee to our food cannot be forgotten. But since butter came into the scene, the rivalry between desi ghee supporters and modern butter promoters cannot be neglected.
But a question arises here, is there even a difference between ghee and butter?
Difference between Ghee and Butter: Formation & Properties
To find out, let’s get hold of some facts and figures. A typical Google search would tell you that ghee has a slightly higher fat concentration than butter and more calories. One tablespoon of ghee has about 120 calories, whereas one tablespoon of butter has about 102 calories. However, we should know that both aren’t entirely different from one another. Ghee is a type of clarified butter made by heating butter and allowing the liquid and milk portion to separate from the fat. The milk caramelizes and becomes a solid, and the remaining oil is ghee. On the other hand, Butter is produced by churning cream until the fats separate from the liquid (buttermilk) and the butter is obtained in a semi-solid state.
Ghee has been proved to have a longer shelf life than butter. Even without refrigeration, ghee remains fresh and ready to use for months together. Ghee has a higher smoke point (450 degrees F, higher than most vegetable oils and butter), and one can effectively cook food in ghee without destroying the nutritional elements of the dish. The absence of any milk solids from ghee makes it completely lactose and casein-free.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food
Are fats like Ghee a healthy dietary component?
It has been scientifically proven that using ghee while cooking food in adequate amounts can enhance your health along with the dish’s taste. Dishes like sooji halwa and dal tadka taste delicious when cooked in ghee. Pickup any cake recipe, you will find out that one of the most vital ingredients includes fats.
Spiritual and Traditional significance of Ghee
Besides this, ghee also has traditional and spiritual values. Vedas call ghee ‘the first and most essential of all foods’. The Sanskrit word for ghee is ‘Ghritam’. Our ancient Vedas and ayurvedic shastras claim that ghee increases Dhi (intellect) refines Buddhi (intelligence), and improves the Smrti (memory). It increases the overall strength, lustre, and beauty of the body and serves as medicine by working wondrously on bedsores, peptic ulcers, and even burns from chemicals or fires. Cow ghee is used in lamps in temples and pujas all over India. The light of burning ghee is said to ward off negativity and evil influence.
We know, both ghee and butter are dairy products produced from milk fat. Here is a summary of the features and benefits of both the fats. While mainly composed of fat, they are also rich in many vitamins, especially A, E, D, and K2. However, due to its high saturated fat content, butter has been blamed for increased risk for weight gain and heart disease. On the other hand, Ghee is reputed for reducing bad cholesterol levels and chances of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, ghee does not contain the same dairy protein levels as butter and thus is a better option for people who do not tolerate dairy products well. One can conclude that including healthy fats like ghee in moderation in our diet can improve health and boost immunity.
Even so, the popular debate of what is healthier, ghee or butter, remains up in the air, open to interpretations. With all the data and facts available, it is up to you to decide what you prefer.
Ghee is the recipient of various titles, and in Rigveda, the name for ghee has been correctly proclaimed from ‘tongue of the gods’ to ‘navel of immortality’. According to a Vedic analogy, ghee is hidden in milk, like the Divine Lord in creation. And we at Amrutam promise to serve you the best.
Where do you get home delivery of cruelty-free gir cow ghee in India?
Amrutam’s A2 cow ghee is hand-churned to perfection using the ancient ‘bilona’ process that retains sweetness elements and contains nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, iron, and calcium. Amrutam ghee will provide the impetus you need to reach a healthier lifestyle.
Visit our shop and experience the benefits of consuming healthy A2 cow ghee!