Ghee is a clarified butter – it is pure butterfat, minus water and milk proteins found in normal butter. It is prepared by heating the classic butter to 100 ° C at which water evaporates, and milk solids are separated and removed leaving a golden-yellow liquid – that is the pure butterfat – ghee. The color of ghee depends on the origin of the milk. Ghee made from cow’s milk is yellowed due to the presence of β-carotene [1].

Ghee as a dairy product is unsuitable for people with allergy to cow’s milk protein . However, it has low-lactose content, just like butter – both these products are suitable for people with lactose intolerance [2].

As the same as butter, most of the fat in ghee is represented by saturated fatty acids (ghee 61,9 grams / 100 g of product X butter 51,4 grams / 100 g of product) [3, 4] whose high intake increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke [5]. As a dairy product also ghee contains small amount of trans-fat [6, 7]. Due to fat composition in ghee is not better than in butter, ghee should be included in the moderate amount into your diet as much as butter and other fats at all.

Large advantage of ghee over butter is high smoke point (up to 252 ° C compared with butter 177 ° C). It means that it does not overheat at high temperatures and is a suitable fat for heat treatment of meals.  High smoke point of ghee is caused by the removal of milk proteins [2]. What is the smoke point ? The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to burn and smoke. 

The smoke point is an indicator of the oxidative stability of fats. It indicates the temperature at which the blue smoke appears above the burning fat. Burned fat is not suitable for eating [8].

Benefits of ghee are not nutritional values, nor positive health effects, but a high smoke point which makes possible to use clarified butter for cooking and frying. Recommendation for butter lovers: use ghee for cooking instead of classic butter.


[1]        CABALLERO, Benjamin, Paul M. FINGLAS a Fidel TOLDRÁ. Encyclopedia of food and health. Boston: Academic Press is an imprint of Elsevier, [2016]. ISBN 9780123849472.

[2]       TOBY AMIDOR. Ask the Expert: Ghee Butter. Today’s Dietitian Magazine. 2016, 18(10).

[3]        Butter, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories. SELFNutritionData [online]. [vid. 2018-06-11]. Dostupné z:

[4]       Clarified butter and ghee from Practical Paleo Nutrition Facts & Calories. SELFNutritionData [online]. [vid. 2018-06-11]. Dostupné z:

[5]      Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for fats, including saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, and cholesterol. EFSA Journal [online]. 2010, 8(3), – [cit. 2018-03-13]. DOI: 10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1461. ISSN 18314732. Dostupné z:

[6]       ANTTI ARO a TRUUS KOSMEIJER-SCHUIL. Analysis of C18:1 cis and trans fatty acid isomers by the combination of gas-liquid chromatography of 4,4-dimethyloxazoline derivatives and methyl esters. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society. 1998, 8(75), 977–985. 

[7]       DORNI, Charles, Paras SHARMA, Gunendra SAIKIA a T. LONGVAH. Fatty acid profile of edible oils and fats consumed in India. Food Chemistry [online]. 2018, 238, 11th IFDC special issue ’Food composition and public health nutrition, 9–15. ISSN 0308-8146. Dostupné z: doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.05.072

[8]       American Oil Chemists’ Society (2011). “AOCS Official Method Cc 9a-48, Smoke, Flash and Fire Points Cleveland Open Cup Method”. Official methods and recommended practices of the AOCS – (6th ed.). Champaign, Ill. : American Oil Chemists’ Society.


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