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Clarified Butter (Ghee) vs Refined Oil - Which Has More Benefits?

Written and reviewed by
B.A.M.S.
Ayurvedic Doctor, Alwar  •  10years experience
Clarified Butter (Ghee) vs Refined Oil - Which Has More Benefits?

Ghee is commonly referred to as clarified butter, is a traditional dietary source of fat that is used in Indian cooking. It can be easily made at home by heating butter till it boils, yielding ghee. Refined oils are vegetable oils like mustard, safflower, canola, and the rest which are really popular these days as cooking mediums. These are the products of a chemical treatment to get rid of the strong odour and taste, as well as toxins present in the original oil.

Like, unrefined mustard oil has a characteristic pungent odour and taste and yellow colour, but refined Mustard oil loses all of these when it’s refined. Refined mustard oil has a whitish colour and no rancid mustard taste. We shall take a look at the health benefits or the absence thereof of both- clarified butter and refined oils, followed by the final verdict on which one is better for you in the end.

Clarified butter or Ghee - Why is ghee good for you?

  1. It is better tolerated by those with dairy sensitivities as it’s very low in casein the main protein found in milk and has nil to minimal amounts of lactose, making it better tolerated by those with dairy intolerances.
  2. Ghee is also rich in butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that can decrease inflammation and help improve the digestive system.
  3. Ghee tastes yummy and It can be eaten on its own as it tastes nutty and wholesome. This makes it ideal for adding as topping for foods like rice, veggies and bread.
  4. Ghee is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.
  5. Just one tablespoon of ghee can provide around 15 percent of your daily requirements of vitamin A.
  6. Ghee has one of the highest contents of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has been shown to improve insulin resistance and potentially fighting cancer in studies.
  7. Ghee can be stored easily at room temperature and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Why is Ghee bad for you?

  1. Ghee has high saturated fat content so it’s bad for the weight-watchers. Eat-in moderation is the mantra.
  2. Ghee’s not good for weight-loss also due to its high- calorie content.

Refined Oils

  1. Refined oils are purified vegetable oils. The vegetable oils are purified with chemicals to remove suspended particles, toxic substances, flavor components, as well as colour and odour, leaving behind clear and bland oil.
  2. The refined oils have lesser toxins which may be found in a few vegetable oils but they are full of chemicals according to experts, as they are obtained after treating natural oils with various chemicals to meet your expectations.
  3. Refined oils are the equivalent of processed foods if you will. And like fast foods they can be harmful to the digestive and respiratory systems. Refined oils have also been linked to cancer, diabetes, heart and kidney ailments, among others.
  4. A chemical nickel is used in the refining of vegetable oils. And it’s this element which is implicated for the adverse effects on the respiratory system, liver, and skin. It also acts as a carcinogen.

The positives of refined oils are that they have a higher smoke point. This means the temperature at which they start to smoke when heated is higher. Beyond the smoke point, oil breaks down. So, refined oils can be used for deep frying because they don’t break-down at lower temperatures.

Well, it is certainly clear that Ghee is healthier than refined oils. Use ghee in moderation though, because it has lots of fats and calories. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult an Ayurveda.


Update From Lybrate: Choosing the best cooking oil is a tough task. To ease your trouble, we at Lybrate have brought some healthy cooking oil products which will look after your overall health.

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