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Short Answer

Yes, Ghee is Paleo!

is ghee paleo

What is Ghee???

Ghee also known as clarified butter is a pure butterfat where the milk solids, sugar and water have been removed via heating and evaporation. The lactose and casein contents of butter are removed during this process. It has a golden color and a savory flavor.

Ghee originated in ancient India and has been part of the Indian cuisine and has a rich history in Ayuverdic practices. Ghee is prepared by simmering the butter and removing the residue.

Ghee is composed of 62% saturated fat. It is solid in room temperature. The absence of milk solids and water makes it shelf stable. The highest smoke point of ghee is at 485°F so it can be used in high heat cooking like sautéing, roasting and frying and will not break down into free radicals.

Benefits of Ghee

Like butter, ghee has its own benefits to offer.

  • In Hinduism, ghee is known to be a substance that provides longevity. Its elemental qualities balance the aging qualities of the body. For centuries, it has been used as digestion aid, for skin and eye health and for energy.
  • Ghee is very low in casein, the main protein in dairy which is known to cause slow digestion and minimal to no lactose which makes it suitable for lactose intolerant people.
  • Since ghee is a saturated fat, it can minimize the risk of heart diseases.
  • Butyrate, a chain fatty present in butter and ghee is linked to improved digestive system and decreased inflammation. Ghee converts fiber to butyric acid which is beneficial to instestinal bacteria.
  • Ghee when derived from grass fed cows is a great source of essential fatty acids like CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) found almost exclusively in grass-fed animals which are now believed to protect against cancer, heart disease, and type II diabetes. It is rich in vitamins A, D, E and K which are essential in promoting bone and brain health and boost immune system.
  • Ghee helps lubricate the connective tissues and promote flexibility
  • The high smoke point of ghee is suitable for high heat cooking.
  • Aside from cooking benefits, ghee can also be used in skin to minimize inflammation. It can be used to treat burns and swelling on the skin.
  • In India, women use ghee as facial moisturizer and for scalp to fight dry skin.

Making Your Own Ghee..

Making your own ghee will only take a couple of minutes. To do so follow the simple steps below:

  1. Choose your butter. Grass fed unsalted butter is preferred.
  2. Cut it into cubes for easy melting.
  3. Melt your butter in a pan at medium temperature and stir occasionally.
  4. Keep stirring until the butter starts to simmer. The bubbles will gradually get smaller and the milk solids will settle at the bottom of the pan.
  5. When all melted, take it off the heat and skim off the residues that have risen to the top.
  6. Allow it to cool for a couple of minutes then use a fine strainer or cheese cloth upon transferring it in an airtight container to remove the milk solids.
  7. You can infuse some spices or herbs to it for aroma and flavor.

Note: Unlike butter, ghee won’t easily go rancid.  Refrigeration is not essential.

What Experts Say About Ghee.. Is It Paleo?

“If you have to choose what to use organic pasteurized with, I’d say ghee and yogurt (since you’re heating it and killing the lactase anyways in both cases).” –Chris Kresser 

“Why remove the milk solids and water from butter? Separating the milk solids from the butterfat almost entirely removes the carbohydrates (lactose) as well as a protein that some people are sensitive to, casein. Evaporating out the water means the flavor of the butter is less diluted. Additionally, removing the milk solids and water also gives butter a higher smoke point, which means you can use ghee for sautéing, stir frying, or deep frying at high heats (375-485 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on purity)”. – Mark Sisson

All you ever wanted to know about Ghee and Paleo

The Paleo Diet. What’s the Skinny on Ghee?

Chris Kresser. Dairy: food of the Gods or neolithic agent of disease?

Chris Kresser. 5 fats you should be cooking with – but may not be

Mark’s Daily Apple. A Primal Primer: Animal Fats

Mark’s Daily Apple. The Definitive Guide to Dairy

Mark’s Daily Apple. Coconut Oil and Ghee: Together At Last


Paleo Leap. Making Clarified Butter (Ghee)

Paleo Leap. Paleo Healthy Fats

Paleolista. What’s Wrong with Ghee?

Pure Indian Food. Paleo Diet and Ghee

The Paleo List. Is Ghee Paleo?


Beverly Meyer. Is Ghee Good?

Paleo Porn. Is Ghee Paleo?

The Paleo Mama. Oh My Ghee Fat Bombs

Paleo Magazine. OMghee Review: An excellent addition to your Paleo diet

Dr. Axe. Are Ghee Benefits Better Than Butter?

The World’s Healthiest Foods. What are the advantages and disadvantages of butter and ghee when it comes to cooking?

Other Names for Ghee

Clarified butter, butter oil, drawn butter

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photo credit: Ghee Done