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Ghee and Butter: What’s the Difference?

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  Published on May 21st, 2020
  Reading time: 2 minutes
  Last modified January 24th, 2023

Ghee and butter are both commonly consumed on the ketogenic diet, but what exactly is the difference?

What is Butter?

Butter is a dairy product made from milk or cream. Butter is a semi-solid emulsion that contains both fat and protein. 1 tbsp of butter contains approximately 100 calories, 12g of fat (7g of which are from saturated fat, 3g from monounsaturated fat), 0g of carbohydrates, and 0.1g of protein. Butter also contains a small amount of vitamin A.

What is Ghee?

Ghee is clarified butter, meaning it is a byproduct of regular butter with the milk solids and casein removed.  This makes ghee a better option for individuals who are lactose intolerant or have any kind of casein sensitivities or allergies.

Key Differences Between the Two


  • Less dairy
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • The higher amount of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)


  • Has a lower smoke point
  • Has a longer shelf life
  • Has a higher amount of vitamin A

How to Choose Between Ghee and Butter

If you have ever tried to heat butter at too high a temperature, you know that it will turn brown and start to smoke. Ghee has a much higher smoke point than butter, making it a better option for cooking at higher temperatures.

The smoke point of butter is around 350°F.  The smoke point of ghee is around 485°F. When cooking at temperatures  350°F or higher, opt for ghee. If you do not have lactose sensitivities, choose butter when cooking at temperatures 350°F or below.


ghee and butter

Keto Recipes

Here are some delicious keto recipes to try making at home. You can swap between ghee or butter as you choose, just remember that ghee has a higher smoke point and butter will burn quicker.

At ketogenic.com, we are committed to supporting, inspiring, and educating people on the benefits of living a ketogenic lifestyle. We do this by bringing together the top researchers, practitioners, and thought-leaders who provide resources, experience, and awareness associated around the Ketogenic diet. Utilizing the latest cutting-edge research along with practical experience, the team at ketogenic.com aims to foster awareness, understanding, and connectedness in helping others optimize their life on a ketogenic diet.

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