I know, I know – everyone out there is crazy for coconut oil. I am too. I absolutely love coconut oil and it truly is a very healthy fat option. However, I love ghee more and here are 5 reasons why.
1. Higher Smoke Point. Ghee’s smoke point (you know when the pan starts smoking and you get that acrid smell – that means you have released harmful free radicals) – is 485°F, which is higher than coconut oil’s smoke point of 350°F.
2. Rich in Vitamin A, D, E, K2 and CLA. When sourced from grass fed cows, ghee is chock full of Vitamin K2 (one of the fat soluble vitamins in the same class as Vitamin A, D, and E) and is one of the highest natural sources of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid – an antioxidant with anti-viral properties). Deficiency of K2 is rampant in our society due to our lack of grass fed animal fats in our diet and this has implications on heart and bone health and cancer and probably some other serious health conditions that are only just now being studied (read more). Coconut oil does not contain K2 or CLA.
3. Suitable for those with a dairy intolerance. Ghee is made from butter which is considered dairy, however, it is clarified through a long slow process to remove all moisture, milk solids, and impurities. Many who are lactose or casein intolerant have no issue with ghee. Many on the Paleo diet also consume ghee. (Alright – I concede this is also a reason coconut oil is awesome but some people are allergic to coconuts so this is a good alternative for them!)
4. Ancient wisdom recognition as essential. The medical science of India, Ayurveda, views ghee as an essential part of a balanced diet, and considers it to be the best fat one can eat. Many herbal preparations use ghee as a carrier oil because herbs and spices coated in ghee can easily penetrate lipid-based cell walls in the body, where they can provide the most benefit.
5. The magic of butyric acid. Ghee is rich in natural antioxidants, composed primarily of short chain fatty acids, and its cholesterol fraction resists oxidation. These short chain fatty acids are metabolized and used for incredible energy immediately by the liver. These also come into play to help to control metabolism, inflammation, and stress (source).
This is all in good fun because clearly coconut oil has benefits as well being full of healthy lauric acid and medium chain fatty acids. For me the choice comes down to taste and I value the buttery flavor of ghee over the coco-nutty flavor of coconut oil on my cooked food! I do tend to use coconut oil more for baking and ghee for cooking for this reason.
So what do you think? Do you like ghee or coconut oil better?