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Is Clarified Butter the Ideal fat?

by (787)
Updated October 30, 2014 at 5:04 AM
Created March 04, 2014 at 8:41 AM

I've recently started eating a lot of Clarified Butter/Ghee as i tried some that was lurking in my cupboard for over a year and the energy it gave me is the best i've had from any fat, almost instant like coconut oil but it tastes better and it has more nutrients.

Having a look on cronometer it has a great fat profile aswell...

31g Fat:

19.2g Saturated

8.9g Monounsaturated

1.1g Polyunsaturated - 0.4g Omega 3 (28%dv) & 0.7g Omega 6 (4%dv)

Trans Fats: 1.2g (some of which must be CLA)

Seems like the Indians were right to value this stuff so highly, in the ancient Ayurvedic health system Ghee is considered the most essential & sacred food, believed to help with many things including the intellect/memory which to me makes sense considering the positive effects of SFCA/MCFA's on brain function. Whenever I cook with it I feel like i'm absorbing more of my food.

Any suggestions on tasty ways of using it, making your own (preferably in a slow cooker), words of warning, are all welcome...

Cheers!

Edit:

Some studies i came across recently

The effect of ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC321535...

High conjugated linoleic acid enriched ghee (clarified butter) increases the antioxidant and antiatherogenic potency in female Wistar rats:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766171/

Effects of cow ghee (clarified butter oil) & soybean oil on carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes in rats:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC351089...

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787 · May 27, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Never tried the paper coffee ones for filtering fats but I got a permanent style coffee filter that is gold plated but still cheap and never used a paper filter since as it works so well. I always found the paper ones that I used a bit hit & miss when straining finely ground herbal teas.

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787 · May 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I usually eat 30-100g carbs, 30-90g protein and the rest is fat so if I only got my fat from cuts of meat i'd really struggle to meet energy needs, unless I ate pork belly everyday! If I ate higher carb then it might work getting all my fat from cuts of meat. I agree that what is in nature is better and mothers milk is all over the place in nature, and butter oil is the essence of it. I get what your saying though ;)

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17136 · May 27, 2014 at 10:38 AM

I find using a paper coffee filter works better than a cheesecloth. Use a rubber band to keep it in the mouth of the glass jar and pour very slowly.

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787 · May 25, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Those studies i added to the original post seem to show (at least in animals/rats) that using Ghee prevents lipoprotein oxidation, even when the Ghee itself is oxidised, so even if LDL levels were raised as long as it ain't oxidizing its all gravy right? or ghee

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787 · May 25, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Oleic acid is the predominant fatty acid in butterfat

http://www.webexhibits.org/butter/compounds-fatty.html

"Oleic acid, which enables low density lipoprotein (LDL) to resist oxidation, was increased by 36–40% in serum lipids when ghee was used as the sole source of fat at a 10% level."

From an animal study, links in the original post at the top... I figure if your serum levels of oleic acid are raised then polyphenols aside it has just as much benefit as olive oil

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787 · May 25, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Those studies i added to the original post seem to show (at least in animals/rats) that using Ghee prevents lipoprotein oxidation, even when the Ghee itself is oxidised

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787 · March 06, 2014 at 12:59 PM

After gorging on Ghee I've switched back to olive oil for a bit, it certainly tastes fresher & love the zing of the polyphenols, I can see myself having lots olive oil salads during summer & more cooking with Ghee during the winter months. Double checked & my Monounsaturated is usually higher than my Saturated.

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60 · March 05, 2014 at 11:18 PM

Ah. Although MUFA and SFA can be interconverted to some degree. I eat a variety of fats, but its fortunate that even if you didn't meat is generally more MUFA and SFA.

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60 · March 05, 2014 at 11:17 PM

I didn't meant to imply that carbs with butter was bad. Actually I was just pointing out that _sugars_ and triglycerides are both processed by the liver. Which probably isn't even an issue unless your a full on sugar junky with a clogged up liver. The only reason I mentioned beef and ldl, is that one fatty acid, palmitic is associated with a slight rise in LDL in animal studies (I didn't get one though, and I eat loads of dairy fats). Ghee doesn't have lactose or milk protein, and unlike milk its but butyric acid, so yes its less dairy than other dairy.

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787 · March 05, 2014 at 9:09 PM

This stuff is real nice after sitting in my cupboard for over a year, it's no longer available in the UK, but its too expensive anyway, for the amount i want to use it ;)

I'm sure that homemade wins as it usually does, i'm gonna use raw pastured butter which can't hurt, looking forward to putting a jar of it in the back of my cupboard & aging it for a few years, supposedly the older the better, just gotta make sure i get all the water out

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58 · March 05, 2014 at 8:57 PM

I've only tried one store-bought ghee- this kind. It was ok but nothing compared to the homeade stuff which is heaven.

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787 · March 05, 2014 at 8:53 PM

I've just seen suggestions for both ways & wondered what you do yourself, i guess with the top on it will reach a stable heat faster, but i'm guessing it will also get condensation & then take longer to burn off the water. Butter can't have that much water in it though right... Btw this Ghee i got today is unbelievable, i can't stop smelling it, i hope my homemade Ghee is something like this

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58 · March 05, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Hmm, I keep the top on, is there a reason not to?

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787 · March 05, 2014 at 8:44 PM

I'm definitely going to go for a blood test in a few months once i've been strict with what i feel is an optimal diet for myself, i can see clarified butter being the foundation of my diet over the next few months so should be interesting. Although i don't eat much beef and technically clarified butter isn't that 'dairy' right?

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787 · March 05, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Has anyone here tried human breast milk Ghee? :)

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787 · March 05, 2014 at 7:24 PM

I think i hypocritically inspired myself, i bought some sweet potatoes on the way home tonight, steamed w/broccoli, crushed then added a few spoons of grassfed ghee & salted butter, yum!

Edit: Maybe yum, but still spikes my insulin :( back on the wagon tomorrow i guess, more fat!!!

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787 · March 05, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Cheers, the liquid gold is loveable, i got a jar of some Alpine Grassfed Ghee today, so yellow & lovely!

So do you leave the top off your crock pot? I'm gonna try use paper coffee filters, but im not expecting them to work great even though ive seen them used on youtube. Will invest in one of those gold plated permanent coffee filter thingys though.

Recently ive been eating straight Ghee during the day, the energy it gives me is great, cookie butter sounds delicious!

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787 · March 05, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Oleic acid is the highest of all the fatty acids in butter, and it's also been shown to raise Oleic acid serum levels (at least in animals/see comments below)

http://www.webexhibits.org/butter/compounds-fatty.html

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41471 · March 05, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Oleic acid increases membrane fluidity. You don't want stiff membranes, which is what you'll get with saturated fatty acids.

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787 · March 05, 2014 at 7:19 AM

I mostly eat low carb so no problem with sugar, the sweet potato crowd might think twice before covering them in butter, although if i was to eat a sweet potato i'll be damned if i don't cover it butter!

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60 · March 05, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Olive oil doesn't have any short chain or medium chain triglycerides - it doesn't boost fat metabolism and thus create associated weight loss. Indeed what benefit does it have besides raising HDL? (which if your lipids are healthy, and your nutrition and exercise is up there, you don't chronic cardio or smoke or have high blood pressure, or too much omega-6, inflammation or oxidation, doesn't really do anything). Im genuinely curious. What does oleic acid do besides raise HDL?

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60 · March 05, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Interesting line of thought, and ill partially agree. Saturated fats are quite diverse. Although butter does have palmitic acid, which can raise LDL, especially in the susceptable. Add a lot of beef in the diet, and its probably not ideal (then again if your healthy, as per below, it may not matter).

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60 · March 04, 2014 at 11:56 PM

I believe palmitic and stearic acid, the fatty acids found in beef, are the ones that in the susceptible (imo mostly apob mutation carriers) than can raise LDL. LDL on its own wont cause issues, from what I understand, but if your eating a butload of beef or dairy, the odd blood lipid test might not be insane. Of course, the raised metabolism is healthy, and my LDL is normal and I do plenty of dairy, so not a stress, just a crossing of "T"'s really.

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60 · March 04, 2014 at 11:53 PM

Thats the short chain jobbie. I guess some other benefits might come from being preformed into triglycerides. Although this does suggest, crudely, to me, that people who eat lots of butter, should probably not load the liver with sugar (the liver handles lipid metabolism, but also fructose). Not that any of us are loading with sugar!

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60 · March 04, 2014 at 11:50 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyric_acid

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787 · March 04, 2014 at 1:25 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfat

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787 · March 04, 2014 at 1:20 PM

The quick mental energy I get from clarified butter definitely makes me want to know more about it, 85%+ of my diet is fat and this is the best feeling fuel I've come across thus far.

I'd love to know more about its fatty acid content & its effects on the human body for sure.

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787 · March 04, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Also does anyone know why some Ghee stays half oil/half solid at room temp? I bought a tin of it the other day like this, i'm thinking it's because its cheap stuff.

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787 · March 04, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Cheers! I think i'll do that but do it in a slow cooker as my electric hob is hard to get on a constant low setting. Also I won't keep it in the fridge, in Ayruveda aged Ghee is held in high regard and I can somewhat attest to that as the best Ghee I currently have is a year old jar just kept in my cupboard, just have to be careful to keep moisture out.

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1169 · May 27, 2014 at 12:10 PM

I've never tried it. On the basis that what is in nature is best them eating the fat off the side of a piece of steak is going to better for you than anything processed even butter.

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787 · May 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I usually eat 30-100g carbs, 30-90g protein and the rest is fat so if I only got my fat from cuts of meat i'd really struggle to meet energy needs, unless I ate pork belly everyday! If I ate higher carb then it might work getting all my fat from cuts of meat. I agree that what is in nature is better and mothers milk is all over the place in nature, and butter oil is the essence of it. I get what your saying though ;)

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41471 · March 04, 2014 at 11:58 PM

Fine, I'll rain on the ghee party… It's a good fat, not the best though. Too high in saturated fats, not enough MUFAs. i.e. It's not olive oil.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · March 05, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Interesting line of thought, and ill partially agree. Saturated fats are quite diverse. Although butter does have palmitic acid, which can raise LDL, especially in the susceptable. Add a lot of beef in the diet, and its probably not ideal (then again if your healthy, as per below, it may not matter).

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · March 05, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Olive oil doesn't have any short chain or medium chain triglycerides - it doesn't boost fat metabolism and thus create associated weight loss. Indeed what benefit does it have besides raising HDL? (which if your lipids are healthy, and your nutrition and exercise is up there, you don't chronic cardio or smoke or have high blood pressure, or too much omega-6, inflammation or oxidation, doesn't really do anything). Im genuinely curious. What does oleic acid do besides raise HDL?

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58 · March 04, 2014 at 4:24 PM

I make Ghee about once a week and LOVE LOVE LOVE it

Instructions:

I use a crock pot, it's usually on low for 6-8 hours or high for around 4. Wait 'til the white froth looks to be covering the entire surface and a lot of crackling has ceased before you turn it off. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Scoop off the milk solids from the top (this keeps your filter from getting too clogged), then use pot holders to pour into a glass measuring cup (it helps to have a spout and handle). I used to use cheesecloth but it was ALWAYS a disaster, I ended up wasting so much ghee and making a mess. Now I use a mesh coffee filter I have from an old coffee maker, but ideally you would use something like this that doesn't have plastic on it. Then you can simply put the strainer over an empty glass jar and pour your liquid from your handy dandy measuring cup through the strainer, rotating it as necessary. NOTE: if your ghee turns dark it's still good! You'll get more of a caramel flavor which is amazing combined with sweeter flavors.

Ways to use:

I do a modified bulletproof coffee fast (using ghee instead of butter) throughout the day, so if I get hungry I literally will sprinkle some sea salt onto a spoonful of ghee and eat it (though not in one go). I eat 4 brazil nuts during this time as a selenium supplement, and find that slathering them with salted ghee is my absolute favorite way to eat them.

During the evening or if I'm not fasting, ghee is my optimal fat for veggies and salmon....salmon, ghee and dill are so amazing together I could cry. I'll mix it with Almond butter (even better if it's more of an amber color) stevia and cacao nibs for a cookie butter like result. If Im doing any paleo baking, I use it instead of butter or coconut oil. I'm looking for more ideas as well!

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787 · March 05, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Cheers, the liquid gold is loveable, i got a jar of some Alpine Grassfed Ghee today, so yellow & lovely!

So do you leave the top off your crock pot? I'm gonna try use paper coffee filters, but im not expecting them to work great even though ive seen them used on youtube. Will invest in one of those gold plated permanent coffee filter thingys though.

Recently ive been eating straight Ghee during the day, the energy it gives me is great, cookie butter sounds delicious!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
17136 · May 27, 2014 at 10:38 AM

I find using a paper coffee filter works better than a cheesecloth. Use a rubber band to keep it in the mouth of the glass jar and pour very slowly.

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60 · March 04, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Before the study even came back showing that dairy fats are associated with reduced BMI, I was theorizing on here that short chain fatty acids should behave just like medium chain ones, and boost metabolism.

Ive always loved me a bit of full fat cream, or greek yogurt. Not to go mad on any one fat source, I like to mix it up, some dairy, some coconut, some salmon, some beef, lamb, olive, avocado, nuts....

Although, for the breakdown you mention. I think with any saturated fat, if we can, we should go beyond the macros', and look as much as the limited science has made possible at the individual micro's. Moreso than carbs, or PUFA's, there are different kinds of SFA's, with quite different effects on health and the body.

And I don't know the answer to this question....but what studies have been done (maybe anomal studies), on the individual dairy fats (particularly the short chain)? We know like lauric acid they can up metabolism, lower BMI. But what else do we know about them, and what SFA's are even in dairy (too late and too tired for me to be bothered even googling).

If your going to load a lot on a particular fat source, I think it's a good idea to know more about it, if you can.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · March 04, 2014 at 11:56 PM

I believe palmitic and stearic acid, the fatty acids found in beef, are the ones that in the susceptible (imo mostly apob mutation carriers) than can raise LDL. LDL on its own wont cause issues, from what I understand, but if your eating a butload of beef or dairy, the odd blood lipid test might not be insane. Of course, the raised metabolism is healthy, and my LDL is normal and I do plenty of dairy, so not a stress, just a crossing of "T"'s really.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · March 05, 2014 at 11:17 PM

I didn't meant to imply that carbs with butter was bad. Actually I was just pointing out that _sugars_ and triglycerides are both processed by the liver. Which probably isn't even an issue unless your a full on sugar junky with a clogged up liver. The only reason I mentioned beef and ldl, is that one fatty acid, palmitic is associated with a slight rise in LDL in animal studies (I didn't get one though, and I eat loads of dairy fats). Ghee doesn't have lactose or milk protein, and unlike milk its but butyric acid, so yes its less dairy than other dairy.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · March 04, 2014 at 11:53 PM

Thats the short chain jobbie. I guess some other benefits might come from being preformed into triglycerides. Although this does suggest, crudely, to me, that people who eat lots of butter, should probably not load the liver with sugar (the liver handles lipid metabolism, but also fructose). Not that any of us are loading with sugar!

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c
787 · March 04, 2014 at 1:20 PM

The quick mental energy I get from clarified butter definitely makes me want to know more about it, 85%+ of my diet is fat and this is the best feeling fuel I've come across thus far.

I'd love to know more about its fatty acid content & its effects on the human body for sure.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · March 04, 2014 at 11:50 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyric_acid

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c
787 · March 04, 2014 at 1:25 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfat

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17136 · March 04, 2014 at 10:56 AM
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c
787 · March 04, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Cheers! I think i'll do that but do it in a slow cooker as my electric hob is hard to get on a constant low setting. Also I won't keep it in the fridge, in Ayruveda aged Ghee is held in high regard and I can somewhat attest to that as the best Ghee I currently have is a year old jar just kept in my cupboard, just have to be careful to keep moisture out.

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