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Q: Cholesterol in clarified butter ( No Answer,   6 Comments )
Subject: Cholesterol in clarified butter
Category: Health > Fitness and Nutrition
Asked by: paulhoffman-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 17 Jan 2003 15:30 PST
Expires: 16 Feb 2003 15:30 PST
Question ID: 144942
After you clarify butter, are the levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol
higher or lower, and by how much?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Cholesterol in clarified butter
From: solutionpro_ga-ga on 18 Jan 2003 02:23 PST
Ghee is the traditional Sanskrit word for clarified butter. Ghee is
simply the butter oil, without the lactose and other milk solids
(which makes it suitable for people who are lactose intolerant).
Clarified butter Also called drawn butter or ghee. Simply defined,
clarified butter is unsalted butter that has the milk solids and water
removed so all that remains is pure liquid golden-yellow butterfat.
The advantages of this type of butter is its long keeping quality
(several months refrigerated) and its high smoke point (can be used in
frying without burning). To clarify butter, melt unsalted butter in a
heavy saucepan over low heat. Skim off the froth from the top and
carefully pour the clear liquid into a jar, leave the milky residue
behind. Clarified butter is used in sautÚs, sauces and in baked

Butter, 1 tsp butter (5g)
Calories: 45
Protein: 0.4g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 5.0g
Fiber: 0.0g

Ghee, 1 tsp ghee
Calories: 45
Protein: 0.0g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 5.0g
Fiber: 0.0g

Even though ghee is technically a saturated fat, its molecular
structure differs from other animal fats, because it is a short-chain
fatty acid (easily assimilated by the body) rather than a short-chain
fatty acid (not metabolized by the body and leading to cancer and
blood clots). It is much more nourishing and, if used in moderation,
does not raise cholesterol, according to research.

Ghee has many remarkable qualities. It contains:

Eight percent lower saturated fatty acids than any other edible oil or
fat, making it the easiest fat to digest.

Has no protein casein, which raises cholesterol levels and is removed
during its preparation.

Contains antioxidant Vitamin E, and is the only edible vegetarian fat
that contains Vitamin A. These antioxidants help prevent the formation
of lipid peroxides, which trigger the process of atherosclerosis and
cause damage to DNA in the cells. According to one study, ghee does
not contain cholesterol oxidation products.

Contains four to five percent linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid
that promotes growth and development of the body's tissues and organs.
"Essential fatty acid" means that the body cannot produce the fat
itself, and must ingest linoleic acid in foods in order to function

Remains fresh for three or four months when stored at room
temperature, removing the risk of rancidity and oxidation.

Doesn't burn when used to sautÚ or fry vegetables. This is important,
because burned oil or butter becomes carcinogenic, creates free
radicals, and is hard to digest.
Subject: Re: Cholesterol in clarified butter
From: paulhoffman-ga on 18 Jan 2003 08:48 PST
The previous comment, from solutionpro_ga-ga, doesn't answer the
question, so I am still seeking an answer. I would also note that the
previous comment makes some strong statements that are not supported
by scientfic references (for example, clarified butter still obviously
contains water, as does all organic matter). And, yes, I'm quite
familar with ghee, and make it all the time; that's why I am asking
about the differences from a Western nutritional standpoint.
Subject: Re: Cholesterol in clarified butter
From: tehuti-ga on 18 Jan 2003 10:13 PST
I've tried looking for this in various ways and cannot find any
credible reference to changes in liprotein and cholesterol content
occuring during the clarifying process. Maybe another researcher will
have more success.

I did find an abstract of a study which looks at the effect on
cholesterol levels of feeding rats with ghee alone or in combination
with fish oil or soy oil, which might be of interest to you:
Subject: Re: Cholesterol in clarified butter
From: efn-ga on 19 Jan 2003 22:01 PST
This doesn't answer the question either, but nonetheless:

My understanding is that the human body manufactures the lipoproteins
HDL and LDL in order to make it easier for oily substances like
cholesterol to flow through the watery environment of the bloodstream.
 So HDL and LDL are measured in blood samples, not food samples.

paulhoffman may have intended to ask about the effects of butter vs.
ghee on the HDL and LDL levels of people who consume one or the other,
but the question doesn't spell that out.

The UC Berkeley Wellness Letter says:

"Cholesterol is attached to protein packages called lipoproteins,
which are assembled in the liver and circulate in our bloodstream."


"The cholesterol that we eat is simply cholesterol—you can't consume
'good cholesterol.'"


Subject: Re: Cholesterol in clarified butter
From: sbmofo-ga on 23 Jan 2003 18:45 PST
The answer to your question is hidden in this flurry of comments
above, but just to be sure it's clear...
There is no change in HDL or LDL levels due to using clarified butter
vs regular butter.  The reason why is explained above by efn, in that
HDL’s and LDL’s are made in your body (the liver and intestines) based
on what kind of fats you eat.  The types of fats are, saturated,
monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.  LDLs increase and HDL’s remain
about the same when saturated fats (especially those found in butter)
are eaten.  Because clarifying butter does not change the fat that is
in it, the affect on your body’s cholesterol profile is the same.
Subject: Re: Cholesterol in clarified butter
From: paulhoffman-ga on 24 Jan 2003 07:58 PST
sbmofo-ga says: "Because clarifying butter does not change the fat
that is in it, the affect on your body?s cholesterol profile is the
same." Are there any studies that show that clarifying butter does not
change the fat?

Two things make me think that it is changed (although maybe not
significantly enough to change the eater's LDL and HDL):

- The consistency of clarified butter is completely different than the
consistency of regular butter. Clarified butter is nearly a liquid at
room temperature, and even when refrigerated, is much softer than

- When you finish clarifiying the butter, you remove solids that have
dropped to the bottom of the pan. This is usually well less than 5% of
the volume, but it is quite sludgy when cooled.

Still searching...

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