Is Ghee Dairy Free? Health Benefits of Ghee

While derived from dairy, ghee undergoes a clarification process that removes most of the milk solids, lactose, and casein. Hence, it’s often well-tolerated by individuals with dairy sensitivities. However, it is not strictly dairy-free as it originates from a dairy source.


Dairy-Free Alternates to Ghee

Coconut Oil

This is a plant-based fat that’s solid at room temperature. It can be used similarly to ghee and has a slight coconut flavor. It’s rich in medium-chain triglycerides.

Olive Oil

A staple in Mediterranean diets, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It has a distinct flavor and is best for low to medium-heat cooking.

Avocado Oil

This oil has a high smoke point, making it a good choice for high-heat cooking. It has a mild flavor and is rich in heart-healthy fats.

Vegan Butter

Vegan butter is made from a blend of oils and attempts to mimic the taste and texture of dairy butter. It’s good for spreading and baking.

Palm Shortening

It’s a semi-solid fat that’s derived from palm oil. It has a neutral flavor and is often used in baking.

Dairy-Free Alternates to Ghee

Ghee vs. Dairy-Free Butter

Origin: Ghee is made from dairy butter, while dairy-free butter is made from plant-based oils.

Lactose and Casein: Ghee contains trace amounts of these dairy components, potentially affecting those with severe dairy allergies. Dairy-free butter doesn’t contain any lactose or casein.

Taste: Ghee has a rich, nutty flavor that comes from the caramelization of milk solids during its production. Depending on the brand and ingredients, dairy-free butter may have a flavor closer to traditional butter but can vary.

Cooking: Ghee has a high smoke point, making it excellent for high-heat cooking. Depending on the type of dairy-free butter, it may not be suitable for high-heat cooking.

Nutrition: Ghee is high in saturated fat and vitamins like A, E, and K. Dairy-free butter’s nutritional profile can vary significantly depending on its ingredients.

Dairy-Free Butter

Dairy-Free Ghee Recipe


  • 2 cups of organic, unrefined coconut oil.


  • Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • As the oil melts, it will bubble, and a foamy layer will appear on the surface.
  • Continue to cook on low heat until the bubbling subsides and the foamy layer starts to form crusty clusters. This can take up to 20 minutes.
  • Carefully strain the oil through a cheesecloth into a heat-resistant container, leaving the crusty clusters behind.
  • Let it cool. Your dairy-free “ghee” is ready to use. Store it in a cool, dry place.

Health Benefits of Ghee

High Smoke Point: Ghee has a high smoke point (around 485 degrees F), making it an excellent choice for high-heat cooking. It doesn’t break down into free radicals like many other oils.

Rich in Vitamins: Ghee is packed with fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K. Vitamin A is essential for eye health, vitamin E is an antioxidant, and vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting.

Contains Butyrate: This short-chain fatty acid in ghee is beneficial for gut health. It serves as a source of energy for the cells lining the colon, helping maintain the gastrointestinal tract’s health and integrity.

Lactose Friendly: Most of the lactose and casein are removed during the clarification process of ghee. This makes ghee suitable for people with lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivities.

Promotes Healthy Skin: The vitamins and fatty acids in ghee nourish the skin, promoting a glowing complexion. It’s often used in Ayurvedic skincare routines.

Supports Weight Loss: In some studies, Ghee contains medium-chain fatty acids, like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), associated with improved weight loss. However, ghee should be consumed in moderation due to its high-calorie content.

Health Benefits of Ghee

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ghee vegan?

No, ghee is not vegan. It is derived from butter, a dairy product obtained from cows. Veganism excludes all animal products, including dairy.

Is ghee vegetarian?

Yes, ghee is vegetarian. It’s made from butter, a dairy product, and vegetarian diets typically include dairy products.

Is ghee gluten-free?

Yes, ghee is gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. As ghee is made from butter, it does not contain any gluten.

Is ghee lactose-free?

Almost. The process of making ghee removes most of the lactose. However, it may still contain trace amounts, potentially affecting those with severe lactose intolerance.

Is ghee healthy?

Ghee is high in saturated fats but contains vitamins A, E, and K. It has a high smoke point, making it a good choice for cooking. However, like any high-fat food, it should be consumed in moderation.

Is ghee easy to digest and good for colon health?

Yes, ghee is often considered easy to digest, especially for those who have trouble with other forms of dairy. It contains butyrate, a type of fatty acid that supports colon health. However, individual reactions can vary, so listening to your body is always best.


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

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