Briefly explained 18 best healthy vegan substitute for ghee, their nutritional values and their health effects whether positive or negative on each individual in different conditions.
Ghee is the main and common ingredient in Indian cuisine and in middle Eastern cuisine. It is consumed by the people all over the world, as most of the people now love to have Indian food for it’s taste and not only in Indian food it is also consumed in various foods (like in cookies, cakes) as well as in the form of medicine and in religious rituals also, wordwide.
Before moving towards to discuss about vegan substitute for ghee first of all we have to understand why we need to find to substitute ghee. Do we really need it?
Although ghee is very nutritious and healthy but it contains too much of fat. Bofore moving forward, let’s discuss about nutritional values of ghee as well as it’s positive and negative aspects.
Nutritional Value Of Ghee
- Saturated fatty acid 53.9 to 66.8
- Unsaturated fatty acid 22.8 to 38
- Other fatty acids 3.5 to 10.8Cholesterol range. 252 to 283mg/100grams
Ghee is the ideal option for deep frying as it’s smoke point is 250°C, which is higher than most of the other vegetable oils.
It consists of fat almost, so if you are fatty or want to loose wait… it’d not be the best option for you.
On the other hand if you are too slim and under weight then you should consume ghee to increase your muscles.
Ghee reduces to explore the cancer it nourishes hair and skin by moisturizing and nutritions to it.
Let’s see what are healthy vegan substitute for ghee available.
Healthy Vegan Substitute For Ghee
1. Light Olive Oil
Olive oil is obtained from olive fruits. Olive oil is used in cooking deep frying and as salad dressing. It is very popular and healthy too. It can be the best option as a vegan substitute for ghee.
Olive Oil Nutritional Facts
- 13.8% saturated fatty acids
- 73% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 10.5% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Olive oil contains mainly upto 83% of oleic acid.Less amount of fatty acids including lenoleic acid upro 21%Palmitic acid upto 20%
Olive oil’s smoke point is 230°C.
Olive Oil’s Effect On Health
- Olive oil is an important cooking oil amongst all edible oils.
- Extra virgin olive oil is used for salad dressings and considered best to be eaten with cold foods as extra virgin olive oils have low smoke points aroud 180-215°C.
- Refined light olive oil is good for deep frying, shallow frying as it has smoke point approx. 230°C.
- It has higher resistance to oxidation in comparison to any other vegetable oil as it contains antioxidant and mono saturated fat content.
2. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is an edible vegan oil extracted from the Pulp of avocado fruit. Avocado oil can be used as a row and for cooking as well as it’s smoke point is very high so it’s very good for deep frying. It is one of the best vegan substitute for ghee.
Avocado oil’s Smoke point is 271°C.
Avocado Oil Nutritional Facts
- 11.6% saturated fatty acids
- 70.6% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 13.5% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Avocado Oil’s Effect On Health
- Avocado oil is a tasteless oil and having the property to enhance the taste of any food.
- Due to its high Smoke point it is used in every types of cooking — derp frying, sauteing stir frying.
- Avocado is a rich source of vitamin E(3.6mg /30ml) and beta sitosterol(146.1mg / 30ml).
- It helps body to absorb fat soluble vitamins.
- Avocado contains high quantity of oleic acid which is unsaturated fat which makes it hurt healthy oil.
- Avocado oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fat as well, which helps to decrease LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
- Avocado oil is the best option for cooking as it contains highest quantity of monounsaturated fat but the only drawback of this oil is it tends to be expensive.
3. Soybean Oil
Soybean oil is derived from soyabean beans seeds. It is second most consumed vegetable oil and is widely consumed as cooking oil. Soyabean oil shelf life is 6 months to 1 year in a refrigerator. This is this second best alternative as to substitute for ghee.
Soybean Oil Nutritional Facts
- 16% saturated fatty acids
- 23% monounsaturated fatty acids
- 58% polyunsaturated fatty acids
Soybean oil Smoke point is 238°C.
Soybean Oil Effects On Health
- Soybean oil is commonly used in deep frying and baking and as salad dressings as well.
- Soybean oil is an excellent source of Omega 3s, which is good for cardiovascular health and may reduce blood pressure levels.
- According to American Heart Association, Soybean oil contains natural Omega 6 fatty acids which replaces the bad cholesterol or saturated fat in the blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart diseases.
- It contains Vitamin E and antioxidants which promotes skin and hair health.
- Reduces cholesterol levels.
- Also prevents the bone loss.
4. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil is a very good option to substitute for ghee. It is derived from grinding mustard seeds. It is a traditional oil for cooking used in various countries. Whether it is restricted also in some countries due to the high quantity of erucic acid in it although varities of mustard oil with low volume of erucic acid are also available.
Mustard Oil Nutritional Facts
- 60% of monounsaturated fatty acid
- 21% polyunsaturated fats and
- 15% saturated fat
Mustard oil Smoke point is 249°C so it is is good for deep frying, stiring and Shallow frying.
Mustard Oil’s Effects On Health
There is a myth about mustard oil that it may cause coma, cancer, diarrhoea but it’s not infact. No one will drink any oil in such a quantity as the water is consumed. It is always consumed in a limited quantity and if mustard oil is taken in such quantity and in pure form then it is amongst the most beneficial oils.
- It controls the cholesterol level. In winters it helps to keep your body warm.
- It contains natural antioxidants and natural fatty acids so it’s very good to keep your heart healthy.
- Mustard oid is not only beneficial if it is eaten. It’s also useful, if apply on hair.
- It provides nourishment and helps to moisturize the hair and scalp both and to skin as well.
- It reduces inflammation and irritation on the skin and scalp instantly.
5. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is very delicious and contains healthy fat, if it is added in your diet it can be the best option to substitute for ghee. Sesame oil is derived from sesame seeds.
It is available worldwide and contains the shelf life of around 12 months and never refill the old bottle with new and fresh sesame oil even few drops of sesame oil may break down the cells of new and fresh oil. So always replace the whole bottle and avoid refilling.
Sesame Oil Nutritional Facts
- 14.2% saturated fatty acids
- 39.7% monounsaturated fatty acids
- 41.7% polyunsaturated fatty acids
And rest percentage contains Palmitic acid a saturated fat. It contains high percentage of vitamin K as well.
Sesame oil Smoke point is 232°C.
Sesame Oil’s Effects On Health
- Light sesame oil has high Smoke point so it is good for deep frying where as toasted sesame oil can be used for steel fry the vegetables only.
- According to traditional Ayurvedic medicines, sesame oil is used for massaging the body.
- It is used in various medicines and injections.
- It is used in various cosmetic products also.
- Sesame oil contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- It helps to keep healthy your heart joint skin and hair.
6. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is non volatile oil derived from the seeds of sunflower it is one of the most common oil used in deep fry cooking. Sunflower oil’s shelf life is around 2 years. It contains slightly nutty flavour and is used in sauteing, stir-fry, deep frying and in baking as well. A good vegan substitute for ghee.
Sunflower Oil Nutritional Facts
- 59% polyunsaturated fatty acid
- 30% monounsaturated fatty acid
- 11% saturated fatty acid
It contains huge amount of Vitamin E
Sunflower oil Smoke point is 227°C.
Sunflower Oil’s Effects On Health
- Refined Sunflower oil can be used for low to Extreme high temperature cooking.
- Unrefined Sunflower oil is used in traditional salad dressing also.
- Sunflower oil dietary supplements are used to treat eczema also, although, medical evidences are lack to proof this theory.
- It is used to cook snacks foods like chips, french fries, potato chips.
- Sunflower oil is good option to substitute for keep to keep your heart healthy.
- It contains high percentage of Vitamin E which helps to prevent dangerous free radicals to oxidize bad cholesterol.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is derived from the milk of coconut palm tree. It is liquid on normal room temperature but at below 25°C it tends to be Semi solid to solid. Coconut oil shelf life is approx 24 months. In unrefined coconut oil you can smell a distinct Aroma of coconut. Coconut oil is also increasingly cooking oil and it can be a vegan substitute for ghee.
Nutritional Facts Of Coconut Oil
- 88.5% saturated fatty acids
- 6.5% monounsaturated fatty acids and
- 5% polyunsaturated fatty acids
Coconut oil Smoke point is 177°C.
Coconut Oil’s Effects On Health
Coconut oil has become very popular as a cooking oil by inappropriate and inaccurate marketing tactics. Many organisation like American Heart Association and American Diabetic Association are against to the consumption of coconut oil as edible because it contains high percentage of saturated fatty acids.
- In several studies coconut oil is found just similar to any bad oil like palm oil, beef fat and butter.
- It contains high quantity of lauric acid which increases blood cholesterol levels by increasing both high density lipoprotein(HDL) cholesterol and low density lipoprotein(LDL) cholesterol.
- Consumption of coconut oil for a long time increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Apart from all these coconut oil is widely used in Sri Lankan cuisine.
- It is also used in movie theatres to pop the popcorn.
- It is also used in snack foods to enhance its flavour.
- It can also be used in baking foods and sauteing.
8. Canola Oil
Canola oil is a kind of vegetable oil which is derived from canola plant seeds. It is most common and available in the local market of farmers. Its shelf life is approx 24 months. Canola oil is very healthy and it is one of the best option as vegan substitute for ghee.
Canola Oil Nutritional Facts
- 7.4% saturated fatty acids
- 63.3% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 28.1% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Canola oil Smoke point is 238°C.
Canola Oil’s Effects On Health
- Canola oil is very healthy as it contains very low percentage of saturated fat that is only 7%.
- It contains significant amount of phytosterols that reduces the cholesterol absorption into the body.
- It contains vitamin E and Vitamin K as well which is very good for skin and hair.
- A research conducted by US Canola Association reviewed that it contains a good percentage of Alpha linolenic acid which shows moderate effect to lower the risk of heart disease, bone fracture and type 2 diabetes.
- It contains both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and high percentage of Monounsaturated fat which reduces the risk of heart disease.
9. Clarified Butter
Clarified butter is derived from normal butter by separating milk content and water from butterfat. If the butter is derived from any nut milk then it’s vegan, otherwise if it is derived by dairy butter or Dairy Milk then it is non vegan. It’s shelf life is around 3 months and can be stored for a year in refrigerator. It can be used as non vegan substitute for ghee.
Clarified butter is silky and smooth in texture and having buttery flavour. It has higher Smoke point so it’s good for regular cooking and sauteing. It can be used as to substitute for a ghee.
Clarified butter Smoke point is 250°C.
Clarified Butter’s Effects On Health
- Clarified butter and ghee both are equally interchangeable and the only difference is, taste.
- There is no major difference in ghee and clarified butter. It’s just if you get bored by having ghee all the time then replace it with butter just for the sake of taste, flavour and smell.
10. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is a kind of a vegetable oil which is derived from the seeds of grapes. Opened grapeseed oil’s shelf life is about 12 months if it is stored in a refrigerator and it tends to be Smoky or a little solid when you keep it in refrigerator. It contains very light taste and a clean texture. It can be a good vegan substitute for ghee.
Grapeseed oil Smoke point is 216°C.
Grape Seed Oil Nutritional Facts
- 10.5% saturated fatty acids
- 14.3% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 74.7% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Grape Seed Oil’s Effects On Health
- Grapeseed oil contains high percentage of polyunsaturated fat so it is a good option if used as to salad dressings.
- It is also used in the preparation of Mayonnaise.
- Grapeseed oil is widely used in in bakery industry for baking stuffs, Wafers, pancakes.
- Grapeseed oil contains negligible amount of polyphenols so so it lowers the risk of any disease but adequate researches are lack.
- Grapeseed oil is high in polyunsaturated fat and low in saturated fat so it replaces the cholesterol from the blood vessels and helps maintains the blood pressure.
- Grapeseed oil should be consumed in moderation like one small spoon in a day, as it is high in calories so over intake may lead to obesity as well.
11. Peanut/ Groundnut Oil
Peanut oil is also known as groundnut oil, it is edible vegetable oil derived from peanuts. Peanut oil is usually flavorless or mild flavoured oil, if it is derived from roasted peanuts then it contains stronger Aroma of peanut. It is one of the good option as a vegan substitute for ghee. Since it’s Smoke point is high, it is widely used in deep frying like french fries, potato chips and others. It is also used for salad dressing as well.
Peanut oil Smoke point is 232°C. It can be used as vegan substitute for ghee
Peanut Oil Nutritional Facts
- 20.3% saturated fatty acids
- 48.1% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 31.5% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Peanut Oil’s Effects On Health
- Peanut oil should be used of best quality controled product brand, as it can contain the traces of hexane which is a byproduct of solid peanut’s oil separations. Hexane is found neurotoxic in rat studies.
- It is good for any type of cooking especially deep frying snacks.
12. Rice Bran Oil
Rice Bran oil is extracted from the outer hard brown shell of rice. It is considered to be a wonder oil in many countries. It has a high Smoke point so it’s a good option for high temperature for cookings like stir frying and deep frying. Rice bran oil’s shelf life is 1 to 2 years. It contains two types of Vitamin E tocophenols and tocotrienols. It can be used as vegan substitute for ghee.
Rice bran oil Smoke point is 232°C.
Rice Bran Oil Nutritional Facts
- 25% saturated fatty acids
- 38.4% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 36.6% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Rice Bran Oil’s Effects On Health
- Rice bran oil contains a rich quantity of Vitamin E, a fat soluble source which helps to immunity and blood vessels to keep healthy.
- Due to rich in vitamin E it boosts skin and hair health.
- It controls the blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance that helps in type 2 diabetes to maintain blood sugar levels.
- In several studies on mice shows that it reduces LDL cholesterol in blood and increases HDL cholesterol, thus improves heart health.
- It contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, in several studies it is found that it contains trocotrienols which inhibits inflammation.
- It also shows anti-cancer effects and can suppress the cancer cells in lungs, breast, liver, brain, pancreas and ovary.
13. Corn Oil
Corn oil is derived from the germ of corn. It’s high Smoke point makes refined corn oil good for high temperature cooking like deep frying. It can be used as vegan substitute for ghee.
Corn oil Smoke point is 232°C.
Corn Oil Nutritional Facts
- 12.9% saturated fatty acids
- 27.6% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 54.7% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Corn Oil’s Effects On Health
- It can help to control inflammation as it contains both monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.
- It contains both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which helps to relieve from Arthritis and headache.
- Corn oil also contains antioxidants and flavonoids such as lutein which helps to improve vision health as well and prevents cataracts.
- It helps you to look younger by improving your skin health as it contains Vitamin E and antioxidants naturally in a good amount.
- Single spoon of corn oil is sufficient for a person in a day as it contains good volume of polyunsaturated fat, if it is taken in a big amount it may induce heart disease.
14. Walnut Oil
Walnut oil is derived from walnuts and contains nutty flavour which is perfectly suitable for salad dressings, Italian cuisines like pasta and with desserts. Walnut oil’s shelf life is around 8 months when it stored in refrigerator where it tends to be cloudy or Semi solid arg returns to its normal consistency in normal room temperature.
It can be a substitute for ghee, if it is used for normal cooking. It is perfect for uncooked or cold foods like desserts, but since it contains low Smoke point it should not be used in deep frying or high temperature heat cooking because it will turn to slightly bitter in taste. It can be used as vegan substitute for ghee.
Although walnut oil is healthy as it contains very low amount of saturated fatty acids. Studies more focuses on walnut to consume as a whole and is more healthy instead of walnut oil.
Walnut oil Smoke point is 160°C.
Walnut Oil Nutritional Facts
- 9.1%saturated fatty acids
- 22.8% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 63.3% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Walnut Oil’s Effects On Health
- Walnut oil is very delicious and contains Omega 3 fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols.
- Polyphenols converts into beneficial compounds by your gut bacterias.
- Walnut oil lowers blood pressure and consuming it daily reduces heart risk.
- It helps to maintain blood sugar levels.
- It shows anticancer effects as well.
- Walnut oil stimulates skin growth, fights with skin disorders and promote wound healing.
- Regular intake of walnut or walnut oil lowers LDL or bad cholesterol in your blood and reduces heart risk.
15. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is also known as flax oil or linseed oil and is derived from the seeds of flax plants. Flaxseed oil is an edible oil which is in high demand as a dietary supplement nowadays. Flaxseed oil contains hi percentage of di and tri unsaturated esters whitch polymerize age when exposure to the oxygen in air and makes flaxseed oil dry. It should be stored in airtightly. A best vegan substitute for ghee for uncooked food.
Although flaxseed oil is rich of healthy nutrients but it should not be used to cook food. It can produce harmful compounds in the exposure of over heat as it has very low smoke point. To take advantage of all goodness to health of flaxseed oil, it should be consume in smoothies, cold milk, salad dressings, without heating it.
Flaxseed Oil Nutritional Facts
- 9% saturated fatty acids
- 18.4% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 67.8% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Flaxseed oil Smoke point is 107°C.
Flaxseed Oil’s Effects On Health
- Flaxseed oil is a heart healthy oil as it is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids. It’s one tablespoon equal to 15 ml flaxseed oil contains 7196mg of Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Omega 3 fatty acids present in flaxseeds not only improves your heart health and reduces inflammation it also protects brain from getting aging effects.
- In a study conducted on mice shows that flaxseed oil may prevent the spread of Cancer cell and lung tumors.
- Improves skin health by providing smothness and hydration.
16. Brazil Nut oil
Brazil nut is a South American tree which is commercial harvested to get edible seeds. Brazil nuts can be of 2 kgs in weight. These are found in Amazon rain forest. This oil is yellowish in colour with pleasant smell. Brazil nut oil is used to be used in cooking, skin care and hair care. Apart from fatty acids it contains phytosterol zinc copper vitamin D, C E and A.
Although Brazil nut oil is used in cooking but it is not recommended to cook food with brazil nut oil and it is not good to be used as substitute for ghee for cooking rather it should be used as a salad dressing and in smoothies and desserts. It can be used as vegan substitute for ghee.
Brazil nut oil Smoke point is 216°C.
Brazil Nut Oil Nutritional Facts
- 24.8% saturated fatty acids
- 32.7% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 42% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Brazil Nut Oil’s Effects On Health
- Brazil nut oil tends to be dry in texture so it can be easily and deeply absorb by the skin.
- It nourishes the skin and hair since it is a rich source of vitamin E.
- Brazil nut oil contains beta tocopherol and Beta sitosterol, unsaturated fatty acids, which give it an antioxidant and anticholesterol properties.
- It produces leukotrienes which reduces thrombo embolic problem and reduces the aggregation of platelets.
17. CottonSeed Oil
Cottonseed oil is a cooking oil which is derived from the seeds of cotton plants. It is light Golden colored and mild in texture with nutty taste. Cottonseed oil shelf life is 6 months to 1 year in refrigerator and it is not to be consumed if over time. It will become sticky and bad. Cottonseed oil is a popular in snack Food Industry for frying potato chips, french fries and other snacks. Not too good as to consider vegan substitute for ghee.
Cottonseed Oil Nutritional Facts
- 25.9% saturated fatty acids
- 17.8% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 51.9% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Cottonseed oil Smoke point is 216°C.
Cottonseed Oil’s Effects On Health
- It is used to enhance flavours in snacks.
- It contains natural phenol, which is known as male contraceptive, so be cautious while consuming cottonseed oil and always check fast food ingredients before having.
- Cottonseed oil contains high amount of polyunsaturated fat which lowers LDL and it increases HDL (good cholesterol) but it contains high amount of saturated fat also which reverts its effect and increases heart risk.
- Cottonseed oil used to make mayonnaise, salad dressings, miranades and sauces.
- It is also used for baking stuffs and cake icings.
18. Palm Oil
Palm oil is very popular option to substitute for ghee. Palm oil is derived from the seeds of Palm tree. It is reddish in colour as it contains high quantity of Beta carotene in it. Refined, bleached and decolorized (RBD) oil does not contain carotenoids and it’s not red in colour.
Palm oil can be the cheap option as substitute for ghee as well as butter, as it renders to be solid at moderate room temperature because it is highly saturated. Because of this property palm oil is increasingly used in food industry to make pastry doughs and baked food. Avoid to use it as vegan substitute for ghee.
Palm Oil Nutritional Facts
- 88.2% saturated fatty acids
- 5.7% monounsaturated fatty acid and
- 0% polyunsaturated fatty acid
Palm Oil’s Effects On Health
Palm oil contains fatty acids, like any other oil, esterified, glycol and high concentration of saturated fats especially palmic acid that consist of 16-carbon saturated fatty acid.
In 2015 and 2017 American Heart Association published an advisory that indivates—palm oil contains dietary saturated fat which increases LDL Cholesterol in blood levels and leads to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus recommended to either reduce or comletely eliminate it to consume as a dietary element.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the best substitute for ghee?
Ans. Olive oil, avocado oil, soybean oil, sesame oil are best substitute for ghee, especially for deep frying and high temperature cooking. Otherwise you can opt any of the above by reading their nutritional facts and health effects respectively.
Q2. Can you substitute regular butter for ghee?
Ans. Yes, you can substitute regular butter for ghee as both are almost same in their nutritional values except lactose and the taste. So if you have lactose intolerance and want a little different and buttery taste with silky, smoothness texture, then it’s gone to be a good option.
Q3. What are good substitute for ghee for use in recipes?
Ans. There are 18 alternatives described above but as far as cooking the recipes, you can opt any of the oil which is having high smoke point and consider low smoke point oils to use for moderate cooking to uncooked food like as salad xressings, in smoothiesand in desserts.
Q4. What is the best substitute for ghee in baking?
Ans. If you have to bake something then you can substitute ghee with butter.
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