Top Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Cow Ghee and Buffalo Ghee
Ghee has been a cornerstone of Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is prepared by boiling butter and separating the pure butterfat from the water and milk particles. Ghee is used in cooking, religious ceremonies, and even as a therapeutic remedy. Its roots are deeply embedded in Ayurveda, where it's known as Amritam, a symbol of prosperity and health.
The Buffalo Ghee is sourced from the milk of domestic buffaloes. Buffalo milk is naturally more abundant, which results in a ghee that's denser and creamier than its cow counterpart. Buffalo ghee might not have the same fame as cow ghee, but it's an equally potent source of nutrition. In India, main breeds of buffalo are Surti, Mehsana, Jaffrabadi, Bhadawari, and Murrah. Cow ghee is sourced from the mil of domestic cows. Main breeds of cow in India are Gir, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, and Rathi. Cow ghee has its own characteristics It's like liquid gold, with a unique aroma and taste.
In this blog, we will explore the intricacies of cow ghee and buffalo ghee to determine their comparative merits.
Colour and Texture
The colour of cow ghee appears yellowish, whereas buffalo ghee exhibits a white to off-white hue. The yellow colour of cow ghee is attributed to the presence of beta-carotene, which originates from the cow's diet. In comparison, buffalo ghee possesses a slightly creamier texture when compared to cow ghee, primarily due to its higher fat content. Cow ghee, on the other hand, is characterized by a grainy texture.
Fat, Calories, and Cholesterol
There exists a disparity in the cholesterol levels observed in cow and buffalo milk. The cholesterol content in buffalo milk ranges from 0.65-0.68 mg/g, whereas cow milk exhibits a higher cholesterol content ranging from 3.13-3.15 mg/g. A comparable pattern can be observed in the case of ghee. Buffalo ghee contains a cholesterol content of 10/300 mg, while cow ghee surpasses this with a higher cholesterol content of 35/300 mg.
Buffalo milk is rich in antioxidants and tocopherol, as well as bioprotective elements such as immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, and lysozyme. Similarly, cow ghee also possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Cow milk contains ascorbic acid, which serves as a potent free radical scavenger and is the primary water-soluble antioxidant. Additionally, vitamin E, β-carotene, and retinol found in cow milk act as antioxidants.
Minerals and Vitamins
Buffalo ghee and cow ghee differ primarily in their fat and nutrient content, despite having similar amounts of carbohydrates, sugar, and protein. Buffalo milk contains higher levels of calcium, phosphorus, and iron, whereas cow milk is richer in sodium, potassium, and chloride. Additionally, cow milk possesses a greater quantity of sulphur, which is essential for DNA construction, cell protection, and repair.
|Calcium||Essential for growth of bones and teeth, nerve conduction, muscle relaxation and contraction|
|Magnesium||Essential for nerve impulse conduction and enzyme activation|
|Phosphorus||Essential for bone development, metabolism and most biochemical reactions in the body|
|Iron||Essential for production of haemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in skeletal muscle|
|Sodium||Essential for Fluid Balance|
|Potassium||Essential for fluid balance and normal heart function|
Milk is widely recognized as a nutrient-dense beverage, abundant in various essential vitamins such as A, B, D, E, and K. Notably, vitamin B12 is found in substantial quantities in whole buffalo milk. Additionally, buffalo milk boasts high levels of both vitamin A and B6. Conversely, cow milk is particularly rich in vitamin E. Although cow milk contains lower amounts of vitamin A, it compensates through the presence of carotene, which converts into vitamin A during the digestion process.
Buffalo milk has a lower water content than cow milk because cow milk has a smaller number of solids, with around 90% of the milk being water. This high proportion of water is what makes cow milk hydrating. On the other hand, ghee, a dairy product that is high in fat, has an extremely low water content of only 0.3%. Whether it is made from cow or buffalo milk, the amount of water in ghee is negligible.
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
An essential requirement for bone health and development is the sufficient intake of calcium and phosphorus. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus is a significant factor in determining the health of bones. Buffalo milk exhibits a higher calcium to phosphorus ratio (2.26) compared to cow milk (1.96).
Suitability in Certain Medical Conditions
Buffalo milk is not recommended for individuals with certain disorders and health conditions such as PCOD, thyroid issues, high cholesterol, and diabetes. It is more suitable for individuals who are underweight and looking to gain weight due to its higher fat content. On the other hand, cow's milk is suitable for all these diets. The only exception is infants who have a milk allergy, as cow milk should not be given to them.
Milk to Ghee Ratio
The quantity of ghee produced from buffalo milk is generally higher than that of cow milk. To produce 1 litre of ghee, it takes around 25-35 litres of cow milk, whereas only 17-20 litres of buffalo milk are required. This difference is due to the varying fat content in the milk of these animals.
Buffalo ghee, with its higher fat content, exhibits a prolonged durability. On the other hand, cow ghee possesses a diminished shelf life owing to its lower fat content. Furthermore, cow ghee is significantly lighter in comparison to buffalo ghee.
Compared to buffalo milk, cow milk is known for its easier digestibility, attributed to the smaller size of fat globules present in cow milk. In contrast, the larger fat globules in buffalo milk make it more challenging to digest, particularly for individuals with digestive concerns like lactose intolerance. Due to its relatively easier digestibility, cow milk is recommended for infants and children.
To conclude, choosing between the both boils down to your personal preferences and health objectives. Both pack a punch in terms of unique flavours and nutritional benefits. Whether you're whipping up a delicious meal or seeking a healthy addition to your diet, either ghee could be a fantastic option. However, when it comes to ghee consumption, moderation is the key.
Relish the light, nourishing benefits of cow ghee or the intense, energy-rich characteristics of buffalo ghee – the choice is yours!