bone broth diet
Diets,  Nutrition,  Weight Loss

Bone Broth Diet: A Fad or A Healthy Plan?

Bone broth is a liquid made with brewed bones and connective tissues. The broth uses cow, chicken and fish bones which may be beneficial for the joints and digestive system among other things.

The Bone Broth Diet is an intermittent fasting, strict 21-day plan where you have to drink bone broth for two days per week for up to four weeks. The broth is made to provide nutrients to improve your waistline, the health of your skin, your energy level, and other metabolic conditions. It is a soup-based made  with animal bones, (like beef knuckles, pork and chicken bones, and more) cooked in the crockpot with some salt, seasoning, and some ingredient that adds acidity to the broth.

In the past, some people cooked bone broths but they were not necessarily the same as stocks because  they do not have an acidic element. Aside from being rich in minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium), the broth is also a good source of collagen, proline, hyaluronic acid, and  gelatin, and many more.

How it Started

Tracing 2,500 years ago, bone broth was used to improve digestive health, as a bodybuilder, and to strengthen the kidneys in Chinese medicine. At the start of the 12th century in Egypt, Moses Maimonides, a physician, was known to prescribe a chicken soup as medicinal remedy for asthma and colds. Since he was a rabbi and a Jewish philosopher, this may be the reason why he promoted the chicken soup and later became part of traditional Jewish kitchens for many generations. It even earned a title as Jewish Penicillin because of its anti-inflammatory properties and proven to be effective in treating flu and colds.

This is how bone broth was started.

How Does It Work?

A standard bone broth diet plan lasts for 21 days, although only 6 of these days are assigned for eating bone broth.

Step 1: Start the diet by choosing two non-consecutive days per week when you must only consume bone broth.

Step 2: Drink six glasses of bone broth on your chosen days, made from chicken, pork, beef, duck, fish head, or rabbit bones. Avoid broth that is made from bouillon cubes, shrimp broth, or bonito broth.

Step 3: During the diet days, you must consume only bone broth.

Step 4: For the remaining 5 days every week, you should follow your regular three-meal plan that supports a Paleo diet. This means a diet that is extremely low-level of carbs with high healthy fats and protein.

Step 5: Then repeat the pattern of two-consecutive diet days and five Paleo diet days for three weeks.

It is believed that including the Paleo diet while following the bone broth diet is to stimulate your body to burn fat rather than carbs. This way will help you lose weight and improve your overall health condition.

What Research Says About the Potential Bone Broth Benefits

Bone Broth diet followers believe in the claims that:

Bone broth is nutritious.

Being low in calories, high in protein, provides minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, it offers a special nutritional profile that helps in improving one’s health and losing weight.

The earliest study conducted about the bone broth was in 1937. It reviewed its nutritional value of the bones involved and vegetable broth. At that time, both ingredients were common ways of nourishing infants. The researchers said that neither were very good source of nutrition, the broth that gave the highest mineral content were those that had the most vegetables.

In 2017, another study was made and published in Food and Nutrition Research journal about bone broth. It was found out that the broth was not a good source of calcium or magnesium. They concluded that vegetables that are added in the broth, not the bones, that provided the nutrients. They further said that an average cup of bone broth has zero to 19mg of calcium, and 6-9 grams of protein. But as you compare it to other sources of said-nutrients, the content is not that remarkable,

  • Navy beans (boiled) = 1 cup gives 126mg of calcium
  • Collard greens = 1 cup gives 150 mg of calcium
  • Baked beans = 1 cup gives 14 grams of protein
  • Unsweetened soymilk (Edensoy, particularly) = 1 cup gives 12 grams of protein
  • Peanut butter = 2 tablespoon gives 7 grams protein

Hence, bone broth may provide some calcium and protein, but so do many other food sources.

Experts claim that a single cup of cooked kale offers 10 times as much as calcium as a single cup of bone broth. One cup of baked beans provides as much protein as one cup of bone broth. And most interestingly, most Americans are getting too much protein from animal sources with their regular meals.

Bone broth can treat colds.

There is still no established studies regarding bone broth and it treating some illnesses like common colds. But some people claim that bone broth has similar effects with chicken soup. 

A study was made in 2000 and was published in Chest journal found that chicken soup could prevent white blood cells from migrating, preventing the worsening of upper respiratory infection symptoms.

However, it was also found out that the vegetables in the soup, not the chicken alone, are the ones responsible for giving inhibitory effects in fighting infections. The researchers then concluded that chicken soup has the healing properties because of the vegetables that are in it.

What about the bone broth? It may warm your stomach but there is no strong proof that it can treat colds. If there are immune-boosting effects of the broth, it can come from the vegetables included in the preparation of the broth.

Bone broth is good for your belly.

Supporters of bone broth diet claim that it is good for digestion has therapeutic benefits for “leaky” gut syndrome. This is a condition where substances can leak from your intestine into your blood. They said that the gelatin contained in the broth will bind water in the digestive tract and shield the lining of the intestines. There are some studies indicating that this effect may be potential in rats but it may not do the same for human beings. We have a very different intestinal lining than the rats. It may help but at this moment, all that we have is theories.

Experts suggest consuming a variety of fiber-rich plant foods to promote healthy gut. This includes eating fermented foods as it helps in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. 

Bone broth strengthens bones, relieve painful joints, and keep the skin looking young.

We know that the main protein in our body is collagen. It shields our organs, tendons, and joints. It also holds together our bones and muscles, and keeps the stomach lining good. Doctors say that it promotes skin elasticity.

We also know that our body produce its own collagen, however as we age, we will not be able to make the most of it. Supporters of bone broth diet claim that it contains collagen and helps your body produce more collagen. But there is no scientific proof that taking or eating collagen can directly help the body. Most experts agree that since the body does not absorb collagen in its whole form, the concept of eating collagen may help bone growth. Our body breaks collagen down into amino acids, hence it’s another form of collagen.

There are also claims that taking collagen supplements are good for the skin health. Research shows that taking collagen supplements may help decrease visible signs of aging such as wrinkles but collagen in supplements is hydrolyzed (broken down to make it more usable for the body).

The best way to help build collagen is to eat a diet that is rich in leafy greens. This is because plants plants offer the best sources of phytonutrients that our body needs to produce collagen. The phytonutrients found in plants include:

  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the skin (inside and out). This is found in citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, berries, and bell peppers.
  • Vitamin E  works with vitamin C that promotes collagen synthesis. This vitamin is found in almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli, and wheat germ. 
  • Vitamin A can be found in carrots, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, and winter squash.
  • Amino acids such as glycine, lysine, and proline are rich in dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, soy, and legumes.
  • Sulfur helps in promoting collagen production are found in onions, garlic, and members of the cabbage family.

We are showing that most vegetables and other plant foods are powerful natural ingredients in maintaining our skin young, bones strong, and joints healthy.

Bone broth helps detoxify the liver.

Bone broth has amino acid glycine. Only few animal studies are done and confirm that glycine supplements can help improve the liver of alcoholic rats but no studies are conducted that looked at the effects of bone broth on human livers. Some experts agree that there is any nutrients can help detoxify the liver by itself. They said that the best way to protect our liver and our body from toxins is by consuming a diet that is high in the entire group of phytonutrients that are found in whole plant foods.

It is also suggested to avoid taking in toxic metals in our body, which can be found in bone broth.

Bone broth contains lead.

We all know that lead exposure poses a serious harm to human beings. Symptoms range from memory loss to constipation to impotence and depression. There is really no such thing as “safe” level of lead exposure. For children, it increases risks of behavioral problems, impaired growth and hearing, lower IQ, hyperactivity, and anemia.

Boiling animal bones for a longer period can be a way to remove the lead from them. A study was done and published in a journal named Medical Hypotheses that looked into broth made from organic, free-range chickens. Results showed that the broth contains a tenfold lead concentrations compared to the water before the bones were added to it. 

Sad to note that in the process of making bone broth, we are exposing ourselves to serious harm due to lead exposure and other potential heavy metals.

We hope that this information helps you in looking for a diet that can aid you in losing weight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *