There is a “new” liquid superfood hitting the keto scene and it seems that low carb enthusiasts can’t get enough of it. Bone broth! The ketogenic diet and bone broth have recently become a match made in ketone heaven. Numerous bone broth bars are opening up around the globe and shelves are being stocked to the brim with this magic elixir. Whether it is in powder, supplement, or instant form, you are guaranteed to find bone broth at your local health store or grocer. There is no doubt that this is not the first time you have heard about bone broth before. In fact, it has been used for centuries and is a popular ingredient in many soups and stews. So what is all the fuss now? Why has bone broth become a keto staple in most kitchens today?
In this article, we take a closer look at bone broth and it’s nutritional value to find out whether or not this “liquid gold” has earned its rightful place on the keto food pyramid.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth has formed part of the human diet long before most of the foods we eat today. It dates back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Since food was scarce and a successful hunt was rare, when our prehistoric ancestors managed to capture an animal, none of it went to waste. The hide of the animal was used to make clothing, shelter, and weapons. The rest of the animal was used for food, including the bones. The connective tissue, cartilage, and bones were boiled in water over an open flame or fire-heated rocks to make a soup. This was primarily used as a source of nutrition during winter when animals had migrated or gone into hibernation.
For centuries, bone broth has been used in Chinese, North American, and Middle Eastern medicine for digestive health and as a remedy for asthma and cold symptoms. Any good grandmother will tell you that chicken soup is the best remedy for fighting the flu!
Today, bone broth, or also known as stock is still made by simmering animal bones, cartilage, ligaments, and skin in water for 10 to 24 hours. Fresh herbs and apple cider vinegar are also added to the broth to help break down the tissues and for extra flavor. The broth can be made from any type of animal bone, but chicken and beef are the most popular options. Animal bones are filled with nutrients and important proteins such as gelatin and collagen. By cooking the broth over a long period of time, the nutrients from the bones percolate into the water, creating a thick, flavorful liquid that is packed with beneficial minerals and vitamins.
Why Should You Drink Bone Broth on a Keto Diet?
Whether you are following a keto diet or not, including bone broth into your diet is beneficial for promoting overall health. Bone broth is also incredibly filling; just one cup of this liquid gold is enough to feel like you’ve eaten an entire meal without many of the calories. This is a great diet hack. By filling up on wholesome foods, the chance of weight loss is higher because you are less likely to experience cravings for an extra treat to snack on.
Here are a few benefits you can expect when you add bone broth to the keto diet:
Electrolytes, which are chemicals that conduct electricity when dissolved in water, are vital for regulating nerve and muscle function, hydration, rebuilding damaged tissue, and regulating blood acidity and pressure. In order for the body to function properly, electrolytes must be kept at a healthy level. The reduced number of carbohydrates on a keto diet can affect these levels because the body excretes more water and sodium. Low levels of sodium impact the level of electrolytes in the body. As a result, dieters often experience what is known as the keto flu. Bone broth helps to replenish electrolytes in the body because it is an excellent source of potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, which are all examples of electrolytes.
Abundant in Collagen and Gelatin
Collagen is the glue that holds our bodies together and is the main protein found in connective tissue and bones. While the bone broth is simmering away, the collagen from the connective tissue and bones is broken down into gelatin, which is also a protein. Gelatin helps to reduce inflammation in the joints and reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. Gelatin and collagen are also beneficial for improving brain function and skin, nail, and hair health.
Heals the Gut
A sudden change in diet can lead to a few digestive issues, which is why it is important to eat dark leafy greens and foods that are high in healthy fats to reduce inflammation and restore the gut’s natural flora. One of the many reasons why drinking bone broth on a keto diet is beneficial is that it heals the digestive tract lining. The glycine content found in bone broth is a potent anti-inflammatory that helps to repair the walls of the intestines. Additionally, it reduces the risk of intestinal permeability or otherwise known as “leaky gut”.
How Much Bone Broth Can I Drink on a Keto Diet?
Other than being a powerhouse of nutrients, bone broth contains very little carbs and is low in calories. It is difficult to determine the exact number of macros in bone broth as most recipes vary. However, according to the USDA Nutrient Database, a cup of homemade beef or chicken broth ranges from 30 to 85 calories, 4.7 to 6 grams protein, and 0.2 to 2.9 grams of fat.
There are many keto-approved instant bone broths on the market which typically contain between 0 to 2 grams of carbs per serving. However, it’s best to always check the labels before consuming them. A home-cooked bone broth that has been made with bones, water, vinegar, and spice contains virtually no carbs and can be eaten on its own as a snack or added to soups and other dishes.
The amount of bone broth you can drink on a day all depends on your macros and health goals. If you are following the standard keto diet, one or two cups of low-carb bone broth a day is enough to give you that protein boost you need and keep the dreadful keto flu symptoms at bay without kicking your body out of ketosis. If you are incorporating a bone broth fast into the keto diet, then you may drink up to six cups of low carb bone broth per day.
Best Ways To Enjoy Bone Broth On A Keto Diet
- Trade your morning cup of coffee for a cup of broth. The nutrients will give you a boost without the midday crash.
- Sauté keto approved veggies in ½ a cup of broth for extra flavor and nutrients.
- Add a spoonful or two of bone broth to a keto smoothie for that extra nutrient punch.
- Use it as a stock in your favorite soups or sauces for extra salty flavor.
There are so many ways to incorporate bone broth into your daily meal plan. With a little creativity, you can make dishes that are not only delicious but also contain all the nutrients you need to keep your health in check.
Our Conclusion: Bone Broth Packs A Keto Punch
There is a very good reason why bone broth has remained an important part of the human diet across the globe. It is loaded with vital vitamins and minerals that help to promote overall health. Anyone who is following the keto diet can benefit from a cup of this liquid gold every day. It helps to restore electrolytes, improves gut health, and reduces inflammation in the joints, which makes it the perfect weapon against the dreaded keto flu. Next time you need an extra boost in the morning or before the gym, just pour yourself a cup of hearty bone broth and you’ll be all set to go!