By Rachael Link, RD
The bone broth diet is an eating plan that combines principles of intermittent fasting and the Paleo diet, while also allowing you to take advantage of the many benefits of bone broth.
What are the benefits of this type of diet? It can generally help to support healthy skin and joints, while also supporting gut health and appetite control. Something else that people love about this plan is that you don’t need to meticulously count calories or track your intake of macronutrients like many other eating plans.
Instead, you can experience results by incorporating several servings of bone broth (BB) to your routine while you practice intermittent fasting, including by sipping on liquid broth or by adding Bone Broth Protein powder to a variety of health-centered, sweet and savory recipes.
Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to starting any new diet or lifestyle regimen.
What Is A Bone Broth Diet?
The bone broth diet plan is a meal plan that involves cycling between following a Paleo diet five days per week and partial fasting for two days weekly, all while consuming bone broth daily. The idea is to repeat this cycle over a period of 21 days (3 weeks).
The 21-day bone broth diet plan was first made popular by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, a nutritionist who wrote several bone broth diet book resources, such as “Dr. Kellaynn’s Bone Broth Diet.”
This plan involves having one to three servings of bone broth per day each day, alongside a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods for five days per week. During these five days of the week, the goal is to follow principles of the Paleo Diet, which means grains, gluten, soy, dairy and added sugar are restricted.
Two days per week, you should fast partially and consume only bone broth (plus water and tea/coffee) for all of your snacks and meals throughout the day.
Why consume so much bone broth? BB is made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals such as cattle, fish or chicken; it’s a traditional stock that is brimming with beneficial collagen protein that is made up of an array of amino acids, plus it has other collagen cofactors and important minerals.
Who Should Follow This Diet?
For most healthy adults, a bone broth diet plan is generally safe; in fact, it can benefit people of all ages who are looking to consume more protein, stick to a healthy diet overall and try fasting in an approachable way.
This diet may be especially useful for those looking to manage a healthy weight, or for anyone who is looking for support for skin, gut and joint health.
To determine if the diet is right for you, try following a seven-day bone broth diet plan to see how you feel. There are plenty of bone broth diet tips and resources out there that can help ease the transition and maximize its potential benefits.
However, the bone broth diet may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant and nursing, for example, should not follow the bone broth diet and should instead focus on consuming a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet.
Those with underlying health conditions, such as those that affect the kidneys or liver, should always consult with their doctors before considering starting the bone broth diet.
1. Can Help Support A Healthy Body Composition
Because Bone Broth Protein powder (made from concentrated bone broth) is high in protein and low in carbs/added sugar, it can be a great addition to a healthy diet that can help to control your appetite.
Many people use the bone broth diet for support healthy weight management since the plan swaps out processed foods and unhealthy ingredients for nutritious whole foods, while also bumping up your intake of protein. Higher protein intake is generally associated with reduced appetite and caloric intake.
This plan also involves the practice of intermittent fasting, which can further help to control calorie intake and may help support an overall healthy body composition.
Even while reducing how many calories you consume, the BB diet can supply you with key nutrients that are often missing in people’s diets today, including collagen and essential vitamins and minerals found in whole foods like veggies, nuts and seeds.
2. Helps Support Gut Health
Collagen, one of the main compounds found in bone broth, helps to support a healthy gut by supporting the overall integrity of the gut lining. In fact, collagen is known as the “glue that holds us together” and helps to form the lining of organs throughout the body.
A Paleo-type diet can also be generally beneficial for gut health and digestive health because it excludes some foods that can be difficult to properly digest, such as those containing processed grains and sugar.
3. Supports Joint Health and Mobility
BB is a great source of collagen (and is made up of 19 amino acids), in addition to glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, which are found in chicken bone broth via type II collagen.
Together these help support healthy cartilage and can help support healthy joints and connective tissues, especially as someone ages and their body makes less collagen of its own.
4. Supports Skin Health
Collagen found in BB can help support skin elasticity and generally helps to maintain healthy connective tissues. A healthy, well-rounded diet is also important for skin health since it supplies important antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamins A and C.
How to Follow A Bone Broth Diet Plan
Here are guidelines for following the bone broth diet plan:
- Five days per week, follow a healthy diet that is similar to the Paleo Diet, meaning emphasis is on eating whole foods while gluten, grains, dairy, soy and added sugar are excluded.
- During the days that you do eat (when you’re not intermittent or partially fasting), you should consume one to three cups of bone broth per day, such as by sipping on a cup between meals.
- Foods to emphasize on non-fasting days include: grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.
- Two days per week, only consume bone broth and water, similar to intermittent fasting. Fasting days should be separated by at least one regular day of eating in between.
- On partial fasting days, stick to one cup of bone broth for each meal and snack, plus unlimited liquids such as water or herbal tea.
- The diet should be followed for 21 days in total, with six days of bone broth fasting and 15 days of eating over the course of the entire plan.
Here is a sample bone broth diet meal plan for both an eating day and a bone broth fasting day to help get you started:
Sample Eating Day:
- Breakfast: Veggie omelet
- Snack: 1 cup bone broth
- Lunch: Vegetable beef barley soup with side salad
- Snack: 1 cup bone broth
- Dinner: Blackened salmon with creamy avocado dressing and roasted broccoli
Sample Bone Broth Fasting Day:
- Breakfast: 1 cup bone broth (plus water throughout the day)
- Snack: 1 cup bone broth (herbal tea with no added sugar/sweeteners) can also be consumed)
- Lunch: 1 cup bone broth
- Snack: 1 cup bone broth
- Dinner: 1 cup bone broth
Best Bone Broth Sources
Traditional bone broth requires hours to make; however, bone broth protein supplements have also become widely available in recent years, making it easier than ever to reap the rewards of bone broth anytime. BB is now available in powder, liquid and even capsule form.
When choosing a bone broth supplement, consider how you plan to use it and the flavor that you’ll enjoy most. Ancient Nutrition’s Bone Broth Protein Pure flavor, for example, has a savory flavor that works well paired with a bit of salt and pepper in soups and broths. Meanwhile, our Bone Broth Protein Chocolate and Vanilla flavors may be better choices for smoothies, shakes and baked goods.
Our Bone Broth Protein is Paleo-friendly, as it is made without dairy and grains.
If you’re willing to put in the effort, you can also try making your own bone broth at home using a simple slow cooker recipe (go to Dr. Axe's website). Look for bones and other animal parts at a butcher or farmer’s market that sells grass-fed products.
Traditional bone broth is typically made from the bones of either chicken, fish or beef. Sourcing the ingredients yourself puts you in full control of what’s going on your plate to help maximize the potential health benefits of the bone broth diet.
What can you eat on the bone broth diet? Although the diet involves partial fasting two days per week, enjoying a variety of nutritious, healthy foods during the days that you do eat is important to ensuring success since these meals will provide you with essential nutrients.
Fortunately, there are plenty of bone broth diet recipe ideas out there, making it easy to fill your week with delicious meals on the days that you do eat.
Ready to get started? Remember that throughout the course of the bone broth diet, you’ll want to limit ingredients such as sugar, dairy, soy, grains, gluten and processed foods.
Try these healthy recipes which feature various flavors of Bone Broth Protein:
- Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe with Bone Broth Protein
- Pumpkin Soup Recipe with Bone Broth Protein Pumpkin Spice
- Bone Broth Protein Turmeric Sipping Broth Recipe
- Salted Caramel Blondies Recipe with Bone Broth Protein
- Paleo Protein Pancakes Recipe with Bone Broth Protein
While a bone broth diet can be beneficial for many, there are several considerations before you begin. In particular, those with underlying health conditions should talk to their doctors before making any dietary changes.
The bone broth diet is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Also note that the diet is intended to be a short-term plan and should not be followed for long periods of time.
Additionally, keep in mind that not all bone broth is created equal, and it’s important to select a high-quality supplement (if you choose a dietary supplement) to make sure you get the most bang for your buck, such as Ancient Nutrition's own line of bone broth supplements.
- The bone broth diet plan is a meal plan that involves cycling between following a Paleo diet five days per week and partial or intermittent fasting for two days weekly, all while consuming bone broth daily.
- This plan involves having one to three servings of bone broth per day each day, alongside a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods such as grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.
- Benefits of this plan include support for joint, gut and skin health, while helping to promote a healthy body composition.
- Traditional bone broth requires hours to make; however, bone broth protein supplements have also become widely available in recent years, making it easier than ever to reap the rewards of bone broth anytime.
Rachael Link, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian based in New York City. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at the University of Central Missouri and later received her Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Rachael is passionate about plant-based nutrition and enjoys providing easy-to-understand information to readers looking to support their health.