The bone broth diet is a popular eating plan that combines the principles of intermittent fasting and the Paleo diet while also allowing you to take advantage of the benefits of bone broth. Fans of the diet claim that it’s incredibly effective and can bring big benefits in terms of weight loss, skin health and even joint function without having to meticulously measure calories or macronutrients like many other eating plans. So what exactly is the bone broth diet, and how can it impact your health? Here’s what you need to know.
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 fasting for two days weekly over a period of 21 days. 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.”
It involves eating 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 days, grains, gluten, soy, dairy and sugar should also be restricted. Two days per week, you should fast and consume only bone broth for all of your snacks and meals throughout the day.
Proponents of the plan claim that the bone broth diet results in quick weight loss, better skin, improved gut health and decreased inflammation. Let’s take a look at a few of the potential ways that the diet can enhance overall health.
1. Supports Weight Loss
Many people use the bone broth diet for weight loss, and for good reason. In fact, there are plenty of bone broth diet reviews out there claiming that it can help shed stubborn pounds and jump-start weight loss within a matter of days.
So how does bone broth help you lose weight? The diet plan swaps out processed foods and unhealthy ingredients for nutritious whole foods while also bumping up your intake of protein, which has been shown to reduce appetite and caloric intake to support weight loss.
2. Decreases Inflammation
Although acute inflammation is an important process used by the immune system to protect against invaders and ward off infection, sustaining high levels of inflammation long term is thought to be at the root of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The bone broth diet may help decrease inflammation, which can be especially beneficial for those suffering from autoimmune conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
It works by pairing bone broth — an ingredient that contains anti-inflammatory compounds like collagen — with intermittent fasting, a practice that has been linked to decrease markers of inflammation as well.
3. Promotes Gut Health
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, the bone broth diet can help support gut health and protect against leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome is a condition caused by changes in the permeability of the intestinal lining, which allows particles and toxins to pass from the digestive system to the blood, resulting in inflammation.
Studies show that collagen, one of the main compounds found in bone broth, helps strengthen the lining of the gut, which could potentially aid in the prevention of leaky gut.
4. May Improve Joint Function
If you suffer from chronic joint pain, swelling or stiffness, adding bone broth to your routine may be beneficial. This is because it’s a great source of collagen, which helps restore cartilage and keep the joints healthy.
According to a study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion, supplementing with collagen was found to be effective at decreasing activity-related joint pain in athletes within just six months.
5. Keeps Skin Healthy
Bone broth is great for slowing the signs of aging to keep skin healthy and hydrated. In fact, studies show that the collagen found in bone broth could improve skin elasticity and moisture in older women. Although more research is needed, some also report improvements in cellulite and stretch marks thanks to the beneficial effects of bone broth and collagen on connective tissue cells.
Who Should Follow This Diet?
For most healthy adults, the bone broth soup diet is safe and associated with minimal adverse side effects. It may be especially useful for those looking to boost weight loss, improve joint function, support healthy digestion and decrease inflammation. 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 effectiveness.
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 like diabetes or kidney disease should also consult with their doctors before considering the bone broth diet to prevent adverse effects on health.
How to Follow a Bone Broth Diet
The bone broth diet involves following a healthy diet five days per week and consuming only bone broth twice per week, similar to intermittent fasting. 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. Fasting days should be separated by at least one regular day of eating in between.
During the days that you do eat, you should consume one to three cups of bone broth per day as snacks and limit ingredients such as sugar, dairy, soy, grains, gluten and processed foods. On fasting days, stick to one cup of bone broth for each meal and snack, plus unlimited liquids such as water or herbal tea.
Here is a sample bone broth diet meal plan for both an eating day and bone broth fasting day to help get you started:
Sample Eating Day:
- Breakfast: Eggs Benedict
- 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
- Snack: 1 cup bone broth
- Lunch: 1 cup bone broth
- Snack: 1 cup bone broth
- Dinner: 1 cup bone broth
What can you eat on the bone broth diet? Although the diet involves fasting two days per week, enjoying a variety of nutritious, healthy foods during the days that you do eat is just as important to ensuring success. 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. Need some inspiration? Here are a few bone broth diet recipes to help get you started:
- Moo Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Grain-Free Apple Crisp
- Cauliflower Steak with Italian Seasoning
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- Paleo Protein Pancakes
Risks and Side Effects
While the bone broth cleanse diet can be beneficial for many, there are several bone broth diet problems that also need to be considered. In particular, those with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, 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 to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. So what is the best bone broth to buy if you are on the bone broth diet? Be sure to purchase a product from a reputable retailer and select a supplement that is free of fillers, artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Alternatively, you can try making your own bone broth at home using a simple slow cooker recipe. This puts you in full control of what’s going on your plate to help maximize the potential health benefits of the bone broth diet.
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