Are you curious about calories or bone broth nutrition? Don’t be, there are few calories in it.
Better yet, it provides more nutrition per calorie than any other beverage.
But it's not all good for you. There are tons of fake brands selling you mislabelled garbage.
This article will outline all aspects of bone broth nutrition from calories and protein to fat and carbs.
A quick note before we get into it, my brand makes low calorie bone broth specifically for someone like you.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is an ancient superfood made from simmering bones and adhering cartilage in water for 12-24 hours.
The long simmer process helps to harvest the collagen and connective tissue from the bones.
Some purists will go so far as to simmer it for up to 72 hours. However, this is not necessary.
Regardless of your simmer time, the end result is a high collagen beverage that is low in calories.
Bone Broth Nutrition Benefits
There are many health benefits. Here are a few reasons to consider using your calories on this nourishing liquid.
Good for Diet and Weight Loss
It is the ultimate satiating, low calorie food to keep you feeling full. This is the benefit most people care about.
Provides Nutrients for Skin Health
It provides the natural foundation for healthy, hydrated skin, hair, teeth and nails.
Assists Digestion, Inflammation and Gut Health
It's full of amino acids like glycine, proline and glutamine to soothe your digestion and prevent heartburn or bloating.
Helps Your Bones and Joints More than Collagen
It helps to build new cartilage around your joints and tendons, helping to reduce pain.
Immune Function Benefits
It supplies your body with micronutrients to fend on sickness and keep your cells healthy.
Sleep, Mood and Energy
Glycine is an amino acid found in it. Glycine is shown to help with sleep and energy levels.
Blood Sugar Control
The amino acids (glycine) are shown to help stabilize blood sugar when taken with a meal.
Bone marrow and amino acids benefits your brain development.
Detoxification from Glycine
The unique nutrients in it help your liver naturally detoxify itself by reducing inflammation.
Choosing between brands? Learn about the 6 Best Bone Broths this year.
How many calories are in bone broth?
There are very few calories in bone broth. Depending on the type, you can expect 30-45 calories per cup or 250 ml.
Below is a deep dive into nutrition labels.
Chicken Bone Broth Nutrition Facts Per 250 ml:
- Calories: 30-45
- Protein: 8-11 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Sugar: 0 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Sodium: 140-600 mg
- Potassium: 120-400 mg
- Iron: 0 mg
- Calcium: 10 mg
Beef Bone Broth Nutrition Facts Per 250 ml:
- Calories: 30-45
- Protein: 8-10 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Sugar: 0 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Sodium: 180-600 mg
- Potassium: 10-50mg
- Iron: 0 mg
- Calcium: 0 mg
Why is There a Range of Calories in Bone Broth?
There is a range of calories in bone broth because of how you make it, simmer time, bones to water ratio, fat removal (or not and the amount of vegetable used. Read below for the nitty gritty details.
- Cook Time: a longer simmer time will extract collagen from the bones and make it full of health benefits. This should result in more amino acids per cup. Simmer times of 24 hours may be needed for beef in order to maximize the collagen.
- Bones to Water Ratio: The amount of bones you use in your pot affects the calories. More bones will give you higher gelatin and slightly more calories per cup. More bones vs. water gives you more concentrated broth that should gel in the fridge.
- Fat Removal or Not: The biggest driver of calories is fat. Some chefs prefer to remove the natural ‘fat cap’ that assembles on top of your liquid once it is properly cooled. Others prefer to leave the fat as it adds flavour and healthy fats. If you remove the fat cap then you’ll have low calories and fat free version.
- Amount of Vegetables Used: Carbohydrates are determined by the amount of vegetables used when you add them.
- Some recipes call for lots of vegetables and some do not. Vegetables provide starch, a carbohydrates, which cooks into your broth if you use too many. If you want to reduce the carbs in your bone broth, remove vegetables or use them sparingly for the last 2 hours of your total bone broth cook time.
- Types of Bones Used: Another variable that causes massive difference in the calorie count. Chicken feet for example, provide more collagen compared to chicken carcasses or necks.Some beef bones provide different amounts of amino acids as well. Beef marrow bones provide different calories than other beef bones.
- Added ingredients or preservatives: Some popular brands add in extra spices, flavours or preservatives. This is usually because they cannot achieve the desired flavor and macros without adding extra ingredients. These brands resort to things to thickening agents to make their products appear to be protein rich, when it is not.
Protein Minimum Requirements for Bone Broth
To be labelled as real bone broth, there must be at least 8 g of protein per 250 ml. Keep this in mind when you are shopping for for yourself. Less than 8 g per 250ml means that the brand is taking shortcuts in making their product.
They are likely not using a high bones to water ratio or are not simmering the bone broth long enough.
Bluebird Provisions has 12 g of protein per 250 ml serving.
Beef bones effect on gelatin content
The types of beef bones used has a large effect on the gelatin and caloric content. Why? Because there are so many types of beef bones to choose from. Some joint bones will yield more collagen and amino acids, while some will give you more fat in your finished broth.
Look for a mix of marrow and knuckle (joint) bones to balance out your broth and give it an irresistibly tasty flavor.
How much protein is needed for bone broth to gel?
Bone broth that properly gels at fridge temperature will typically have 8-10 g of protein per cup (250 ml).
A gelled liquid made using a traditional recipe with the fat removed will have 30-45 calories per cup.
How much protein is in homemade bone broth?
Homemade bone broth will have 2-10 g of protein per 1 cup serving. You can assume the following if you remove the fat for 1 cup serving.
- No gel: For example: full liquid broth will have between 2-6 g.
- Some gel: When you pour it at fridge temperature, there is some gel like chunks but it is not fully gel'd like jello. In this case, you have 7-8 g per cup.
- Full gel: Your liquid is not pourable and shakes like gelatin at fridge temperature. In this case, congratulations, your bone broth has between 9-14 g.
How many carbs are in my homemade bone broth?
As for carbs, you might have 1-3g per cup of your homemade bone broth, depending how much onion/carrot/celery you add. With no vegetables it will be zero.
Is bone broth healthy?
Yes! Bone broth is healthy because it is a good source of collagen, gelatin and glucosamine. It contains the same nutrients as bone marrow, including glycine and proline which are amino acids that help keep your gut healthy.
It also contains chondroitin sulfate, which helps rebuild cartilage and keep your joints healthy.
Nutrition Facts to Meet Your Goals
Deciding on which nutrition facts are important to you is easy. What are your goals? Are you looking for protein to lose weight or build muscle? Opt for at least 8 g per 250ml serving.
Are you looking for nourishment with extra fat and vitamins? Search for one with fat content in the nutrition facts panel on the back of the package.
If you are keto, then choose a product with no carbs.
Nutrients and Minerals Depend on Sourcing Quality
It is difficult to make generalized statements about calories in bone broth. For this reason, I’ve used reference ranges for macronutrients in bone broth.
These calorie ranges are based on the brand that I own and operate: Bluebird Provisions. I've made 180,000 L of bone broth if my day. So I speak from experience.
Your local brand or homemade bone broth will have different calories, carbs and fat. That is because they make it differently than others.
Regardless of where you get it from, bone broth is a fantastic source of calories and gelatin. Start with one cup per day and see how you feel after one week. Some of the benefits take longer than others to kick in.
Basic Bone Soup Nutrition
A basic bone soup is very low in calories, so it is an excellent food for anyone looking to lose weight. The typical recipe contains about 80 calories per cup and is a good source of collagen, electrolytes and calcium.
This of course depends on your methods and ingredients used. More vegetables will yield a higher calorie soup with more carbs. So you might want to omit them if you are keto or low carb.
Oils and butter will add calories to your soup as well. So feel free to use more or less depending on your dietary restrictions and goals.
What's the calories in chicken bone broth?
Chicken bone broth has between 30-60 calories per cup or 250ml serving. Be careful when scanning nutrition facts, because anything less than 30 calories means that the bone broth will have less than 8 g protein per serving.
How many calories in chicken broth?
Chicken broth has 10-30 calories per serving or 250ml. The calories in chicken broth are mainly carbs and fat since there is not much else in it. This depends how you make it or how the brand makes it. If you want more nutrition, you should try chicken bone broth as it has more heath benefits.
If you are looking for a nutritious and low calorie option, try Bluebird Provisions today and let me know what you think. It is the best tasting product you'll ever try, and I've tried all of them.