Are you curious about bone broth calories? Don’t be, there are few calories in bone broth. Better yet, bone broth provides more nutrition per calorie than any other beverage.
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 their bone broth for up to 72 hours. However, this is not necessary.
Regardless of your simmer time, the end result is a high collagen protein beverage that is low in calories.
Bone Broth Health Benefits
There are many health benefits of bone broth. Here are a few reasons to consider using your calories on bone broth:
- Weight Loss: Bone broth is the ultimate satiating, low calorie food to keep you feeling full.
- Skin Health: Bone broth provides the natural foundation for healthy, hydrated skin, hair, teeth and nails.
- Digestion: Bone broth has amino acids like glycine, proline and glutamine to soothe your digestion and prevent heartburn or bloating.
- Joint Pain: Bone broth helps to build new cartilage around your joints and tendons, helping to reduce pain.
- Immune System: Bone broth supplies your body with amino acids and micronutrients to fend on sickness and keep your cells healthy.
- Sleep, Mood and Energy: Glycine is an amino acid found in bone broth. It is shown to help with sleep and energy levels.
- Blood Sugar Control: The amino acids in bone broth (glycine) are shown to help stabilize blood sugar when taken with a meal.
- Brain Health: Bone marrow and amino acids help with brain development.
- Detoxification: The proteins in bone broth help your liver naturally detoxify itself by reducing inflammation.
Bone Broth Calorie Count
There are very few calories in bone broth. Depending on the type of bone broth, you can expect 30-45 calories per cup or 250 ml of bone broth.
Chicken Bone Broth Nutrition Facts Per 250 ml:
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:
Protein: 8-10 g
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Sugar: 0 g
Fat: 0 g
Sodium: 180-600 mg
Iron: 0 mg
Calcium: 0 mg
Why is There a Range of Calories in Bone Broth?
Bone broth calories are determined by a few things:
Cook Time: a longer simmer time will extract collagen and protein from the bones.
This should result in more protein per cup. Simmer times of 24 hours may be needed for beef bone broth in order to maximize the collagen and protein.
Bones to Water Ratio: The amount of bones you use per pot of bone broth affects the calories and protein.
More bones will give you higher protein and slightly more calories per cup. More bones vs. water gives you more concentrated bone broth that should gel in the fridge.
Fat Removal or Not: The biggest driver of calories in bone broth is fat. Some cooks prefer to remove the natural ‘fat cap’ that assembles on top of your bone broth 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 bone broth.
Amount of Vegetables Used: Carbohydrates in bone broth are determined by the amount of vegetables used.
Some bone broth 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 of bone broth.
Chicken feet for example, provide more collagen and protein in your bone broth compared to chicken carcasses or necks.Some beef bones provide different amounts of protein in your bone broth as well.
Beef marrow bones provide different protein and calories in your bone broth than other beef bones.
Added ingredients or preservatives: Some bone broth brands add in extra spices, flavours or preservatives.
This is usually because they cannot achieve the desired flavour and protein level without adding extra ingredients.
These brands resort to things like gelatin or other thickening agents to make their bone broth 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 7 g of protein per 250 ml. Keep this in mind when you are shopping for bone broth.
Less than 7 g protein per 250ml means that the brand is taking shortcuts in making their bone broth. They are likely not using a high bones to water ratio or are not simmering the bone broth long enough.
Bluebird Provisions Chicken Bone Broth Powder has 12 g of protein per 250 ml serving.
How Much Protein is Needed to Gel Bone Broth
Bone broth that properly gels at fridge temperature will typically have 8-10 g of protein per cup (250 ml).
Gelled bone broth made using a traditional recipe with the fat removed will have 30-45 calories per cup.
Every Bone Broth is Different
It is difficult to make generalized statements about calories in bone broth. For this reason, I’ve used reference ranges for protein, carbs and fat in bone broth.
These calorie ranges for bone broth are based on Bluebird Provisions Organic Bone Broth.
Your local bone broth brand or homemade bone broth will have different calories, protein, carbs and fat.
Bone broth is a fantastic source of calories and protein. Start with one cup per day and see how you feel after one week.