Bone Broth for Ketosis: Ultimate Guide
Bone broth makes the perfect companion to the keto diet and can help put you on the fast track to reaching your weight loss goals.
It is a great source of easy to digest proteins, is low in calories and has no carbs to help get and keep you in ketosis. Learn exactly how to use it to feel amazing and get all the ketogenic diet benefits without the dreaded flu. And get answers to all of your pressing questions.
Before we get started, I want to mention that the absolute best keto bone broth is made by Bluebird Provisions. If you're sick of making it yourself, try their chicken bone broth powder with perfect macros: 12 g protein, 300 mg potassium and no added salt.
It'll help ease the transition to ketosis and is among the best foods to set you up for long-term success. Ok, enough rambling, let's get into the article.
Bone Broth Definition
Bone broth is a nourishing beverage that is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue in water at a low heat for a long, long time. The water is typically seasoned with vegetables and herbs to provide additional nutrients, vitamins and trace minerals.
Depending on the method and length of cooking, the thickness or gel consistency may vary. Gelatin forms from collagen being released out of the bones and joints during the cooking process which turns the fluid into an almost solid jell-o state.
This is the gold standard state and what we all strive for. The number one question I get is how to make a bone broth that gels. You will get a great recipe below!
Does bone broth break a keto fast?
Bone broth does not break a keto fast, provided that you find one with zero carbs. Be sure to check the nutrition facts as some of them will have 1-3 g per serving / cup, despite making various other health claims.
It is perfect for keto or intermittent fasting because it provides you with a feeling of nourishment and hydration which can gives you stable, all day energy without the crash.
How many carbs does bone broth have?
Bone broth generally has between 0 and 3 grams of carbs per cup or serving. This is why you need to do your research as many brands say they are keto friendly but actually have carbs and sugar. To make a version with zero carbs per serving, scroll to the bottom of the article.
Bone Broth Ketosis Benefits
There are tons of unique bone broth ketosis benefits, these include gut health, digestion, detoxification, sleep, hair growth, glowing skin, appetite control, hydration and reducing blood sugar. Let's go through each of these briefly below.
1. Heals Your Gut And Promotes Digestion
Gelatin is an amino acid that helps maintain the integrity and function of your intestinal walls and GI tract. This helps to keep food where it needs to be and not seeping out into your bloodstream, also known as leaky gut.
It also binds liquids and stimulates the release of digestive enzymes to your gut to assist your digestive system.
Bone broth is also full of glutamine, which is shown to prevent and treat leaky gut or intestinal permeability in studies. In fact, lots of people are finding bone broth to be helpful in treating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and other digestive issues.
2. Helps Detox Your Immune System
Bone broth naturally contains amino acids, glutamine, glycine and lipids, all which are extremely useful for your body to fight off infections and produce white blood cells.
Glycine (3 g per cup of Bluebird Provisions bone broth) in particular is shown to help your liver naturally detoxify itself and balance out harmful methionine levels in our bodies. It also contributes to autophagy, or the death of old, damaged cells.
But the key is to get enough in order to give your liver a break and allow your immune system to function properly. Glycine also helps increase the availability mechanisms of glutathione, the master antioxidant.
3. Little Known Sleep Benefits
Bone broth is high in glycine, a key amino acid that has been shown to promote sleep. It does this by relaxing your brain much like GABA or other inhibitory neurotransmitters.
This lets you relax and reduces your core body temperature to get you into deep, restorative sleep stages throughout the night. As a bonus, you also get cognitive function improvements.
The best way to get these benefits is to make yourself a mug and drink it about one hour before you go to bed.
4. Fuller Hair, Healthier Skin, Teeth and Nails From Collagen Protein
Collagen is great for your hair because it is the main protein in your hair, skin and nails. It also helps to keep them strong and healthy by supporting their structure.
Collagen is made from amino acids like glycine, proline and lysine. These amino acids are also found in bone broth, so you can get the benefits without having to eat your bones or use a skin health supplement.
It also to hydrates your skin and promote the turnover of new skin cells to reduce visible signs of aging like wrinkles and crows feet.
5. Controls Hunger and Reduces Appetite
I keep harping about gelatin, but it's really cool! It makes up about 95% of the total meat protein in broth and it's been shown to help to reduce hunger and increase satiety.
From a practical standpoint, you can just drink a cup with or before your meals to get the full benefits. Lots of people use this to control their appetite and eat less. See our review of the bone broth diet for more info on fat loss processes and evidence.
6. Muscle Tissue Growth
Taking collagen regularly has been shown to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat when combined with lifting weights. But make sure you are smart with the weight training so that you don't get injured. When you're injured it's really hard to make any exercise performance or health improvements.
7. Hydration From Natural Electrolytes
Bone broth naturally contains electrolytes, which are especially important to consume on the keto diet because it removes two big sources of natural electrolytes: starchy vegetables and fruit.
When you are keto, your muscle glycogen (aka carbohydrates stored in muscles) is depleted, and with that you get dehydrated. This means that electrolytes are even more important on the keto diet because your body is chronically running low.
Bone broth is the absolute best natural source these crucial electrolytes: potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and chloride. This helps when your body is transitioning to making ketones for fuel and helps avoid the dreaded keto flu.
You may need to add some high quality salt to your cup in order to get enough sodium.
8. Blood Sugar Problems
Bone broth can help control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics due to the glycine in it. Glycine is directly used in treatments to help these people in studies with great results.
Just be sure to consume it before your meals to get the benefits. 3 cups per day is a great place to start to keep insulin and blood glucose at bay and control food cravings.
9. Joint Health, Ligaments and Tendons
It's also used as a joint support supplement, much like chondroitin sulfate, and is also used to strengthen ligaments. In this case, be sure to combine regular use with vitamin C before you do any exercises or anything like walking or a workout that will load your joints.
This is something that helps to shuttle extra collagen into your joints to build up the cartilage, act like a lubricant and heal them.
The beauty of these benefits is that you do not need to make drastic lifestyle changes or add a new diet plan. Just start drinking one cup a day and see how you look and feel after a week. From here, you can adjust dosages and other things to change the effects.
How much bone broth should you drink a day on keto?
Most people should be able to drink 2-3 cups of bone broth per day without the risk of being kicked out of ketosis. Make sure the bone broth you are drinking has zero carbs. Many of the top brands you find online and in store are spiked with sugar and carbs as cheap ways to make them taste better.
A combination of beef and chicken works great for most people. Or just do what I do and mix the two of them together. Amounts may vary per person. You can try as much as you want.
Keto Beef Bone Broth Recipe
If you don't have the ability to buy a pre-made version, try this super easy keto bone broth recipe. You'll just need a few ingredients and pieces of equipment.
The beauty of the recipe, no question, is that there is little labor required. Simply set everything up on your stove, do some skimming and let it simmer away for 12-24 hours. It may take a few batches to get right.
There are also substitutes if you are using a crockpot, InstantPot or slow cooker.
- 6-7 lbs grass fed beef bones (knuckle and marrow)
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley
- High quality salt (Himalayan or natural sea)
- Black pepper
- Optional: 1/2 lb of onion, celery, carrots
- Place your animal bones, joints, meat and connective tissue into a large stock pot
- Fill the pot with water to cover the bones plus a few inches, about 8 liters.
- Place the pot onto the stove and bring to a boil.
- Skim the foamy bits that rise to the surface as it begins to boil 2-3 times over the first hour. Discard the foam as it is not needed.
- Reduce the heat to an aggressive, rolling simmer and let it cook away for 12-24 hours.
- Add your thyme, parsley and garlic for the last 3 hours of your total cook time.
- After 12-24 hours, remove the bones and meat from the broth using a spider strainer or slotted spoon.
- Pour broth through a fine mesh sieve or strainer with a bowl underneath.
- Place broth in fridge or freezer to cool.
- Add salt to taste and enjoy!
Low Carb Broth Tips
A few handy tips while you make it.
- Don't be afraid to cook it HOT! Like almost boiling throughout the day. Most people don't use enough heat and end up with weak, bland broth with no collagen. For reasons they know but they were scared to cook it hot. You can turn it down a bit overnight while you sleep.
- Leave the lid on to minimize how much it reduces. You can add water back to the pot. But it will make it less concentrated.
- Make sure you use enough of the right bones. Read all about sourcing the best bones for broth.
- You can vary the amount of bones. Use more for stronger broth.
- Once the broth cools, there is a beautiful fat cap on top. These fats are fantastic for cooking. They have a naturally high smoke point and are full of nutrients and mineral content. Or you can keep it in your broth and drink as is.
- Pour into glass jars but leave a bit of room at the top for it to expand when freezing.
- It is safe for up to 5 days in the fridge or 6 months in your freezer.
What about Keto Chicken Bone Broth?
You can easily substitute chicken bones in the recipe above to make a delicious, low carb chicken bone broth. Look for a mix of chicken feet, wings, drumsticks and back parts / carcasses. You can absolutely use whole chickens or leftover roast chicken bones.
Use some rosemary instead of thyme and add in a few sliced lemons for the last three hours of the cook. You will absolutely love the delicious lemony flavor.
I like to make all different types including lamb and pork. You can even make a paleo diet friendly fish version using fish bones and heads. Just cook this one for 1 hour though.
What are some keto-friendly bone broth recipes?
There are delicious keto-friendly bone broth recipes you can make it 30-60 minutes.
Healing Chicken Soup (with or without noodles)
Chicken broth is full of antioxidants and electrolytes, which keeps you hydrated and boosts your body's immune system.
Vegetable Beef Stew (Instant Pot Friendly)
Beef has more vital vitamins and minerals than chicken or pork and makes for the perfect low carb meal.
Look for chuck roast or sirloin.
- Preheat the pot and lightly brown the beef.
- Add your favorite veggies, then add any sort of seasonings you might want, to taste.
- Add the meat and bring to boil
- Then transfer the mixture to a covered pot and allow it to cook on medium-low heat, for about 20-25 minutes.
How do you use bone broth on keto?
You use bone broth on keto to keep you hydrated and get through those dreaded 'keto flu' symptoms. Start with 3 cups per day to make sure you are covering your animal protein content requirements without getting breaking keto. It is easy to digest and provides an abundance of nutrients.
You can find some delicious ways for how to make it taste better, including egg yolks, chili paste, roasted garlic, mct oil and more.
Bone broth is a great way to get all the benefits of the ketogenic diet without the dreaded flu. It's easy to make, can be used short or long term and can be used in a variety of recipes.
Bluebird Provisions bone broth is a great option for new and seasoned keto dieters or those fasting. The reason being that it is the only one with high 12 g protein and high electrolytes. You can also find them on Amazon Prime to get free shipping and the best value.
They also use 100% recyclable packaging!
Have you tested out going keto or low carb? How did it go? Did you get the flu symptoms? Leave a comment and let me know.