RD Advice

What’s Trending: Bone Broth

Happy that it is warm enough for casual walks!

Good morning everyone! I am in a great mood with the slightly warmer weather this week, feels like winter is slowly letting go of its grip on Pittsburgh, hopefully we won’t see anymore snow (knock on wood). Monday night Zach met me down by the river after work for a walk before it got dark. We then went to Costco (Zach’s favorite store) to pick up a couple of items on sale and then back home for a quiet evening.


Yesterday was a rather busy day for us. We worked, I went to the gym for spin and an arm and ab sesh, then got groceries, then went home and Zach made the decision to put a frozen pizza in the oven. Yes, even Registered Dietitians are real people sometimes. We discussed what to do (if anything) about a scrape that I put on the car 😦 I did some work for my other part-time job and we watched some Netflix.

Check out my ab workout that I made up last night. I have yet to name it so if you have any suggestions…:)

  1. 1 minute plank
  2. 50 crunches (pull tummy towards spine for full benefit or else these can be done rather easily)
  3. 40 v pulses
  4. 30 leg raises (these always get my neck so I can never do more than 30 at a time)
  5. 20 mountain climbers
  6. 10 side crunches, each side
  7. 1 minute plank

For arms I stuck with free weights and rotated three exercises:

  1. Bicep curl – With a weight that is 2-5 lbs more than you are used to using, 15-20
  2. Tricep extension – I used the same weight (12.5 lbs) and alternated my hands halfway through. 15-20 again
  3. Lateral raises – Same weight, I could only do 15 of these before it felt like my arms couldn’t go anymore
  4. Repeat 3x.

I started off my night going to a spin class but 15 minutes in I had the urge to sneak out 20 minutes early and do arms as it had been about a week since my last arm workout and I didn’t want to stop making progress. Plus, sometimes I wish the spin workouts were offered as 45 minutes so that I had time to do some strength. I typically only stay at the gym an hour. It was a great decision, even though I felt like a jerk when I got off my bike.

For today’s post I want to start a new tradition. In the “About Me” section of my blog I talk about wanting to be a place that promoted evidence-based nutrition guidance. In order to do this I wanted to create a new weekly post that will inform and bring you the evidence (or lack of) behind trending food and health topics. I am hoping that this will be helpful for you all and teach you the skills to conduct your own background research whenever a new trend presents itself.

Bone Broth

Description: Bone broth is made from boiling roasted poultry bones for long periods of time, until the bones can come apart with light pressure. Similar process to how stock is made, but longer period of cooking time.

Nutrition Information: Per 1 cup Organic Bone Broth

  • Calories: 35
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 95 grams
  • Carbohydrate: 0 grams
  • Protein: 9 grams

Nutrition Information: Per 1 cup Organic Chicken Broth, so you can compare

  • Calories: 10
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 70 grams
  • Carbohydrate: 1 gram
  • Protein 2 grams

*You will note that Bone Broth has about 7 grams more protein per cup, which is very significant, in my opinion. All other items are not that large of a difference.

Cost: Online I found Pacific Natural Foods has an Organic Bone Broth for $5.99, they have an Organic Chicken Broth for $4.01. I imagine that you could spend more money in Whole Foods on Bone Broth if you picked it up in an organic section.

History of: Bone broth has been around for ages as a remedy for several ailments, including the current uses listed below. Recently it has shown up as a new food fad.

Current uses: Currently bone broth is used for weight loss, wrinkle-reduction, as a protein supplement, digestive health enhancer and more. There is even a book out about the Bone Broth Diet, written by a MD, that makes these claims as well. All of these claims I found doing a quick Google search, reading other’s blogs, etc. Please note that any claims that are made without research or evidence behind them need to be taken with caution.

Evidence-based literature findings: It was VERY hard to find current research studies that have been performed about bone broth (trust me, I spent an hour on PubMed and other online article databases that University of Pittsburgh offers). The best resource that I found was an article published in Harvard Women’s Health Watch, a part of Harvard Health Publications. The article reviewed the current body of research and gave me a very good overview of where we stand. Here are the most important points you need to know:

  1. Bone broth was found to have a positive effect in helping people when they are congested. This was one study’s findings, so please take it with a grain of salt. The study was also performed in 1978, so a while ago, reported by Chest journal. In the research world, several studies are needed to create a base for recommendations.
  2. One other study, again only one, found that chicken soup (not specifically bone broth) seemed to reduce white bloods cells which are the first line of responders during inflammation. This has not been further confirmed. This study was performed in 2000 and reported by Chest.
  3. Bone broth has a higher amount of protein. This can be a good thing for individuals who nutritionally need more protein. Those who are elderly, have open wounds, head injuries are a part of this category. Also individuals who are (mostly) vegetarian and are looking for another source of protein.
  4. There is no evidence to suggest that bone broth makes wrinkles better, helps with digestion, relieves joint pain, or strengthens bone.

Summary: I would not recommend this as a food you need to run to the store to buy. I also do not think it is harmful, and I believe that extra protein without saturated fat is a good find. For me, I would not pay $5.99 for bone broth when I can get reduced sodium broth for much cheaper at Aldi.

If you have access to some databases through your work or a university, you can read the article: http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/whats-the-scoop-on-bone-soup I could not access this great article without logging in – the unfortunate thing about accessing some research articles.


3 thoughts on “What’s Trending: Bone Broth”

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