The ketogenic diet is all the rage now that people have realized that they can lose weight when they cut the carbohydrates. Most people don’t realize that they are overeating and not really in ketosis. Many individuals simply cut the carbs and don’t increase their fat intake. I made that mistake too.
But I wasn’t reaping the full benefits of the ketogenic diet until I started working with Dr. Clemens at the International Center for Medicine and Nutritional Intervention (ICMNI or Paleomedicina). They insisted that I measure every gram of food that I ate and make sure that I was eating the right fat to protein ratios.
I know how to measure things and categorize them as fat or meat. Not a problem.
And you only get to eat 400 grams of food per day. Wait. What? I had been eating twice that amount! How was I going to survive? This was terrible. I longed to be chewing on an extra burger or steak.
Then I remembered something I had read about bone broth. It provides you with a filling sensation. The blog post was promoting it as a weight loss tool. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, but I needed to feel full. I believed Dr. Clemens who had worked with thousands of patients that her research led her to believe that the human body physiologically only needs 400 grams of food, but this was quite the adjustment.
I asked my nutritionist if I could add bone broth into my diet. She said yes and it could count as part of my water intake.
It worked! Not only did I feel 100% satiated, but I started to see some of the health benefits from bone broth. Specifically, my skin was incredibly moisturized without lotion. My nails appeared to be getting stronger and growing a bit faster.
I also discovered that I could add a little extra bacon grease to the broth to increase my fat intake. That helped with my ketone levels and feeling of fullness.
So, what are some other great benefits of bone broth?
Bone Broth Health Benefits
- Bone broth prevents the keto flu with its essential electrolytes.
- Collagen and glycine in bone broth help you retain lean muscle mass.
- Bone broth eases stomach upset as it lines the walls of the gut lining.
- Collagen is superior to whey, casein and soy protein.
- Bone broth aids a healthy gut microbiome.
- Bone broth can elevate your mood.
- Bone broth contains high levels of glycine, hydroxyproline and proline, and alanine. These are essential building blocks for the body.
- Weight loss is improved as bone broth changes the ratio of Bacteriodetes to Firmicutes. Firmicutes will imbalance the body’s ability to metabilize calories.
- The collagen content of bone broth helps to improve dental health.
- Bone broth has been reported to help improve joint pain due to its l-glutamine, cysteine, glycine and histidine.
Adding Bone Broth to a Ketogenic Diet
When I started out, I added a cup of bone broth to each meal and sipped on it as a snack. For the first few days, this is okay, but keep in mind that bone broth does contain protein and fats that do add up. After a few days, I settled into a routine of having a cup of bone broth for breakfast and one with my dinner. Right now, two cups seems to keep me full until the next time I get to eat.
Since bone broth can be sipped slowly, it can keep me satisfied with a smaller amount of food if I know that I will be eating out and adjusting my food intake accordingly.
For people who are on a traditional ketogenic diet with a few vegetables, you can turn the bone broth into a soup by simply adding some low carbohydrate vegetables.
Low carb Additions for a Soup:
- shredded cabbage
- shredded carrots (not a low carb vegetable, but if you shred them and only use a few it can be very tasty and fit your macros)
- spring onions
- eggs (egg drop soup)
- green beans
Drinking Bone Broth Plain:
This sounds quite terrible, but it is the easiest and most convenient way to get the extra nutrition from bone broth. I make a batch every week in my electric pressure cooker and scoop out a cup at a time. It is nice to have on hand and it is a filling substitute for other foods.
Ideally, you want to heat it on the stove, but admittedly I heat it in the microwave half of the time. Let’s face it, we’re all human and take shortcuts sometimes.
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Counting Bone Broth In Your Macros
Thankfully, my nutritionist said I didn’t have to worry about counting the broth in my macronutrient ratios. In some ways, I feel like I’m cheating and getting in some extra nutrients. I am doing a VERY STRICT paleo ketogenic version of the diet, so my carbohydrates are pretty much zero anyway. I’m not getting so much extra protein from the broth that it kicks me out of ketosis. (I do measure that now with my keto-mojo!)
If you are adding low carbohydrate veggies to your broth to make a nourishing soup, I would definitely count a few carbohydrates for the soup. The low carb veggies won’t get you up over 20 grams of carbohydrates, but will make the soup feel more like a meal. It will also add some flavor and interest to the soup.
The Key to My Success
I can say without a doubt that bone broth has been the key to helping me stick with the paleo ketogenic diet for the last three weeks. My adjustment to life without dairy would have been much harder had I not had the comfort of a cup of broth at every meal to distract me. Adding in some of the extra fats to my broth also helped me to increase my fat levels and get my ketones up.
While it is a bit early to say whether the bone broth has cured any of my ailments, it does help me to feel great and stick with my VERY STRICT diet.