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A Nutritionists View on Bone Broth and Fasting

With the latest news about Kourtney Kardashian fasting for 24 hours on only bone broth I cannot decide if I am motivated or completely turned off about bone broth fasting. Maybe it has to do with the way the article is presented to us as readers. First we hear about her restrictive diet, and then we are shown a string of photos of Kourtney Kardashian in dental floss stringy outfits.  And then comes the part about her being a mom of three…..evidently this is supposed to inspire us fellow moms to put on a thong swimsuit and drink nothing but bone broth and water for twenty-four hours!  

As someone who works in the bone broth and nutrition field, I find articles like this frustrating. While I am happy that bone broth gets some more well-deserved attention, I am not ecstatic that fasting appears like it is healthy for all!  

The positives and negatives of fasting

Fasting has been around for thousands of years – many times for religious purposes and also for health purposes. In the last fifty or so years, we have turned fasting into a way to lose a few pounds for a big event….or as a way to bounce back after weeks of “splurging”.  There are fasts (aka cleanses) that range from only drinking water, to drinking water/lemon/cayenne pepper, to only juicing, to now only brothing.

Bone broth fasts do have their benefits. Bone broth is rich in amino acids that tighten the skin, cleanse the liver, support the colon, hormone detoxification, and help repair intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”).  It is also high in minerals and nutrients that support overall general health.  

But the body needs to be ready for fasting – and I mean ready. This means that your digestive system needs to be ready to handle the toxic dump that is going to happen while fasting.  Think about it…if your small intestines, large intestines, colon, liver, and gallbladder do not currently function 100%,  then what happens when you hit the TURBO button on detoxing hardcore. All those toxins have to go somewhere, right? Yep, and if the digestive tract is not “disposing” of things correctly, then those toxins will get stored up. They will store in places like the liver. This is rarely discussed in mainstream articles because it’s really not pretty talking about the poop getting clogged up or having diarrhea!  

A Nutritionists View on Bone Broth and Fasting

Getting started with bone broth

So, what is a better option if you are interested in bone broth? Start by incorporating a cup of well sourced, well made, broth and eat local, fresh produce (ideally from local farmers). Make sure you drink plenty of clean, fresh water. Then, if you want to start fasting, start slowly, but make sure your body is ready for it (for example- make sure you are pooping “normal” poop on a daily basis. See above chart-4 and 5 are considered normal). Replace a meal a day with bone broth (ideally 1-2 cups). You can add a scoop of coconut, flax, or another seed oil to it to feel more sustained energy. If deciding to go on a full bone broth cleanse, then seek advice of an expert or purchase a book like Dr Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet.

A Nutritionists View on Bone Broth and FastingPure bone broth is available at local farmers markets, local markets, and online. Be wary of bone broth products that are shelf stable or powders that have gums such as xanthan or guar gum in them. Making your own is also an option. If doing so, make sure that the bones used are antibiotic and hormone-free. Use stainless steel or clay cookers to make sure no heavy metals are seeping in.  Yes, bone broth is exactly what our great-grandmas used when they cooked. It is going back to a time when nothing went to waste.  And that way of cooking can be good for the body, mind, and soul!

Nutritious therapeutic foods like bone broth or cold-pressed juices do serve a purpose, but using them strictly as weight loss tools is not the way they were designed to be used. I much prefer 50-year-old Salma Hayak talking about how she avoided putting chemicals in her body (aka botox) by drinking bone broth.

Enjoy your food, eat clean, eat natural, and stay hydrated.  Do not eat to look like anyone except you!

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