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Does Bone Broth Break a Fast?
Intermittent Fasting

Does Bone Broth Break a Fast?

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 12, 2022
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6 min

As with many flavorful liquids, whether you can consume bone broth during intermittent fasting poses a conflicting discussion.

does bone broth break a fast

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Intermittent fasting is restrictive. It demands a complete switch from your normal diet and eating habits. The idea is to move the body into a fat-burning state, as the production of ketone bodies provides a new energy source. 

It’s thought to decrease the risk of chronic diseases, stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol, and improve sleep quality.

During fasting, you don’t consume food. But depending on your calorie allowance, there may be some leeway.

As you cut things out of your diet, it’s normal to wonder what potentially might be okay. Intermittent fasting triggers various discussions, from the safety of drinking black coffee to adding lemon to your water. 

We discuss several variations of bone broth and its impact on fasting periods – let’s settle the debate.

Will Bone Broth Break a Fast? 

Simply put, calories break fasts. As the bone broth is not calorie-free, it will technically break a fast.

Any number of calories from any source will break the fasting period, but some intermittent fasters choose to consume low-calorie drinks to help them through. Black coffee and green tea are popular beverages, but most play it safe and stick to plain water.

Depending on the diet guidelines you’re following, you might think it safe to drink bone broth in your fasting window.

For instance, on the keto diet, when you introduce calories into your fast, your body is kicked out of ketosis, ultimately ending your fast. 

However, very minimal amounts of calories are unlikely to harm your efforts.

The number of calories in bone broth varies by brand and method. According to the USDA, 100ml of bone broth has 51 calories. 

On a modified intermittent fasting diet, 50 calories or less is often considered suitable to keep you in the metabolic state. 

What Is Bone Broth? 

Bone broth is a stock made from animal bones and connecting tissues. 

Depending on the recipe, they are simmered down with water, vinegar, herbs, and other vegetables.

It’s relatively simple to make a batch at home, although it can take several hours to cook. 

Popular varieties of bone broth are made from fish, chicken, pork, beef, and lamb. It can, however, be made with just about any animal source. 

Bone broth is nutrient-rich and often used as the base for soups and sauces. As part of a regular diet, bone broth is highly nutritious. But to avoid consuming more calories than expected, try making bone broth yourself rather than purchasing ready-made. 

Consuming bone broth is said to have many health benefits, and it’s now found on the market as a healthy drink for weight loss.

As you can drink bone broth, it seems suitable for those partaking in intermittent fasting. 

Bone Broth and Autophagy

Autophagy is the natural process of degrading and recycling cells managed by the immune system. It’s essentially a clearout of older, damaged cells to make way for new healthy cells.

Intermittent fasting may induce autophagy, although the science in this field is relatively new.

It’s potentially triggered by cellular stress when the body is deprived of nutrients, for instance, through fasting.

So, is bone broth good for cellular cleanup?  If your goal is autophagy rather than weight loss alone, bone broth may not be the best idea. 

Firstly, it has calories that can disrupt autophagy. 

It also has protein and amino acids that some people believe may trigger a process called mTOR

mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) serves as a nutrient sensor. When protein is detected in the body, it can cancel autophagy.  

There are arguments on both sides, but generally, bone broth is advised against if your focus is autophagy.

Chicken Broth While Fasting

Chicken broth is a variety of bone broth that has been explicitly made from chicken meat and bones. It is usually cooked with herbs, vegetables, and seasoning.

Chicken broth tends to have fewer calories but enough calories to technically break your fast.

People enjoy chicken broth when fasting as it’s a great source of essential nutrients and protein that can provide you with the energy you need to focus on your fast.

Again, it comes down to how much wriggle room you have within your fasting model.

Keep in mind that some brands are high in sodium and other additives, so it’s best to prepare your own.

Vegetable Broth While Fasting

The vegetable broth on fasting days is permitted, again, depending on how strict you want to be. 

If you’re using an intermittent fasting method that allows a maximum of 50 calories while fasting, the vegetable broth gets the green light as most are under 50 calories. 

As the vegetables are simmered down, you’re left with the juices rather than the bulk or solid chunks where most calories are.

Plant-based broths are often better tolerated by the stomach than meat-based broths. 

Remember that store-bought broth is more likely to contain additives and more calories. With a low-calorie recipe, you can make it at home. That way, you know exactly what’s going into it.

Will Bouillon Cubes Break a Fast?

Bouillon is a form of broth made in the same way. It is a pantry essential in most households and combined with gravies, soups, and sauces, although you can consume it independently.

Bouillon cubes are dehydrated stock formulated into compact cubes. You add water to dissolve the cubes into a liquid.

It is another typical liquid food used in intermittent fasting. However, bouillon cubes often contain artificial flavors and preservatives that threaten your fasting efforts.

To prevent breaking your fast, we recommend making your own broth instead.

Breaking Fast With Bone Broth

We’ve covered bone broth while fasting, but what about when it comes to breaking your fast? 

Whether you’ve been fasting for a few hours or an entire day, it’s a good idea to plan what you’re going to eat in your eating window. 

You’re probably daydreaming about all kinds of delightful foods, but it’s best to ease yourself back in with gentler options. When you feel ready to tolerate more, you can move to whole grains, healthy fats, and other nutrient-dense foods. 

Bone broth is an excellent choice as you end your fast, as it’s easy on the stomach. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Amino acids help support good gut health, which is beneficial after a long period without food.

It also contains collagen that can decrease inflammation and nourish the gut. Gelatin, another version of collagen, also assists the digestive system. 

Other nutrients include calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus from the bones themselves.

Bone broth has become so popular that a bone broth fast is now a thing. It’s a modified version of intermittent fasting, where the participant consumes several portions of bone broth throughout the day and cuts out solid foods.

A bone broth fast can reset the digestive system while providing the benefits of fasting, including weight loss.

Intermittent fasting can get pretty complex. For assistance, DoFasting is an app that provides everything you need to handle a fast, from meal recommendations to educational content and motivational tools.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Intermittent fasting is continuously used as a method to lose weight.

It involves time-restricted eating in various cycles, depending on the method. Some intermittent fasters go whole days without eating, while others split the day between fasting and eating windows.

While there are many benefits of fasting, getting through long periods without eating is a struggle. People search for intermittent fasting tips to ease the journey, like drinking certain beverages and savory liquids with minimal calories.

Sipping bone broth can help you stay hydrated, curb cravings, and settle hunger pangs. But depending on your calorie allowance, it will technically break a fast.

We recommend deciding by weighing out the benefits of bone broth with the necessary restrictions required for fat burning.

Many people accept bone broth as a suitable, nutrient-rich option for fasting periods.

Conclusion

Well, does bone broth break a fast? Yes and no. 

In the strictest terms, bone broth breaks fast because it contains calories. And true fasting means no calories.

However, a gelatinous bone broth can benefit your fast by keeping you satisfied and hydrated in controlled amounts. Too much, of course, will break your fast entirely.

The bottom line is that drinking bone broth is suitable depending on your personal needs and goals and your fasting model. 

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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