I Tried the Bone Broth Diet Fad and Here’s What I Learned

broth soup

What happened when I spent several days eating daily servings of bone broth? A few things. My itch for great soup was scratched, I lost about a pound, and I looked a bit younger. I think the latter point was because I shaved a graying six-day beard, though. And the pound might have been random (my weight has fluctuated within a three-pound window since 2009). As for curbing my craving for soup? That was all broth, baby.

Look, I’m a born skeptic. If someone tells me something can cure this, treat that, or boost something and said person is not a medical doctor (not including Dr. Oz), I tend to reject the claim out of hand. So when I started researching the many reported benefits of bone broth, I was far from convinced. Proponents of this popular super food claim it can do everything from healing damaged joints to ameliorating stomach and intestinal issues to reducing wrinkles to teaching you German. (I made up that last claim, but whatever). Regardless, I just wasn’t sold on the near-magical merits of what is really just broth, the same stuff people have been consuming for untold thousands of years.

But I also understand the value of trying something yourself before you come to hard and fast conclusions. So I recently acquired a freezer full of Osso Good bone broths and soups.

Osso Good is based out of Northern California and sources ingredients from Oregon and upstate California, because of course they do. The brand is committed to non-GMO, hormone-free, gluten-free, and “beyond” organic recipes. (I have no objection to certain GMO foods or to gluten, by the way, but you might, and that’s cool.)

Most of the benefits reportedly achieved through bone broth consumption come thanks to the high amount of collagen found in the stuff, but from what I (and a lot of medical researchers) can tell, despite the high collagen concentration, the volume is still too low for it to notably contribute to joint health or wrinkle reduction. As for helping with gut issues, there’s no hard data there either way.

However, one 8 ounce serving can deliver 2 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and an astonishing 12 grams of protein with just 60 net calories — that’s impressive. (Those are the stats for Osso Good’s Signature Bone Broth, for the record. Their Beef Bone Broth has the same amount of protein and just 45 calories. Which is still rather amazing.)

Each day during a work-week-long period, I sipped the broth, ate a ready-made Osso Good Soup’R Foods soup, or used the broth to make my own soup right after a run and workout. You need protein after exercise, I figured, so why not deliver a lot of it sans the high calories? I can’t say for sure that I felt better for having consumed bone broth after working out than I would had I eaten some turkey or beans or whey protein isolate, but I can say that the stuff is delicious and warming and comforting, and that it certainly tastes nourishing. All I added was a bit of salt when drinking the broth straight up; in my soups, I added some butter, white wine, vegetables, and meats.

osso good bone broth
Steven John/The Manual
Steven John/The Manual

Osso Good Soup’r Food soups are lower in protein than the broths, but they have a good balance of carbs and fiber and they manage to be decently filling while still low calorie. In the future, I’ll reserve those for actual meals and stick with the broth as a post-exercises elixir. Even if I doubt the veracity of many bone broth claims made by TV doctors, bloggers, and alternative medicine gurus, I know well that a body needs lots of protein, fiber, and carbs, and that balancing calories consumed with calories used is the way to maintain weight.

(One final note, for a bit of clarity: the very name bone broth is rather a misnomer, as the stuff marketed as such is primarily made from meats (and veggies) than actual bones. It’s actually a stock when it’s mostly bones and smaller bits of meat. Confusing, right? Right.)

You can order Osso Good bone broths to be shipped to your door on ice (dry ice, in fact!) from the company’s site, but be ready to spend a minimum of $50 per order. There are also some wild, tasty bone broth concoctions available from Epic, including Jalapeño Sea Salt and Bison Apple Cider. Kettle and Fire bone broths are available online and in stores at lower prices than most competitors.

Food & Drink

Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein Serves Up Pizza in a Bag

"It comes in a pizza slice-shaped bag and it's pepperoni jerky. If I walk by, I’d look and think, 'I need to try that.' It's just like Epic Meal Time."
Food & Drink

What is Kombucha: Fermented Tea 101 with Matt Thomas, Founder of Brew Dr. Kombucha

“Kombucha is another word for fermented tea,” says Thomas. “The word came from a doctor practicing in Japan in the 80s, Dr. Kombu. ‘Cha’ means tea.”

Las Vegas’ Best New Bar is 55 Stories Above the Strip

A drink here should be a requirement for all Vegas trips moving forward.
Food & Drink

These Chili Cheese Nachos are Part Texan, Part Korean, and All Delicious

There’s just something about the mix of meat with spices and dark, savory sauce piled high on a slightly salty nacho chip that gets us.
Food & Drink

A Bitter Experiment: Why You Should Try Adding Bitters to an IPA

IPAs already have a strong reputation for being bitter, so why kick it up a notch and add cocktail bitters?

This Small Electric Toothbrush Cleans Just as Good as Its Competitors

The best part? A subscription option means you'll never have to remember to purchase a replacement again.
Food & Drink

The Right Way to Make a Spice Blend with Lior Lev Sercarz

Yes, a properly cooked piece of chicken or steak is delicious on its own, but the flavors introduced by a spice blend can elevate a meal to new heights.

Here’s What We Know About the 2019 Toyota Supra

After a 16-year nap, the Toyota Supra is finally ready to re-enter the sports car market.

Aston Martin Stuffed V-8 Engine into a Pipsqueak City Car for Laughs

It looks more like a Smart car than a Vantage, but this Aston Martin Cygnet is capable of 430 horsepower.

Forget that Tiny House and Get a Tiny Houseboat Instead

Retire to a tiny life fishing on the big water.

Crash on Namibia’s Dramatic Skeleton Coast at the One-of-a-kind Shipwreck Lodge

The hotel is in a place so inhospitable that Portuguese sailors once called it “The Gates of Hell.”

This Island Fortress is for Sale and You Can Own It for Less than You Think

For the same price as a nice house in a mid-sized American city, you can buy Stack Rock Fort, an abandoned fortress off the coast of Wales.

Is This Modern-Day Lumberjack Competition the Manliest Sport in the World?

Stihl Timbersports Competition involves axes, chainsaws, handsaws, and a whole lot of wood. So, yeah, it's pretty manly.

How to Get Out of a Rip Current

Every guy should know how to spot and escape a rip current, whether you’re swimming at a protected beach manned by a Baywatch team or exploring an uncharted cove.
Food & Drink

Shaken, Not Stirred: The Manual’s Guide to Cocktail Shakers

Spirit-forward drinks like a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned necessitate stirring, but by and large, if you're making a multi-ingredient cocktail, you're going to need to shake it up.
Food & Drink

The B-Line is What Brings Bourbon Lovers to Northern Kentucky

As you probably already know, Kentucky makes 95 percent of the world’s bourbon (if you didn’t, you do now).
Food & Drink

The Best Cheap Beer Money Can Buy

Some cultures may value spirits or wine or something else entirely, but at the end of the day, chances are you’re going to be able to find a cheap beer no matter where you go.
Food & Drink

8 Ways to Keep Your Drinks Cold on a Hot Day

The summer sun has finally met its match in the form of these eight drink chillers.
Food & Drink

How to Cook Ribs in the Oven (Yes, They’ll Come Out Great)

Purists may cringe and haters may hate, but the answer to the age-old question, "Can you cook ribs in the oven?" Yes, you can. Now, the follow-up: Do ribs taste good when cooked in the oven? Yes, yes they do.