I shared a Christmas e-gift with my subscribers last week, but the link in the email was broken! To get it, click here. It’s a “Cancer Dietitian designs” holiday coloring sheet!
In honor of the crazy diets, cleanses and fads that show up around the New Year, I offer you a reminder that you don’t need to do anything crazy. Try to stay focused on nourishing your body, being physically active in a way that you enjoy and avoiding restrictive eating or strict food rules. Your body and mind will thank you!
The Bone Broth Trend
One of many food trends is bone broth. Bone broth sounds new and exotic but it’s just stock! The difference is the health claims behind it. Another trend popular among paleo enthusiasts, bone broth is said to do anything from improving immunity and losing weight, to improving the health of your skin and hair.
We know from my immunity series, that one food alone doesn’t boost the immune system!
Bone broth is a perfect example of how people who do not understand the science of nutrition, specifically how nutrients are digested, absorbed, and then used within the body, try to make a connection between a nutrient in food and a cure-all to different ailments.
Vitamins and minerals have very important roles within the body, which is why it’s important to eat a variety of foods containing these nutrients every day. For example, vitamin A is good for eye health and vitamin C is important for the wound healing process.
The disconnect is when people don’t understand that a nutrient’s function within the body has a “cap.” A deficiency in vitamin C can result in delayed wound healing, but overconsumption of vitamin C will not improve wound healing beyond the body’s normal ability.
The same goes for the claims of consuming the collagen in bone broth to improve wound healing and rebuild collagen within the body.
- If you don’t have a protein deficiency to begin with you won’t see a change
- Your body breaks down the protein you consume in food into individual amino acids before it’s absorbed
Eating collagen provides the amino acids necessary to build collagen, but that doesn’t mean that you drink bone broth and the collagen in bone broth travels to your joints and deposits it there.
Your body’s NEEDS determine how it will use the nutrients you eat; you don’t have control over that. (On a separate but related note, this is why consuming protein supplements containing individual amino acids is pointless because your body is going to break down the protein into individual amino acids anyways.)
The Bottom Line
Unlike other diet trends, there may not be any harm to following this trend, unless you are consuming so much broth it replaces other food groups. Home-made, low sodium broth can be incorporated into a healthful diet.
But drink it because you want to, not because you think it is going to cure and prevent disease. And certainly don’t spend a fortune to get it. Save that $ for other nourishing foods!
I hope you have a wonderful start to the New Year!
Hi Julie, Thanks.
Question: Based on some studies meat in our diet increases our cancer risk, besides other diseases. Is bone broth, being from animal source, also associated with increase risk of cancer?