In case you missed it, Gwyneth Paltrow’s diet came under scorn recently, particularly her bone broth lunch. This was just one component of her unorthodox “wellness routine” that she revealed on the podcast The Art of Being Well With Dr. Cole. Many people took to social media to question their food choices—and their rectal ozone therapy. So, we wondered how healthy her bone broth habit really was and went to the experts to find out.
First, what exactly is bone broth? “Bone broth is a nutritious liquid that is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue in water for an extended period of time,” said Dan LeMoine, co-founder of Re:vitalize Weight Loss and author of Fear No Food.
But don’t confuse this with the cans of broth you see in stores. The main difference is that bone broth is cooked much longer, according to Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, naturopathic doctor and author of Bone Broth Breakthrough and Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet, among other books. “It’s in that process that the vital nutrients are extracted from the bones, giving bone broth its signature thick texture, rich flavor and nutritious content,” he said.
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The resulting broth is packed with protein, few carbs, and lots of collagen—a combination that seems to have made it into a sort of miracle liquid in the world’s wellness and dieting. Some of its potential benefits are reduced joint pain, improved sleep, support of immunity and gut health, and weight loss, according to LeMoine. Much of this is a result of the collagen, which also supports the skin—one reason why it’s laud in beauty and wellness circles.
Apart from collagen and health claims, its nutritional makeup makes it a good candidate for dieting and weight loss. “If someone is focused on weight loss, bone broth is a low-calorie, high-protein meal substitute for those looking to stay in a slight caloric deficit,” says LeMoine.
While Paltrow revealed on the podcast that she often has coffee in the morning (or something that doesn’t spike blood sugar), soup for lunch (which is often bone broth), and a paleo dinner, our experts agree that it’s difficult to assess her diet without knowing all the factors, such as how much she’s eating and what her activity levels are.
“Diets are very personal, no diet is one size fits all. I hate to be critical of Gwyneth’s diet without having a more detailed outline of what she eats in a day vs. a generalized soundbite,” said Dr. Petrucci, who notes that caloric needs are individual based on things like activity level and whether they’re breastfeeding.
Petrucci also highlights some of the benefits of eating paleo, drinking coffee in the morning to maintain a fast, or having soup or bone broth for lunch.
“One could probably make the case either way—that sounds like too little food and a lot like a starvation diet, or that we could highlight the benefits of bone broth, intermittent fasting, and plant-heavy paleo meals,” says LeMoine. “The temptation is to either judge or try to copy/paste some celebrity’s diet for ourselves.”
While bone broth can be used as a meal replacement for weight loss, it can also be used as a filling for snacks or a replacement for cooking oil, according to LeMoine. Dr. Petrucci recommends using it as a base for soups or stews and even freezing it in ice cube trays to use in a stir fry later.
“With every diet, it’s important to make sure you are getting a diversity of foods to continue to flood your body with all types of vitamins and minerals as well as making sure your body is getting ample macronutrients including carbs, proteins and fats,” said Dr. Petrucci.
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Allison Arnold is the Associate SEO Editor at Delish, where she writes about kitchen gadgets and food and culture. She likes exercising almost as much as eating, and has a thorough Google Maps ranking system for her favorite restaurants and bars. You can find her spewing hot takes on the food world and planning her next trip, all with multiple cans of seltzer open at a time.