Video: Keto Without a Gallbladder + Fat Digestion Issues

Keto Without A Gallbladder + Fat Digestion Issues #keto #highfat #lowcarb #hflc #lchf

Fat indigestion, how to know when you’re not digesting fats and eating keto (high-fat, low-carb) without a gallbladder.

If you don’t have a gallbladder, or you have one and you experience weird symptoms after you’ve had a healthful, fatty meal, keto, today’s keto video is for you!

Something I forgot to mention in the video… if you have gotten bloodwork done recently and your fat soluble vitamins are low (vitamins A and D), it could be a good indication that your body may not be breaking down fats properly. If this is you, scroll down and press play!

Also, there was a little fumble in my words about 1-minute in. Your gallbladder does not CREATE bile, your liver does. The gallbladder stores bile. The liver will continue to make bile, but it has nowhere to store it. So, if you are eating meals with moderate to high amounts of fats, you are not going to have enough bile to break things down properly.

A must-watch if you’re having a hard time digesting fats or your gallbladder was removed and you’re interested in eating keto (high-fat, low-carb).

For video transcription, scroll down.


  • How to be keto when you don’t have a gallbladder
  • How to know when you’re not digesting fats properly
  • Why I don’t support gallbladder flushes
  • The three foods to eat to increase bile production



All of le fats! Maybe you have a copy of my keto book, “The Keto Beginning,” or my newest keto book and program, “Fat Fueled,” and you’re having an issue with fat digestion, or maybe you do not have a gallbladder and you’re like, “What the heck? How do I eat high fat, keto if I don’t have the means to break down fats?” The top question right now in the Healthful Pursuit keto community, “Can I eat keto if I don’t have a gallbladder or have an issue breaking down fats?”

Maybe you’re one of these 2 kinds of people. The first is that you have an inability to break down fats. You still have your gallbladder, but you can’t break down fats. Now, the second person is if you don’t have a gallbladder. First things first, I’m not a doctor. This is not medical advice of any kind, and whatever I’m about to share is not treatment, so if you’re having issues, imbalances, please just go see your health care provider and make sure that you’re okay, especially if you’re experiencing pain. If you’re experiencing pain, you should probably go get that checked out and make sure that you’re okay.

Let’s tackle things one by one because what I would tell a person that’s having a fat digestive issue is very different from what I would tell somebody who doesn’t have a gallbladder because your gallbladder creates bile which breaks down fat, and if you don’t have that, then you need to supplement. Even if you’re not eating high fat, keto, you should still be supplementing and still be supporting your body to digest fats properly.

If you don’t have a gallbladder, it’s very likely that you could probably eat up to about 60% fat. Now, this is just based on work that I’ve done with my clients, on my one-on-one Spark sessions, and details that I have reviewed in many … a book about eating high fat is it’s usually around the 60% mark. This isn’t to say like, “Go right now and eat like a can of coconut milk, and then have an avocado and like pile on the fats. Go balls to the walls.” You’re probably going to get sick.

The key for you is to start slowly, and make sure that the steps that you’re taking behind the scenes to support your body in digesting fat is on track with how much fat you’re eating. What I tell my clients when they’re first starting off, if they don’t have a gallbladder and they want to eat high fat, is start with 1 meal, so let’s start with breakfast. Let’s include a little bit of fat at breakfast. Maybe an extra tablespoon. Maybe you move up to 2 tablespoons, then you’re up to 3 tablespoons.

By tablespoons, like if you’re having some bacon, I would say like 1 strip of bacon is like a tablespoon. You could even see it as like a serving if that helps you, so start small. Make sure that you are incorporating a little bit of fats into your breakfast. Then, once you figured that out, you’re feeling good, move on to lunch, then dinner, and so you’re slowly picking apart your day instead of just saying, “I’m going to eat fats at every meal,” and not really know what’s going on with your body.

If pain or nausea is experienced, then you’ve probably eaten too much fat. Back off a little bit. Go to the last place you felt really good. Eat that. Maybe boost up the supplementation that I’ll talk to in a second, and see if boosting up the supplementation lets you go beyond the line that you were at before. While you’re working on incorporating more fats into your life by the meals that we talked about, you could also supplement with something like Ox Bile.

Now, if your gallbladder was removed, your doctor probably told you that you needed to supplement with something like this to make sure that you digested your fats properly. Now, depending on when you got your gallbladder removed, I know that some of my clients were never told about taking Ox Bile because it was recommended that they go on a low-fat or no-fat diet for the rest of their lives.

Ox Bile helps us to break down our fats when we don’t have that bile. It helps with the processing, disinfection of the fats, and really helps with assimilating too because when the fats are broken down, our body is able to actually assimilate them, and use them, and be awesome, and get rid of indigestion, and upset stomach, and all the things that come along with not having enough bile in our bodies, especially in your case because you got none.

Now, in addition to the Ox Bile to help you digest your food, supplementing with things like niacin, a non-flush niacin as well as a B-complex because when you take a specific type of B vitamins, it’s really important to take a complex with that, so that everything can stay balanced, and niacin helps to digest food in general, fats, proteins, carbohydrates. It’s all there, and a strong digestive enzyme to help things along.

Now, onto the people that experience fat indigestion, so this is like the pain in the corner, the nausea after you eat fats, dry palms, swollen tongue, which is a little bit less common like that’s a pretty severe response to improper fat digestion. This can occur when somebody is first starting their fat-fueled journey, and I’ve had a lot of clients that eat fat-fueled for like 6 months, and then they start having issues with digestion. I imagine it being like a block in your pipes. The easiest way to do that is to unblock the pipes.

I’m not a huge advocate of gallbladder flushes personally because I don’t have enough experience to really comment on gallbladder flushes, and another reason is because I just feel like they may be a little bit too drastic, and it’s not something that I can promote on something where thousands of people are seeing it. If you want to learn more about gallbladder flushes, go for it. See if it works for you. I highly recommend you chat with your health care provider before you do something like that because if you have a gallbladder imbalance and it’s more than just like my gallbladder is having an issue producing enough bile, then you want to make sure that your gallbladder is in a good state before you attempt a flush or anything like that.

If you’re having an issue with digesting fats, the best way to approach this is to increase bile production. My favorite and something that I tell my Spark clients who are having issues with digesting fats is to increase these 3 foods, and they’re ketogenic-friendly, they’re fat-fueled-friendly, so you are ace on including this at least once a day.

The first is artichokes. My favorite is to just get a big old bulb of artichoke and steam it in for about 10 minutes if I remember correctly, and then eat that. It’s mostly the leaves, like the meat from the leaves that you want, and that can help stimulate bile production. I’ll also like take the meat off the leaves and add it to like scrambles. I’m currently doing an egg-free thing, so my scrambles are like a lot of meat and vegetables, so you can do that as well.

The second one is beets, so if you have an instant pot … This is an electric pressure cooker. I love this thing. I use it constantly. In fact, I have bone broth cooking downstairs right now in my kitchen for lunch today. The most beautifully steamed delicious beets just like the ones from Costco that everyone loves, but they cost a fraction of the cost, and then I just them in little containers, and slice them up, and put them on things. That can also help with bile production. If you’re like, “I want one of these magical instant pot things right now,” I’ve included a link below and a coupon code for $10 off your instant pot purchase.

Sauerkraut juice, and you’re like, “What the heck did she just say?” Sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice are really good for bile production. What you’re looking for is a sauerkraut juice from water brine, so it’s not like the vinegary sauerkraut juice because that would be disgusting. It’s just water brine that has been … sauerkraut that’s actually been fermented and not pasteurized and totally killed. I know that Bobbie’s is a really, really good brand. I like to say 1/2 cup to 1 cup per day to help your digestive juices flow in the morning before you get going with your day.

If you’re curious about how to live a high-fat life, and you’re like, “Wow, this sounds pretty interesting, but I have no flipping clue where to even begin,” and if you’re a whole food advocate, and you are really about nourishing your body with whole foods, you should definitely get my book, “The Keto Beginning.” It’s a beginner’s guide to eating this way. Also, November 1st, my newest book and program, “Fat Fueled,” is going to be launching to the public. Once that goes live, I’ll also include a link over here and also below.

If you get on my newsletter list, which I’ve included a link below this video, whether you’re on my blog watching this or YouTube, you can click the link below. Get added to my newsletter list, and then as soon as the book comes live on November 1st, you will get an email about it, and it’s really the next stage of eating high fat, keto in order to heal your body, especially for women because our high fat, keto, I’ve learned, is going to be quite different than the high fat, keto that many men thrive on.

If you like what I shared this week, you should subscribe to my channel. I included a link to the site and also below this keto video. You can go ahead and subscribe, and you will get updates from me every Wednesday including a hormone update that I will be sharing with you next week on how I healed myself from amenorrhea by eating high fat, keto. This will definitely be a 2-part series. It might even be 3 if I get a ton of questions, and we will just keep on rolling with the hormone questions until I’ve answered everything.

I’m super excited to share all this update with you. I had amenorrhea for 8 years, and recently started ovulating, and having my period as a result of eating fat-fueled, keto, which is massively highlighted in my new keto book, and I’m so excited to share all of this information with you. Again, subscribe over there below, and I will see you next Wednesday. Okay. Bye.

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  1. Please disregard anything fermented if you have any kind of MAST cell activation disorder. Niacin if you have an impaired methylation, as well as any synthetic B vitamins. Find a doc who knows of/understands both of these issues. Otherwise, the info above has the potential to male you sick as a dog.

    • Hi There! For anyone with health concerns, I definitely recommend that they discuss their nutritional needs closely with a doctor, thanks for looking out!

  2. Hello,
    So this video was very helpful, but it also raised some questions for me. I had my gallbladder removed in 2012, so about 6 years ago. I have done Keto once before and had great results. I fell off the wagon, but I am back on again. The only thing I noticed the last time I did do Keto was a lack of a consistent bowl movement. I never felt nauseous or had stomach aches or headaches. This time its pretty much the same. I had no idea that me not having a gallbladder impacted the way my body broke down the food I was consuming. I was wondering if I feel okay, should I still take the ox bile, flush free niacin, and B-complex? I do currently take MTC oil in my tea in the morning with heavy whipping cream and I take a magnesium supplement. I guess I’m not one to really be “in tune” with my body, so I am not sure if I need these things and I’m just not feeling/seeing the signs. Help!

    • Hi Denise! Even if you feel okay right now, you may still have symptoms (like inconsistent bowel movements) – try out the supplements and see how they make you feel. If you’re really worried about it, however, see your doctor!

  3. I have LOTS of comments about your blog (I use the term loosely) and the many hundreds included in the so-called ketosphere found on Youtube and elsewhere. But those should wait. My gallbladder was removed 30+ years ago. I have never really been aware of any problems as a result, regardless of what I was eating. No pain. No nausea. No…issues. However with my recent focus on the truly ketogenic state and trying to reach that macro nutrient nirvana of 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 fat vs protein/carb ratios, I have struggled with a couple of things: A. how to boost my fat intake sufficiently without adding too much protein (a steak has plenty of fat but protein wins) and B. am I really utilizing the fat efficiently. My poop (pardon me if that came out of left field) has begun to really look weird (gray, clay-like) and very inconsistent. So, for starters, are supplements really the key? Should I be experimenting with the amount of fat? Lowering the percentages and adding more protein? That approach concerns me because we know how protein get metabolized when glycogen stores are depleted. Obviously there is a lot to think about this area. I welcome any comments!

    • Hi Tom! Probably the best way to increase fat without protein is by taking in more pure fats like oils. MCT oil in the morning is one of my go-to methods, as is adding mayo to each meal and covering all my ingredients with as much fat as possible. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of other suggestions here! Good luck!

    • Hi Theresa! Beets are a great choice for carb-ups and for people following more moderate ketogenic protocols!

  4. I finally put together my digestive discomfort and extreme tiredness are related to starting Keto almost 2 weeks ago. My gallbladder was removed years ago.
    Understanding Keto is a work in progress. Adding the complication of not having a gallbladder is disheartening. I am losing weight but I am not feeling good. Trying to balance a diet with 60 % fat confuses me. Lettuce and raw vegetables are a problem also. Where can I get guidance and recipes?
    I ordered the ox bile today.

    • Hi Beverly! The Keto Diet Book has some great resources for digestive issues if you’re interested! You might also consider working with a local holistic nutritionist who can help you develop a plan for your specific needs!

  5. My gallbladder has been removed. I feel best when in a state of ketosis, however the weight loss is very slow. I have only lost 5 -7 lbs and it took me a month. I watched your video and found the information extremely helpful. I would really like to purchase the supplements, but wanted to confirm that the links to the supplements, are those brands you would personally recommend?
    Thank you for your help,

    • Hi, Christy! Yes, these are the brands that I absolutely recommend. Best of luck to you!

  6. Leanne,

    I’ve been trying Keto for about a month. I purchased your cookbook the Keto Diet and LOVE the recipes. Four years ago I had my gallbladder taken out. A year ago I also learned that I have a fibroid on my uterus. Since doing Keto, I have felt like the fibroid is growing (it is causing pressure and pain in more areas and with more intensity) since I’ve done the diet. I am at a loss what to do. Do I give up Keto altogether? Do I stick to saturated fats only? Should I avoid certain foods that affect the fibroid? I’d really like it to shrink and disappear. I also am unsure of what supplements and amounts I should be taking. Please help!!!! Thank you.

    • Hey, Laura! I can’t speak from a medical standpoint, as I am not your healthcare provider. But I have seen many women in your place have great success with this eating style. Eating keto can help balance hormones, so perhaps your body is going through some changes as its trying to balance itself out. If you know which foods aggravate your fibroids, I would definitely avoid those. That said, please do not hesitate to consult with your doctor if you’re unsure whether to continue eating keto. Best of luck!