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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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Hi, I have started the keto diet in earnest 2 weeks ago after over a year of low carb eating. But I have done bulletproof coffee in the morning for a long time often within intermittent fasting. Often I experience nausea after my coffee. I normally take Hcl and digestive enzymes with meals. I have long standing ibs, now with SIBO and reduced gut motility. What do you suggest? Ox bile or my normal digestive support? Thanks!

    • Hey! It’s worth a try to start incorporating Ox Bile. You could also try skipping the coffee and have a regular breakfast if you notice that’s what’s causing you to feel nauseous.

  2. Hi Leanne,

    I have been on Keto last 3 months… Lost 5 kg, HDL above normal at 89.0. LDL high 119.. Trigly at 84. But SGPT and SGOT went up above normal… is this normal with Keto? SGPT and SGOT were normal prior to my Keto experience…

  3. Leanne I need help! I’ve been eating keto for 2 months now (under 20 carbs) and feel great, but have only lost about 7 – 10 lbs. I have been living without a gallbladder for approximately 15 years now and have always had a problem with “dumping syndrome” after eating fatty foods. Recently I’ve starting taking “colestid 1mg” once/day and this has been a miracle drug for me. I can eat high fat with little worry and it has lessened my anxiety over this matter immensely. After listening to your video “keto without a gallbladder” I wonder if I’m still not absorbing nutrients from fats and if in my situation would I benefit from OxBile? I could really use your advice on this matter. Another question I have is the amount of fat I should be eating per day when I have a weight to lose (about 80lbs). I’ve been wondering if I’ve been having too much fat, meaning too many calories, therefore not much weight loss. Thank you so much. Just beginning my journey ……

    • Hey Laurie! If what you’re doing now isn’t working, you’re in a fine place to try something new. It may be worth it to try Ox Bile and see how you do. Do you have my book The Keto Beginning? In it, I provide a simple formula to calculate about how many calories and macros you should consume to lose weight. This would be a good starting place to figure out if you’re eating too much fat. I hope that helps!

  4. Hello Leanne.
    I had my gallbladder removed almost twenty years ago and have never been told to supplement. I would like to try it but do you have a recommendation on how much to take of each?

    Thank you.

    • Hey Brandi! I suggest following the dosage recommendations on the supplement bottles and/or consulting with your health care provider about it.

  5. This was very informative – I have been without my gallbladder for over 10 years and struggled with my body for so long. Do you have any suggestions on where to locate or a preferred method for OX Bile?

  6. I didn’t hear you discuss how to tell if you’re having trouble processing fats, though it was one of the points you listed in the teaser for the video. I’m 34, had my gallbladder removed at 19, and as far as I can tell, have no problem with eating high fat. I was never told to take any kind of digestive enzymes.

  7. My husband has Colitis and does not process fats well. He tried to eat a few meals from your book, when I started the program, but he couldn’t tolerate it. Wondering if Ox Bile would help his situation.

  8. Thank you so much Leanne, that was very informative. I’ve had my gallbladder removed a few years ago and am trying to follow a Keto diet. I’ve had some digestive issues and the ox bile supplement along with a digestive enzyme might just be what I need to correct the issue. Worth a try anyways! Thanks again :-)

  9. First things first – you say, “because your gallbladder creates bile which breaks down fat”. Incorrect. The liver creates bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. When you remove the gallbladder, your liver continues to make bile. The difference is that when you have a gallbladder and eat a high fat meal, stored bile is released to break down fat. Without a gallbladder, there is a slight constant drip of bile. In some cases, even 1 tablespoon of fat can cause instant diarrhea and what is called “dumping” syndrome. Not all diets work for everyone.

    • Sorry, it was one word that I fumbled on and we never caught it in the editing process. What it should say is that… 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.

      • I might suggest that you go back and correct your post, because it was more than just a word, and if someone is closely following you and taking your advise, they should have complete and accurate information. Just saying.

    • Hello Sharon,

      I did Keto for 6 weeks without a gallbladder and if I remember correctly for Me, it took about 1-2 weeks to tolerate the fat. Afterwards I no longer had the “dumping syndrome”. I didn’t take any supplements either. However, I never realized that without a gallbladder you will have trouble absorbing things.

      Yes, your explanation about gallbladder and bile is correct. I was just curious and I was wondering are you doing keto without a gallbladder? If so, what supplements are you using and how? Thanks and please let me know as it could help me.

  10. haha I love your videos, Leanne! Looking forward to your new book! The Keto Beginning was great!!

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