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. Do you have any brands of these supplements you would recommend? I had my gallbladder out last year and I just started Keto a month ago. Feeling pretty good so far but want to make sure that I am digesting all the amazing fats properly!

    • Yes! They’re all linked below the video under “Resources” :)

  2. Do you know where I can get the supplements for the no gallbladder keto diet? The ox bile, digestive enzyme, flush-free niacin and B-complex. I went to safeway and talked to the pharmacist and she didn’t even know what they were. Does anyone have any suggestions to where I could go and get these?

    Thanks so much!

    • Amazon is a great place to find it! Or perhaps try a supplements store.

  3. Leann, do you offer one on one consults? I clicked the link but no sign up for it. Would really like an opportunity to talk with you.

  4. My husband, roommate, and I started the Keto diet about a month and a half ago. I have had some really good success so far, but lately I have noticed that I have more issues than my husband and roommate. I am the only one in the house without a gallbladder. I had it removed 10 years ago, when I was 16 and no one has ever mentioned any of this to me. I had gone to multiple doctors for them to tell me that my digestive issues were caused by IBS.

    Thank you so much!!

    • I’m so glad it was helpful! Hopefully you’ll be feeling better in no time ;)

  5. I just started keto one week ago. I don’t have any issues with fats. I mean sometimes I do but this week of eating didn’t upset my digestive system. Do I still need the supplements if I’m not having issues digesting? I only lost 3lbs this first week. I know I should be a slave to the scale but I am. I just want to make sure I’m not wasting my time with keto if I don’t have a GB. Thanks and loving your videos do podcasts. Can’t wait to get the books.

    • You don’t have to take supplements but it could help! Best to chat with your doctor to figure out what protocol would be best for you. Weight loss can take time so be patient with yourself ;)

  6. Thanks so much for answering my question about the fats making my husband nauseated .We have been doing Keto for 3 months and We love it and your newsletters.We both weight train so we wanted something that would improve our health for the future from the inside out .

    • You’re so welcome! I hope it was helpful ;) Good luck to you both on your keto journey!

  7. OMG I’m so glad I came across you! I haven’t had a gallbladder in 18 years! Wow insane right?! Losing weight is stupid hard. My hair has thinned, my migraines are off the charts. Recently the doc said I need to lose 30 pounds and I should try keto. I never even thought about not having a gallbladder until my neighbor said something about it and my husband is a physician assistant!

    • Wow, I’m so glad you came across my video, too! ;) I hope this video was helpful!

  8. Hi! I’m on my 4th day of low carb high fat way of life and I just saw your video on what if you don’t have a gallbladder, which is my case. I’m not experiencing any of the symptoms of not having a gallbladder and yes my dr did tell me to not consume fats for the rest of my life. That was 5-6 yrs ago. I’ve never taken any supplements and the only thing that I can say has changed through the years are more heartburn and acid reflux. Since I have no symptoms of the keto way of living is affecting me should o do anything about it???

    • That’s great that you’re not really experiencing any negative symptoms without a gallbladder! It’s totally up to you whether you’d like to start with any supplements. Perhaps you could give it a try and see if it helps with the heartburn/acid reflux and go from there. Good luck!

  9. Two questions…I have been doing a variation of keto/LCHF for about 2 weeks and sometime I notice what looks like an oil slick in the toilet water in the morning with my first BM and second, I am debating where to start, should I go with you beginner book, even though I have been doing this for a few weeks, skip to fat fueled or skip them both and try the meal plan? Any suggestions on how to choose which route?

    • Hey, Tracy! It sounds like may have trouble digesting fats. With that in mind, Fat Fueled may be your best choice because it has a whole section on this and how to adjust your keto eating style accordingly. I hope this helps!

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