The keto diet can be great, but with such a radical style of eating there’s some extra demands on the body that most people aren’t aware of. Here’s one of those major issues.
Obviously, you eat a lot of extra fat on a keto diet. This means proper bile function for fat digestion is more important than ever. I should mention that regardless of whether or not you are keto, this is one of those necessary functions for optimal health and performance.
Bile has 4 major functions:
- Breakdown fatty acids
- Stabilize blood sugar
- Inhibit bacterial overgrowth
- Remove toxic waste and cholesterol from the liver for excretion from the body.
Bile is generated in the liver and carried to the gallbladder via the bile ducts. The gallbladder will contract to force bile out when it receives ques that fats have been eaten.
Here’s the problem, its common for people to have SHITTY (pardon the pun) bile function these days. Why? Because high insulin levels impair generation of bile acids. And we eat a ton of carbohydrates, leading to high insulin levels. People who don’t produce enough bile salts, possibly because they’ve had their gallbladders removed, can experience:
- trapped gas
- bad-smelling gas
- stomach cramps
- erratic bowel movements
- weight loss (malnutrition)
- pale colored stools
So let’s quickly recap; bile breaks down fats and makes them easy to digest. It also keeps cholesterol moving through the bloodstream and prevents blockage. This means no bile is bad news bears for keto lovers consuming all those fats. No gall bladder? Then keto is not your best bet unless you are taking several precautionary measures.
So how can you possibly know?
If you start on keto and suddenly notice these symptoms coming on, then considering useing the following strategies to improve bile function and fat digestion.
- A miracle in a bottle that cures all sorts of woes, apple cider vinegar contains malic acid, which aids in digestion and thins out bile. Try a splash first thing in the morning. Be ready, it burns!
- Warm water with lemon (and pink sea salt for electrolytes!) first thing in the morning. This daily Fat Flush ritual helps thin bile to get it moving. It is also a great way to gently cleanse your liver and detoxify your system.
- Bitter Foods: Encourage your liver’s bile production, aid digestion and build vitality by eating nutrient-rich bitter herbs and greens with your meals. Experiment by adding dandelion greens, arugula, radicchio and endive to your salad.
Frankly, the first three are practices that everyone would likely benefit from, regardless of keto. Here’s a couple more options for those with more persistent problems:
- Ox Bile Supplement- Just as it sounds, support for bile production. Try Allergy Research Group Ox Bile.
- Taurine (especially for those who don’t eat alot of meat)- It is required by the liver for the removal of toxic chemicals, drugs and metabolites from the body. It is a key component of bile acids made in the liver. It is commonly deficient in vegetarians because it derived from organ meats and other animal proteins. This is pretty easy to find, try NOW Taurine.
Are you interested in starting a Ketogenic diet but sick of all the (mis)information out there? Sign up for my upcoming Keto Igniter course! You’ll get information like this and everything else that you need all in one convenient location. By signing up now, you will be eligible for early bird discounts!