People transitioning from a lowfat to a Traditional Diet rich in whole, natural fats like cream, butter, and coconut oil are sometimes shocked to discover that their bodies no longer seem able to digest fats very well at all.
Eating fats might even make them feel sick to their stomach!
The cause is a liver and gall bladder that are not accustomed to producing and storing the amount of bile necessary to digest the level of fats present in a Traditional Diet.
The solution is not to go back to a lowfat diet even for those who have had their gallbladders removed.
In many cases, a slow and steady increase in the amount of fats consumed will over time allow the liver and gall bladder to adjust with no further problems noted.
This approach works particularly well for those who are consuming coconut oil as a supplement prior to meals to suppress appetite and help them lose weight.
Another tip is to employ a most ancient remedy that modern science has all but forgotten: Bitters.
Bitters Stimulate Bile Production
Bitters are herbal extracts that are rich in minerals. They are an ancient tonic for stimulating the production of bile in the liver which correspondingly improves the digestion and absorption of fats.
It is critical that sufficient bile be produced to digest the fats present in the diet as bile also permits assimilation of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K which are critical to health as noted by researcher Dr. Weston A. Price. These activators also supercharge mineral absorption.
Even those who have had their gall bladders removed find herbal bitters a welcome aid to a meal rich in fats and many are delighted to find that fats can once again be consumed with ease.
Traditional Asian cultures have long valued herbal bitters not only for their digestive benefit but also for cleansing properties as well which promote increased strength and healing.
Most healthfood stores have bitters available for purchase at very reasonable prices.
* Please note that bitters are not appropriate for pregnancy.
Gall Bladder or Liver Cleanse May Be Called For?
If despite your best efforts, you still find a problem digesting fats, you may wish to consider a liver and gall bladder cleanse as there may be gall or liver stones inhibiting the bile flow process in your body.
Raine Saunders, of the fabulous Real Food Media blog Agriculture Society, has written a very thorough blog on how this process works and how to attempt it yourself if you are so inclined. I would suggest checking it out if digestion of fats is something you wish to improve and herbal bitters does not seem to be providing enough relief.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist