“Cut out the (processed) diet food, skip the low fat options, and eat real food.”

When I entered the wellness field a little over 10 years ago, this was my platform, and it was radical.

Since then, the Paleo community, Weston A. Price folks, and real food advocates have worked tirelessly to help to turn the tides of nutritional advice and to make real food nutrition mainstream. Thanks largely to the advent of social media, blogs, and podcasts, the curtain is being pulled back slowly, making it harder for powerful, processed food companies to manipulate dietary studies and media reports in their favor. Consequently, real food is coming back in vogue.

This is all positive, but there have been some casualties caused by reframing protein and certain fats in a positive light.

…people’s digestive systems.

Now, eating real food will definitely help to clean up your gut. However, if you have been eating processed food for years and switch over to a diet higher in protein and fat, such as a Paleo diet, you digestive organs may be caught off guard and might complain.

Protein Digestion:
Adding more protein to your diet may cause you to feel ill if your stomach acid is weak. Why? In order to properly break down protein, you need strong acid.

Sugar, soda, and processed carbohydrates decrease the acidity of your stomach, leading to a variety of digestive conditions. Unfortunately, this common insufficiency is almost always overlooked by conventional medicine.

The solution isn’t to shut down acid with a medication or TUMS. Also, it won’t serve you to stop ingesting protein, which is a key building block of muscles, hormones, and blood. Rather, you need to strengthen your stomach acidity so that you can better digest and utilize protein.

Fat Digestion:
Introducing healthy fats (e.g. chia seeds, eggs, and avocados) into your diet can also pose a challenge for digestion.

Your gallbladder is responsible for secreting bile, which breaks down dietary fat. If you have been eating a low fat diet or lots of processed fats (e.g. canola oil), your gallbladder has likely become weak and sick. Like an out of shape muscle, it struggles to perform its role when you suddenly call on it by eating good fat. Rather than dismissing good fats, which are critical to a healthy libido, a strong brain, and inflammation regulation, you need to support your gallbladder.

Action Steps:
In order to enhance protein and fat digestion, implement the following:

  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day (not exceeding 1 gallon).
  • Dilute 1 Tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and sip during meals.
  • Eat beets or drink beet kvass regularly.

If you are still struggling with digestive woes or want us to test your need for hydrochloric acid (stomach juice) support, click here to set up a consultation. We’re dedicated to helping your pipes run smoothly!

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