4

votes

impaired ability to digest sat. fat?

Answered on January 02, 2018
Created November 12, 2011 at 12:20 AM

i've noticed in my daily meal experimentation that after i eat a "large" amount of saturated fat i get brain foggy, and super tired to the point of needing a nap. this happens primarily with grass fed beef and coconut oil and coconut milk. i'm sure it happens to a lesser extent with other food sources of sat fat but A) i don't eat them as often and B)these have the most dramatic fatiguing effect.

i had thought it might be a food allergy but it doesn't seem to be the case, so i'm tentatively calling it an impaired ability to digest saturated fats effectively.

A "large" amount would be something like 30grams or less of sat fat in one large meal. i am a 6 ft 180 lb male so a 600-1000 calorie meal shouldnt destroy me as i can eat upwards of 60-100grams of a lean protein based meal and the same effects do not occur.

thoughts? thanks!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 06:16 AM

Milk fat is like coconut MCTS, it doesn't require bile to digest BTW.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:29 PM

Same for meeee.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:29 PM

Same here! Causes inflammation.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 12, 2011
at 02:58 AM

These sort of things leave you still fealing out of it and I'd consider help....We love diagnosing over the internet, but nothing can take the place of one on one contact.

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8 Answers

2
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on November 26, 2011
at 03:18 PM

It might also be that you're not producing the right digestive enzymes to break down and digest fats, so adding some digestive enzymes such as "Now Superenzymes" might help (but take these only if you also take in some protein too.) - this is true in my case as I've stupidly had my gallbladder removed, but I currently don't have issues with fat digestion at all because of these pills. (I wish the Quilt would blog as to what else to do if you no longer have a gallbladder post as he promised months ago as I'd like to get even more optimal in this area.)

The protocol for finding the right dose for these is to take one pill at a time, no more than 5 until you feel heat right above your stomach right before you eat some food that contains both fat and protein. (Bacon would be a good test candidate.) If you're at 5 and don't feel heat, stop at 5. If you do need these, avoid liquids with the meal as they'll dilute stomach acid and the enzymes.

Another way to tell is if you have the same reaction to coconut oil. Since it doesn't require bile to digest, and it almost immediately gets turned into ketones, if you don't feel fatigue after coconut oil, and instead feel energetic and not hungry at all, but feel fatigue from other fats, it might just point to your gallbladder. (Well, half of coconut is sat-fat, half is MCT which gets converted to ketones.)

If it is NASH, one thing that helps is lecithin, best to get it from pastured egg yolks, not soy, however.

Snippet from: http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/fatty-liver-disease?page=2

Fatty liver disease is often silent, producing no symptoms, especially in the beginning. If the disease advances -- which is usually over a period of years, or even decades -- it can cause:

* Fatigue
* Weight loss or loss of appetite
* Weakness
* Nausea
* Confusion, impaired judgment, or trouble concentrating

These symptoms may also be present:

* Pain in the center or right upper part of the abdomen 
* An enlarged liver
* Patchy, dark skin discoloration, usually on the neck or underarm area

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 26, 2011
at 03:16 AM

No one's mentioned it yet so I'll point out that it's not rare to have trouble with coconut. I go very easy on coconut products because I don't get along with it that well myself.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:29 PM

Same for meeee.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:29 PM

Same here! Causes inflammation.

1
0bd9775b305d2a602d496649982bc614

(252)

on November 26, 2011
at 02:50 AM

Wow. I was also wondering about the exact same thing today. I've been having the same problem-foggy brain, fatigue, slightly nauseous blurred vision after eating high fat-for a while. In many ways, the symptoms mimic sugar shock. It really started to concern me. In my case it's not from Gluten poisoning-I'm Celiac and I never eat Gluten whatsoever. I'm on strict low carb Paleo diet everyday so I know it's not because of carb/sugar shock neither. I also don't eat anything coconut. It is High saturated fat(i.e. whipped cream, butter, meet fat) intake that totally exhausts me. I literally fell into sleep after high fat meal, being foggy and confused. I've considered many different things-what can possibly cause this? My liver? Can Fatty liver or alike cause these symptoms? Any idea?

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on November 12, 2011
at 01:03 AM

My spouse had this problem until was strictly GF for 3 months, approx.

0
20a8358be99c363bf55e052449f449cf

(0)

on January 02, 2018
at 08:06 PM

Did you figure this out? I have the exact same reaction to saturated fats.

0
Eadf3057ed5421b44b12d2474557eecc

on August 17, 2012
at 05:18 PM

I have noticed the same problems in myself: After a high fat meal i feel tired and "weighed down". I've been "paleo" for a good 10 months now but until recently my primary source of saturated fat was coconut oil. I used my last jar of coconut oil and decided to make the switch to animal fats and i believe it is this sudden increased intake of long chain fats that has got my body out of whack. *Note: it has been about 2 weeks since i made the switch and i still experience these symptoms however i do tend to over eat fat as it so addicting!

coconut oil is easier to digest than animal fats such as beef tallow and butter, i believe it has something to do with coconut oil not needing the enzyme lipase or something to that effect.

Anyway, long story short, your body is not used to digesting so much fat, and therefore it is not currently producing enough of this enzyme lipase. Over time your body will adapt to the increased demand for lipase and naturally produce more. It is just a matter of dealing with the problem until that happens.

It is best to slowly transition into any sort of dietary change so as not to shock the system but that doesn't always happen. The best thing to do is to lower your fat intake to a more tolerable amount and to slowly increase it.

You could also supplement with some digestive enzymes but i would use caution as if you do this your body will likely not feel the need to produce more of its own lipase and you will not adapt as effectively.

Anyway i've been doing a lot of reading and it turns out this is not uncommon in those new to paleo as so many will plunge face first into the diet.

Sorry if the answer is hard to understand, I am in a hurry.

Best of luck to you!

0
1c7f48b2a066fb8fc5927ec31aa3e391

(175)

on November 26, 2011
at 08:29 AM

Similar case with me, feel a bit tired, sleepy and also I feel heavy on my belly ( meaning that I feel my food digestion much longer and stronger in comparision to meals with only high amounts of carbs and proteints ).
For example when I eat a big bowl of soup with white rice, veal and veggies I feel pretty ok after. But when I put some beef tallow instead of rice I don't feel so well anymore. I was wondering if it's because of saturated fats in general or only because straight from the animal fat ( considering that it can have more toxins ), which in my leaky gut case can easier get pass my barrier. I havn't been experiencing with dairy yet, though I intend to.
Strange, but bone marrow gives me much less trouble(?).

Anyway, are there any people who tend to have similar effects with beef tallow/lard, but they can tolerate dairy fat much better?
Also, the question to all who have those problems:
Do you have any particular destructions in your bodies/diseases ( like in my situation leaky-gut )? Maybe we can connect it with certain body issues.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 06:16 AM

Milk fat is like coconut MCTS, it doesn't require bile to digest BTW.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 12, 2011
at 01:47 AM

Hmmm...I hear brain fog and fatigue here. I'd recommend a long walk (screw you Travis I said it first :P). Movement will absolutely get you over that hump in about 1 mile.

On the other hand we could argue that a good nap every once in a while is beneficial....and has been shown to be so. The fact that your "planned day" does not account for these ups and downs in energy does not exactly make the ups and downs themselves pathological. In fact you could point to the continuous monotonous activities of your day as being the pathological component. Just some thoughts.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 12, 2011
at 02:58 AM

These sort of things leave you still fealing out of it and I'd consider help....We love diagnosing over the internet, but nothing can take the place of one on one contact.

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