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But I can't eat all that fat, can I?

When I suggest that someone consider a reduced carbohydrate diet, it obviously has to have some dietary component increased and that would be dietary fat. Many people report that eating more fat just isn't possible, either from historical dietary training ("It's not good for you!") or just because they feel bloated and full, from the protein and/or the fat eaten in larger proportions when bread and pasta are off the plate. 

I have two suggestions: one is conceptual. Whether we look to the distant past, the world around us, or scientific literature, people actually do very well when they consume healthy versions of protein and fat, even when the fat is quite high as in a ketogenic diet. Fifty years ago we actually ate a lot more animal fat and less vegetable fat. (Did you know the standard American body is ... 18% soy oil!) No obesity epidemic, no diabetes epidemic. By all means, avoid foods deep fried in vegetable (turning to trans) fats, but if you could actually find french fries made in lard, you'd be better off. Lard is better suited to crisp up the outside of fried items without penetrating to the inside of the food.

My second suggestion is that your digestive fire might indeed not quite be up to a generous steak with a pat of butter on it, if your digestive force has weakened. Just growing older weakens our digestive "fire": we make a lot less stomach acid as we age, which is why the pervasive prescriptions for "acid-blocking" medications are illogical, as most folks given those medications have inadequate stomach acid with their heartburn, and felt quite well when they were younger and had more acid. To bolster an overall weak digestion I suggest taking several simple steps:

  1. Limit liquids during meals to just half a cup; drink deeply 30-60 minutes prior to eating. No sweetened or carbonated liquids during meals.
  2. Boost your digesting nervous system by relaxing and enjoying your meal.
  3. Take a gentle walk after eating.
  4. Supplements that might be helpful include pre- and pro-biotics, digestive enzymes and betaine HCl containing (stomach acid enhancing) supplements. 

There are many reasons to eat a higher fat diet (replacing lost fat-soluble vitamins, reversing obesity and type 2 diabetes, weight loss, cancer prevention and perhaps just curiosity!), so don't shy away if you feel a little overly full when you try it. One or more of these simple steps is usually sufficient to allow you to gradually increase the protein and fat content of your meals.

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