Food, Diet, and Nutrition for Gallstones

Most people never think about their gallbladder health. The pear-shaped organ plays an important role in collecting and storing bile — the fluid that helps the body digest fat. But unlike the heart, liver, and kidneys, the gallbladder is not required to keep the body healthy and functioning. Even if it doesn’t work as it should and gallstones develop, most people don’t realize there is a problem.

However, in a small percentage of people, gallstones can trigger a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, bloating, nausea and vomiting. When gallstone symptoms are frequent, recurring, and particularly uncomfortable, the typical treatment is surgical removal of the gallbladder.

“Most people with gallstones will experience no symptoms throughout their lives,” said John Martin, director of endoscopy and associate professor of medicine and surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Once symptoms start, the gallbladder needs to be removed.”

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Got gallstones? Here’s what to eat and avoid

Foods to avoid if you have been diagnosed with gallstones include fatty foods such as:

  • Fried foods (fried chicken, French fries, potato chips)
  • High fat dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, ice cream)
  • Fatty red meat (beef, pork)
  • Processed meats (bacon, ham, sausage)
  • Alcohol
  • Creamy sauces and rich dressings (cheese sauces, mayonnaise, creamy salad dressings)
  • Lard or oil

If you still have symptoms, see your doctor. You may need surgery to remove your gallbladder. Many other factors can also affect your likelihood of developing gallstones, including:

  • Skipping Breakfast
  • Gender (Gallstones are more common in women than in men.)
  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Family history of gallstones
  • Pregnancy
  • Fasting often
  • Not being physically active
  • Conditions such as cirrhosis, diabetes, or sickle cell disease.
  • Certain medications can also make you more likely to develop gallstones.

Experts recommend the following to prevent gallstones:

  • Eat high-fiber foods, such as
  • Fruits, vegetables, beans and peas.
  • Whole grains, including brown rice, oats, and whole-wheat bread.
  • Eat less refined carbohydrates and sugar.
  • Eat healthy fats like fish oil and olive oil to keep your gallbladder contracted and emptied regularly.
  • Avoid unhealthy fats commonly found in desserts and fried foods.

Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet plan. Losing weight too quickly can lead to health problems. Very low-calorie diets and bariatric surgery can cause rapid weight loss and increase the risk of gallstones.

Gallstones diet sheet

High-fat diets and high-fat foods can sometimes cause symptoms of discomfort and pain, When you eat, the gallbladder releases bile, which helps you digest the fat in food. If you have an inflamed gallbladder, this may cause pain. A low-fat diet may give your gallbladder a rest so you can start to heal, Here are some ways to reduce fat in your diet.

High-fat foods Lower-fat alternatives
Butter, lard, ghee, oils, spreads. Lower-fat/light spreads, oil sprays for cooking, jam, honey.
Whole milk, cream, full-fat yoghurts. Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, half-fat crème fraîche, low-fat evaporated milk, low-fat or fat-free yoghurt.
Full-fat cheese, such as Cheddar, Brie and Stilton. Cottage cheese, light soft cheeses such as Philadelphia® or Dairylea Light®, quark, reduced-fat Cheddar cheese or naturally lower-fat cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta (matchbox-sized portion).
Snacks, such as cakes, biscuits, pastries, crisps and nuts. Toasted teacakes, low-fat popcorn, fruit and vegetables, dried fruit, meringues, rice cakes, Rich Tea® biscuits, low-fat crisps such as Quavers® or Skips®. 
Puddings, such as pies, ice cream and custards. Jelly, sugar-free jelly, low-fat custard, rice pudding made with semi-skimmed milk, sorbet, tinned or stewed fruit, low-fat yoghurts.
Sauces and dressings, such as mayonnaise, creamy sauces. Light mayonnaise, vinaigrettes, mustard, lemon juice, fat-free salad dressings, tomato-based sauces (some can contain oil), salsa, balsamic dressing.
Meats and processed meats, such as sausages, salami, corned beef, bacon, gammon, pork, lamb, beef mince, beefburgers, meat pies, fish tinned in oil. Chicken, turkey, lean ham, lean or extra lean beef mince, turkey mince, red meat with visible fat cut off, and white fish, such as cod, haddock, pollock, and fish tinned in brine or water.
(Gallstones diet sheet)