What You Need to Know About a Gall Bladder Diet

November 12, 2012

What You Need to Know About a Gall Bladder Diet

The gall bladder is a small organ that does a big job digesting certain nutrients such as fats. Inside of this little pouch are bile salts that help digest fat sent to it from the liver. But if a person has too much fat in their diet, then the salts do not work properly. The minerals in these salts begin sticking together and form into gallstones.

Gall bladder diets are often recommended to people who suffer from gallstones or other gall bladder problems. People most prone to gallstones are women, the obese and people who eat lots of fatty foods and little fiber. A gall bladder diet seeks to get the patient to eat less fat and more fiber in order to help both the liver and the gall bladder function more smoothly.

Allowable Foods

There are many allowable foods on a gall bladder diet. These foods should not be smothered in gravy, sauces, cheese or tons of salt. Foods include:

  • Lean cuts of meat or fish without skin or breading

  • White, skinless poultry

  • Dairy products made with low-fat or skim milk

  • Whole grains like brown rice, barley or oats

  • Products made with whole grains like whole wheat bread or many plain breakfast cereals

  • Fresh fruits

  • Fresh or cooked vegetables

  • Unsalted, uncoated nuts and seeds

  • Coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks (in moderation)

  • Alcoholic beverages (in moderation).

There are many other health advantages of sticking to a gall bladder diet besides preventing gallstones. This diet often regulates the bowels and reduces the chance of getting heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. Some people report getting better sleep and becoming more energetic on the gall bladder diet. You will need that extra energy for the moderate exercises your doctor or gastroenterologist will want you to do to keep off extra weight.

What to Avoid

You want to avoid foods high in cholesterol and fat. This includes processed foods, which contain many preservatives and additives that can raise your cholesterol. Check the ingredients of sugar-free foods, because they may add additional sodium or fats to make up for the lost sugar. Also avoid:

  • Fried foods

  • Meats in heavy sauces

  • Canned foods

  • Take out

  • Ready made meals in your grocer’s refrigerated section

  • High calorie foods such as pies, cakes and pastries

  • Whole milk

  • Products made with whole milk, such as ice cream.

You also want to avoid going on a crash or extremely low-calorie diet. Eating nothing but celery and rice cakes may seem like it will help the gall bladder, but it will not. Sudden crash diets hurt the liver and gall bladder because the sudden loss of calories means that the body needs to break into the body’s fat deposits – and that fat goes right into the liver and gall bladder. Sudden fasting can also produce other potentially dangerous symptoms such as fainting, migraines, chronic nausea, heart palpitations, dehydration, extreme confusion and forgetfulness.

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