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Vegan Diet for the Gallbladder

by
author image Liz Miller
Liz Miller is the current editorial coordinator for "Riverfront Times," a Village Voice Media outlet. She has worked as assistant editor of "St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles" magazine and associate editor of "VegNews," a national vegetarian lifestyle publication. Miller received her Bachelor of Arts in media communications with minors in journalism and English from Webster University. She specializes in food and lifestyle reporting.
Vegan Diet for the Gallbladder
A vegan diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is good for the health of your gallbladder. Photo Credit Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

A vegan diet --- one that avoids all meat, dairy and animal byproducts --- offers many benefits, including improved gallbladder heath and function. The gallbladder is one of the smallest organs in the body; this pear-shaped sac containing bile is located on the underside of the liver. Conditions related to the gallbladder, such as developing gallstones, can be treated or avoided by eating a vegan diet, which is a high-fiber, low-fat diet free of cholesterol. Always talk with your doctor before starting any new diet regimen to be sure it is safe for you.

Gallstone Treatment

One of the causes of gallstones is eating a diet high in fat and cholesterol and low in fiber. So, adopting a vegan diet can alleviate gallstone problems and help stop new stones from forming. Veganism is centered around eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains; it is a recommended diet for living with gallstones instead of having surgery to remove them. If you're worried about gallstones forming after weight loss, Dr. Gabe Mirkin recommends eating a vegan diet.

No Meat

The gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver, and this bile helps break down fat. If you're eating a high-fat diet, however, it can put a strain on your body's functions, including the way the gallbladder and bile duct process fat. Eliminating meat from your diet cuts out high-fat animal protein. This is especially true of red meat, but even lean sources of animal protein contain cholesterol, so forgoing meat might be the healthiest option for your gallbladder.

No Dairy or Animal Byproducts

Meat, dairy, eggs and other animal byproducts run the gamut in terms of fat content. While skim milk and egg whites are healthier alternatives to whole milk and fried eggs, all animal tissue and byproducts contain cholesterol and are low in fiber -- and therefore don't offer any health benefits for your gallbladder. At their worst, dairy and animal byproducts are high-fat foods that, when eaten regularly, can put a strain on your gallbladder's ability to properly break down fat.

Eating a Vegan Diet

A vegan diet can easily meet your daily nutritional requirements, and it's important to remember that any diet is only as healthy as you make it for yourself. With a vegan diet, you should get your daily doses of protein and calcium from all-natural, whole foods sources. Dark, leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are high in calcium and minerals, are low-calorie and nutritionally dense. For protein, rely on low-fat sources, such as lentils, beans and grains.

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