Your gallbladder is a small organ located under the liver. The gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver to aid in the digestion of fats. If you have gallbladder problems, you should avoid foods with high fat so your gallbladder does not have to work as hard. Consult your physician for a list of recommended foods if you have gallbladder disease.
Foods to Avoid
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that you eliminate trans fat from your diet if you have a gallbladder disease. Other foods to avoid include refined foods, red meats and alcohol. If you have any food allergies, these can trigger gallbladder problems. According to Dr. Ronald Hoffman, nuts are a common food allergy. Ask your doctor for food allergy testing to determine what types of nuts you are allergic to so you know which ones to avoid.
Different Types of Fats
Three main types of fat occur in food. According to the Mayo Clinic, unsaturated fats may help improve cholesterol levels and decrease your heart disease and type 2 diabetes risks. Processed foods often contain a synthetic fat known as trans fat. This type of fat can increase your “bad” cholesterol, lower your good cholesterol and increase your chance gallbladder problems. Saturated fats are usually found in animal products and can increase your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and raise overall cholesterol levels.
All nuts are high in fat. However, the fats in nuts mostly are unsaturated fat, which are the healthy fats. If you have gallbladder problems, avoid nuts that are high in saturated fats. Check labels to ensure your nuts do not have any trans fat. These types of fats cause your gallbladder to work harder. Check with your doctor to determine how much fat you can consume with your gallbladder disease.
A study published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” in 2004 found that a diet high in unsaturated fats decreased the risk of gallstone disease in men. Researchers followed 45,756 men who did not have gallstone disease in 1986. Participants completed a questionnaire every two years during the study. After 14 years of follow-up, researchers concluded that men who ate a diet high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats had a lower risk of gallstone disease, suggesting that unsaturated fats may help the gallbladder function.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Gallbladder Disease; Steven D. Ehrlich; February 2010
- Dr.Hoffman.com: Gallbladder Disease; Ronald Hoffman
- MayoClinic.com; Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose; February 2011
- "New York Times"; The Fats in Nuts; C. Claiborne Ray; March 2007
- Science Daily; Lack of Exercise, High Intakes of Sugar and Saturated Fat: A Recipe For Gallstones, UB Study Shows; February 1999
- “Annals of Internal Medicine”; The Effect of Long-Term Intake of cis Unsaturated Fats on the Risk for Gallstone Disease in Men; Chung-Jyi Tsai, et al.; October 2004