High cholesterol in the bile causes 80 percent of gallstones, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Gallstones cause cholecystitis or inflammation of the gallbladder, which can result in severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. In order to digest fat, the liver makes bile, which is subsequently stored in the gallbladder. When bile hardens, gallstones are formed. Eating a proper diet can keep the gallbladder healthy and prevent gallbladder attacks.
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While high doses of saturated fats can increase circulating cholesterol and the risk of gallstones, cutting fat completely from your diet is unnecessary. Choosing healthy fats can keep the body healthy and the gallbladder happy. Try to cut back on meats that are high in saturated fats such as red meat and organ meats. Eating salmon or other meat that is high in omega-3 fatty acids can not only keep your gallbladder healthy but decrease your cholesterol as well. Remember, some fat in the diet is necessary to help control cravings and to maintain your brain power and healthy skin.
Fruits and Vegetables
In a 2006 "American Journal of Medicine," article, researchers from the University of Kentucky Medical Center reported that after examining the diets of 77,000 women, they found that women who had higher intakes of fruits and vegetables were less likely to have gallbladder attacks and subsequent removal of their gallbladders. Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables were associated with lower risk of cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal.
Whole grain foods have been shown to lower the risk of many chronic diseases, according to the Whole Grains Council. Eating foods such as whole wheat pasta, whole grain breads, quinoa and oats can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol. Lowering blood cholesterol reduces the risk of gallbladder stones. Eat 2 to 3 servings of whole grains daily.
University of Maryland Medical Center states that maintaining a healthy overall weight and daily exercise will keep the gallbladder healthy. Lose weight slowly and for good because yo-yo dieting puts you at risk for gallbladder attacks.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Gallstones
- Merck Manual Online Medical Library: Cholecystitis
- Helpguide.org: Nutrition for Women
- National Institutes of Health: Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of cholecystectomy in women.
- Whole Grains Council: Whole Grains 101
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Gallstones and Gallbladder Disease