Gallstone Diet
Low Fat Diet For Gallstone Sufferers

A low fat gallstone diet is necessary to reduce stimulation of the gallbladder to contract, thus reducing the frequency and severity of the agonizing pain that results when stone ladden gallbladder contracts. We bring you expert dietician recommendations on low fat gallbladder diet as a guide to achieving your dietary regulation of gall bladder pain.

low fat gallstone diet

Gallstone related diseases (biliary colic, cholecystitis and gallstone pancreatitis) remain a major cause of right upper abdominal pain in millions of people worldwide on a daily basis.

Medical research has found a strong association between the consumption of high fat diet, obesity, rapid weight loss more than 3 lbs a week, presence of diabetis mellitus, hyperlipidaemia (inherited or diet induced), pregnancy, the female sex and the development of troublesome gallbladder stones.

Those who suffer with biliary colic are too well farmiliar with the agonizing dull to sharp upper abdominal pain that comes on within 20 to 60 minutes after a meal. They may also be aware that the pain tends to be more sever after the consumption of fried and fatty foods. There is enough body of evidence to suggest that changing to a low fat diet, or what some has referred to as gallstone diet, may help to reduce the pain caused by gall stones.

How Fatty Foods Cause Gallbladder Pain

The gallbladder is a small pear-shapped sac found under the liver, located in the right upper abdomen, just below the lower border of the right rib cage about a hand's breath below the right breast.

It stores bile, produced by the liver that helps in emulsifying the fat in our meal to make it easily digestible by the fat digesting enzymes in the gut called lipase. Every time we eat, once the meal gets to our stomach, if it contains fat, this sends signal to our brain to release a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK). Amongst other things, CCK causes powerful rythmic contraction of the muscle of the gall bladder to release bile. The more fat in the meal, the need for more bile to be produced from the liver and fill up the gall bladder, and the stronger the contraction. No wonder a very fatty meal tends to bring on gallbladder pain than a low fat diet.

Another way a low fat diet benefits those suffering with gallbladder disease, is that food high in fat tends to lead to high blood fat levels (hyperlipdaemia), which is a recognised risk factor for gallstone production. When the gallbladder is filled up with gall stones, one is more likely to suffer with gallstone problems. A low fat diet on th eother hand, helps reduced the formation of gallstones, no wonder they are called gallstone diet.

Healthy Low Fat Diet: Things You Can Eat

A low-fat diet is defined as a diet containing and supplying no more than 30 to 40grams of fat per day. A diet containing 50 - 60g per day is a moderate fat diet, and greater than this is a high fat diet.

A low fat diet should not be confused with fat-free diet. You need to have some fat in your meal to be healthy. Fat is needed for proper absorption of essential fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, E, K and some B-complex vitamins. Fat is also required for the provision of molecules that are required for the proper functioning of numerous body enzymes.

It is also important that when on a low-fat diet or gallstone diet, you continue to enjoy a varied and healthy meal, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, carbohydrate rich foods with low glycaemic index. Specifically, a typical healthy low-fat diet will could be made up of any of these or combination of these:

  • Main Meals
    • Wholemeal bread
    • Wholemeal paster
    • Potatoes
    • Yam
    • Plantain - green or ripe plantain grilled or boiled
    • Cassava and cassava derivatives
    • Maize and corn meals and flours
    • Cocoyam and cocoyam flour
    • Brown cereals like brown rice, millet, shorgrum
    • Boiled beans
    • Baked beans
    • Avoid oily legums and seeds as main main meal

  • Vegetables
    • All fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Tined or dried fruits
    • Avoid nuts

  • Meat & Fish
    • Chicken and Turkey with their skin fully removed
    • Lamb, goat, beef and any Red meat with any visible fat removed
    • White fish, like code, haddock and stockfish
    • Tuna, salmon and shellfish okay and all the above grilled or boiled rather than fried
    • Avoid oily fish like sardines, tuna in oil, mackerel, sausages, and meat with its fat

  • Desserts
    • Low fat yogurts
    • Low fat ice creams
    • Low fat puddings
    • Fruit jelly
    • Avoid whole or full milk puddings, ice creams, fruit crumbles

  • Cooking Oils
    • Low-fat spreads
    • Fry light extra virgin olive oil spray
    • Benecol light
    • Anchor half fat
    • Flora diet
    • Avoid traditional cooking oils like corn oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and traditional vegetable oils

  • Cooking Methods
    • Boil
    • Grill
    • Poach
    • Or eat fresh where possible
    • Avoid frying!

Gallstone Diet: 7 Things You Must Know

Before starting on a low fat diet for gallbladder problems, it is important to be aware of the folowing:

  1. A low-fat gallstone diet is only necessary IF you notice that fatty food brings on your pain or makes your gallbladder pain worse

  2. Such low fat diet or gallbladder diet may be necessary during an acute attack of cholecystitis or biliary colic and for 3 to 5 days following an attack or immediately after gallbladder surgery

  3. After an operation to remove the gallbladder, a lifelong low-fat diet is not necessary

  4. A low fat diet can lead to significant weight loss. Should you notice that you are lossing more than 2lbs or 1kg per week in weight, you need to increase your diet to a modertae fat diet to avoid the formation of new stones

  5. Fat is important in your diet. You need 50 to 60g/day of fat in your meal to help stimulate and move bile bile from your gallbladder

  6. If you have chronic cholecystitis, a moderate fat diet may be more beneficial for you

  7. Please discuss with your doctor and dietician before embarking on a gallbladder diet.

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Gallstone Diet: Useful Links & Resources

Gallstone Remedy Report:: Natural Methods

Xtreme Fat Loss Diet For Quick Weight Loss

The Diet Solution Program

Go To Causes of Abdominal Pain from Gallstone Diet Page

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