When you are diagnosed with gallstones, making changes to your diet is often advised. While dietary changes may not rid you of gallstones completely, they can help to better control and prevent further stone development.
So, what type of diet should you follow when you have been diagnosed with gallstones? Below, you’ll discover the foods you should eat and the ones you should avoid.
Don’t Consume Foods High in Saturated Fats
The main tip to follow when choosing foods after being diagnosed with gallstones is to avoid products with a high saturated fat content.
There have been studies which have revealed the chances of developing gallstones is lower in those with a low-fat diet. This is because saturated fats are known to contribute to the formation of gallstones. In a study carried out on men, it was found those with a low-fat diet were 18% less likely to suffer with gallstones.
So, cut down on foods such as meat pies, cream, hard cheeses and fatty cuts of meat.
Do Look to Lose Weight Gradually
Maintaining a healthy weight is important in the prevention of gallstones. However, if you are trying to lose weight, it’s important to do it gradually. This is because there has been a link identified between rapid weight loss and the development of gallstones.
Experts recommend aiming to lose 1-2 lbs. per week to avoid increasing your risk.
Don’t Drink Alcohol in Excess
Excessive alcohol consumption can also result in the recurrence of gallstones. While it isn’t listed as a main cause, like anything, excess levels can cause all kinds of problems for the body.
In contrast, there is evidence to support that a low level of alcohol consumption can actually help to reduce the risk of gallstone development. So, if you’re only drinking socially, or one alcoholic drink a day, it could even protect you against the condition. It is only when you drink heavily that it can worsen the condition. This is because it can lead to liver cirrhosis, known to encourage stones to form.
Do Eat More Nuts
Some studies have shown that eating nuts regularly can reduce gallstone development. Focus on nuts like cashews and peanuts for their health benefits. It is known that a high fiber diet can reduce the risk of gallstones, something nuts are often packed full of.
Changing Your Diet after Surgery
If you are undergoing surgery to remove the gallbladder, you may notice your stools are loose, or you may have diarrhea for a few weeks afterwards. This is because more bile is entering into the intestines.
You can avoid certain foods to reduce these side effects, such as greasy processed foods and full-fat dairy. Your surgeon will be able to give you more accurate dietary advice you should follow after the procedure.
These are some of the most important do’s and don’ts to follow when you have been diagnosed with gallstones. What you eat can make a big difference to the symptoms you experience, as well as the likelihood of recurrence.