If you’ve ever had a gallstone, you know how painful they can be. Most doctors will tell you that gallstones can’t be reversed, and the only option is surgery to remove your gallbladder. However, the gallbladder performs an important function of your digestive system, and its removal can lead to many more complications. In addition, patients who have their gallbladders removed are more susceptible to certain types of cancers. Many people are unaware of the fact that changes to their diet can reduce gallstones, and can even lead to their ability to pass the gallstones. Here are some things you need to know if you want to start a gallstone diet.
Foods to Avoid
The worst foods to eat when you have gallstones are high-fat, high-cholesterol foods. Here is a short list of specific foods to avoid while on the gallstone diet:
- Fried or excessively salty foods
- Processed foods
- Fatty dairy products
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits
- High-fat meats
Foods You Should Include
Adding fiber to your diet is the single most important component of a gallstone diet. Fiber aids the digestive system and helps the body remove toxins. In addition, low fat foods will prevent gallstones. Whole grains should become an important part of your diet as well. They can be found in a number of different types of foods. The following foods may contain the whole grains you need for your gallstone diet.
- Brown rice
In order to make sure that you’re getting a product that is made with whole grains, check the nutritional information before purchasing. If refined grain or refined flour in its ingredients, then it does not contain whole grains. Look for words like “whole grain” or “whole wheat.”
Fiber is another important part of a gallstone diet. Whole grains contain a lot of fiber, but there are additional sources of fiber for your gallstone diet. These include fresh vegetables and fruits. Some good examples include:
- Dried apricots and dates
- Raisins and prunes
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans
- Green beans
When choosing which beverages to consume, nothing beats water. However, if you require something that has a little more flavor, try vegetable juices. Cucumber and beet juice are highly recommended for the gallstone diet.
It may seem daunting to make such a drastic change in your diet for the sake of your gallstones, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Easy substitutions can make the transition easier. Switch refined grain breads with whole wheat. Eat non-fat dairy instead of your whole fat. By using these easy substitutions you can change your diet without making huge sweeping changes.