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Diet and Nutrition

Diet after having my gall bladder removed

01/10/2008

Question:

i am 23 i had my gall bladder removed when i was 16. I was wondering what foods i should stay away from? What types of food would help me lose weight or help me from not gaining anymore?

Answer:

Thanks for your question. Typically, after cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder), a person is able to resume a 'regular', unrestricted diet.  Prior to the surgery, a low fat diet is suggested to help reduce the symptoms of cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder).

However, continuing a low fat diet post op is a great idea if you are trying to lose weight or prevent further weight gain.   A lower fat diet will aid in weight reduction (a risk for gallstones), and may also reduce the the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer (colon, breast, prostate, etc).

Foods to avoid that are high in fat include fried foods, fast food, cheese or milk made with whole milk, butter, margarine, ice cream, gravy, ground beef, poultry skin and high fat snacks such as potato chips, snack cakes, commercial muffins, donuts, cookies, cake and crackers.  Bacon, lunch meat, regular salad dressing and cream sauces are also high in fat.  Biscuits, croissants and other pastries also tend to be high in fat versus plain bread or English muffins.

So, you may ask- what's left to eat?  Stick with lean cuts of beef, pork, fish and chicken and make sure your food is baked, broiled, or grilled instead of fried.  Choose low fat or fat free dairy products over full fat milk, cheese and yogurt.  Avoid foods made with heavy cream (like fettucini alfredo).  Include lots of high fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, dried beans, etc).  A high fiber diet has been found to reduce risks of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Finally, to keep weight off, find some type of exercise you enjoy.  Ideally, you should exercise most days of the week for at least 30-60 minutes.  Find a friend to join you.  Friends keep you motivated and accountable, and also make exercise more fun.

Good luck!

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati