Diet is only one risk factor for gallbladder problems and gallstone attacks, notes WebMD. However, certain foods, such as foods high in cholesterol or saturated fats, fried foods, whole milk dairy products, red meat, and foods containing high amounts of unrefined sugars, may cause symptoms and abdominal discomfort in people with existing gallbladder issues, as they stimulate the gallbladder to produce more digestive bile.
The risk of developing gallbladder problems or aggravating existing problems is more influenced by weight than diet, reports Everyday Health, although the site notes that rapid weight loss can cause gallstone formation. Foods that can irritate the gallbladder include any food that is deep-fried, like French fries or onion rings; whole milk ice creams, cheeses and butters; foods that are highly processed, such as cakes, cookies, pastas and white breads; and fatty red meats, such as beef, pork and lamb. Recommendations for limiting high-fat, high-cholesterol meats in the diet are provided by the American Heart Association.
Diets rich in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy products produce fewer symptoms in gallbladder patients, reports Everyday Health. The site also recommends, in moderation, peanuts, tree nuts, coffee and alcohol to prevent gallstones from forming.