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What are some dietary suggestions to prevent gallstones?

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Quick Answer

Recommendations for preventing gallstones include following a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat and cholesterol, according to WebMD. Patients should monitor fat intake, as too little fat can also cause gallstones to form.

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What are some dietary suggestions to prevent gallstones?
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Full Answer

Individuals who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for developing gallstones and should strive to lose weight gradually, states WebMD. Crash diets and quick weight loss have been linked to an imbalance of cholesterol and bile salts, causing the excess cholesterol to crystallize and lead to gallstones. A healthy diet emphasizing fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and low-fat dairy products is encouraged for both preventing gallstones and managing a healthy lifestyle.

Olive oil is associated with gallstone prevention, and it helps reduce cholesterol in the blood and gallbladder, states WebMD. Moderate consumption of 2 tablespoons per day is recommended. Certain foods such as oatmeal, soybeans, eggs, peanuts and cabbage contain lecithin, a natural substance that helps keep cholesterol from thickening or solidifying in the gallbladder. Supplements are available for those who struggle with getting enough through diet alone. The daily recommended allowance is between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day. Patients should consult a doctor before taking supplements, as too much lecithin can lead to liver problems.

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