What Foods Should You Avoid When You Have Gallstones?

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Foods to avoid with gallstones include high-fat foods such as fatty red meat, fried foods, whole milk dairy products and highly processed foods as well as diets with very low calories, states WebMD. Although avoiding such foods does not get rid of gallstones, it can help to ease the condition’s symptoms.

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ about 4 inches in size located right under the liver, to which it is attached, states Everyday Health. As part of the biliary system, its function is to collect and store the bile that the liver produces for the body to use in breaking down and digesting fats. When the balance of cholesterol in the gallbladder is upset and the bile hardens, tiny stones known as gallstones form in the gallbladder. In addition to blocking the release of bile from the liver, gallstones cause jaundice, severe pain, inflammation of the gallbladder walls and in rare cases, bowel obstruction and gallbladder cancer.

Although diet neither causes nor cures gallstones, a gallbladder-friendly diet may prevent their formation and help to ease their symptoms when they develop, adds WebMD. The ideal diet is one that contains lots of fiber, very little cholesterol, very little fat and a moderate calorie count. Healthy foods for such a diet include fresh fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean poultry, fish and meat.