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Which Foods Trigger Gallstone Attacks?

Which Foods Trigger Gallstone Attacks? Which Foods Trigger Gallstone Attacks? Which Foods Trigger Gallstone Attacks?

More than 25 million Americans have gallstones, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC. In fact, by 75 of age, at least 50 percent of women and 20 percent of men have them. Gallstones usually do not cause symptoms. The small percentage of patients with symptomatic gallstones experience severe upper abdominal pain that starts suddenly and lasts at least 30 minutes, often after eating a heavy meal.

Fatty Foods

Certain dietary fats may trigger gallstone attacks. Avoid the saturated fat in animal products, including meat, butter and full-fat dairy products because these foods increase the cholesterol in the gallbladder, causing gallstones to form, according to the UMMC. Fried foods, margarine and mayonnaise also contain saturated fats that may trigger an attack. Instead, eat more fish and plant-based proteins such as tofu and beans. However, do not cut fats out of your diet altogether. Healthy fats, including monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids found in olive, canola, flaxseed and fish oils help to prevent gallstone attacks.

Carbohydrates

Eating sugary desserts may trigger gallbladder attacks. Other high-carbohydrate foods, including pasta and bread, also increase the risk of gallstones because these carbohydrates convert to sugar during digestion, according to the UMMC. Sugar also contributes to obesity, a high risk factor for developing gallstones. To prevent gallstone attacks, eat a high-fiber diet that includes nuts, fruits and vegetables and maintain a healthy weight.

Meal Replacements

Obese individuals who lose weight rapidly risk developing gallstones, according to the Weight-Control Information Network. Very low-calorie diets, often under 800 calories per day, substitute meal replacement shakes and bars for all food intake to help severely obese patients lose weight. Gallstones, the most common side effect of a very low-calorie diet, develop because the rapid weight loss increases the level of cholesterol in the gallbladder and inhibits its ability to expel bile. Consult your health care provider before beginning any plan that causes rapid weight loss.

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