Gallbladder Diet Tips
- Do not overeat
- Do not eat under stress
- Eat only fresh foods
- Do not eat packaged foods
This is not a bible. Everyone reacts differently. It is a place from which to start but the most important thing to do is to listen to your own body.
Do not avoid all fats unless you are in attack or close to attack mode. Even then, a small amount of the flax oil in the beet recipe can be helpful. Fat-free and low-fat diets can be a cause for gallbladder problems as well as too much of the wrong fats. The body needs fats. Use omega 3 oils like flax or fish oil. Cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil is also recommended. Use with vinegar or fresh lemon juice.
Garlic – Helpful to Some, Hurtful to Others
Many people get reactions like gallbladder attacks from eating onions. Some also have milder symptoms with garlic. However, garlic is helpful for lowering the concentration of cholesterol in the bile which may protect against the formation of gallstones. And garlic contains sulfur which is used by the liver in detoxification. So avoid it when you are symptomatic and then try adding it in slowly. Since you are avoiding breads and other refined foods, garlic bread is NOT the way to eat garlic. Use freshly ground, grated or baked garlic."
- Green beans - are NOT the same as dried
- Sweet potatoes
- Avocados - a good way to get needed fats directly from food
- Vinegars all types
- Garlic helps with liver cleansing but not processed types like flakes or powder. Some people have difficulty with it but is usually ok and even helpful. Just pay attention to your own body with this one.
- Tomatoes - ripe
- cold water fish- salmon, trout
- Lemons (lemon juice in the morning with hot water helps to clean the liver)
- Grapes and fresh organic grape juice
- apples, berries, papaya, pears, pomegranates
- Omega 3 oils like flax or hemp. Use these with fresh lemon juice or vinegar on your salads. DO NOT COOK flax oil.
- Vegetable juices - Beet and cucumber are especially helpful to gallbladder You can add other green vegetables like tender baby greens, swiss chard, dandelion greens, beet greens, celery, carrots, ginger, tumeric -- avoid the cabbage family)
- Avoid all fruit juices except organic grape juice and organic apple (fresh, self-juiced is best). It is wise to dilute with water.
- All the vegetables listed above for juicing are good. Use baby mixed organic greens for salads and avoid the bitter greens for now.
- Fiber such as found in fruits and vegetables
Avoid These Foods
- Eggs (Research showed that eggs caused symptoms in up to 95% of patients. Try substituting flax seed gel in recipes that require eggs for the "glue". That's 1 TBSP ground flax seed to 3 TBSP hot water. Let cool and add.)
- Fowl (turkey, chicken)
- Dairy (milk, cheese, cream, butter)
- Gluten (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, etc.)
- Beans and legumes
- Oranges, grapefruit
- Trans fats, Hydrogenated, partially-hydrogenated oils
- Fried Foods
- Saturated fats (even coconut oil until feeling better)
- Red meats
- Coffee, regular or decaf - except for acalculous biliary dyskinesia*
- Spicy foods
- Ice cream
- Black tea
- Alcohol, beer, wine, liqueur
- Fruit juice and sugary drinks
- Tap water
- Cabbage, cauliflower
- Oats (for some people)
- Avoid all artificial sweeteners, sugar, preservatives, refined and bleached foods (like white flour)
- Avoid smoking if possible as it can exacerbate the symptoms.
- Avoid all possible food allergens.
*May be helpful for a low-functioning gallbladder with no stones.
Diet After Gallbladder Surgery
If you will read the page on gallbladder disease and how you got into trouble in the first place you will begin to understand that gallbladder surgery is not the answer to the underlying problem. This is not to say that surgery isn't sometimes necessary and can be helpful with the pain and other symptoms. The most common question asked on this site is why there is still pain/symptoms after gallbladder removal. Your diet needs to be changed with or without possessing a gallbladder, if you have had any form of gallbladder disease. Eating a gallbladder-friendly diet will only take the stress off of the digestive system as a whole and help with all sorts of symptoms. So follow the dietary recommendations for gallbladder or bile problems of any kind.
Fats to Avoid / Fats to Include
Most important is to avoid fried foods, fatty foods and particular types of fats like trans fats, hydrogenated fats, partially-hydrogenated fats (read your labels) and saturated fats.
Include essential fatty acids such as flax oil and fish oil. Depending on how severe or acute your gallbladder problem is at the moment, even this may not be possible for you. Experiment slowly. You may have to be on The 30 Day Gallbladder Solution kit before you can add these. Most people, however, are able to eat small amounts. It shouldn't take more than a week on the products before you feel relief enough to try this. If you have used The Beet Recipe, you have found that those three ingredients in combination do not cause problems but help to move the stagnation in the gallbladder. I generally advise adding a teaspoon of flax oil with vinegar or lemon juice to salads as a dressing. If you are in pain, you may be able to eat only the green soup recipe for a few days.
Beet Recipe for Treatment of Gallbladder Pain
- Coarsely grate 1 large raw organic beet root (washed but not peeled)
- Add juice of lemon to taste (about 1/4 lemon)
- 1-2 Tbsps flax oil
- (Flax oil is by far the superior choice here as it is an omega 3 essential fatty acid, but if you are insulin resistant, use olive oil.)
- Take one teaspoon of mixture every hour throughout the day
- On day two and three make a fresh batch using ¼ of a large beet.
- Take one teaspoon of mixture 3 to 4 times a day or more.
- Make this mixture to add to your salads frequently or eat alone as above 2 or 3 times a week. This will keep the bile thin and moving. Note: If you cannot get organic beets, be sure to peel them. Otherwise, use the peel as well
- Beets in any form are an excellent food for both the liver and the gallbladder
- Eat your regular meals throughout this period, striving to eat lots of fresh vegetables, good fats and to avoid refined sugars and processed foods
Green Soup Recipe for Relief of Gallbladder Pain
- One bunch parsley
- 3 medium zucchini
- ½ lb. Green beans
- 5 stalks celery
- Steam together for 8-10 minutes.
- Or partially steam and boil in ½ cup water.
- If you have a steamer, you retain more nutrients and flavor with that method.
- Puré in a blender.
- NOTE: THIS SOUP IS NOT FOR A GALLBLADDER ATTACK! Use the products (Phos Drops). Liquids are best during an attack. You could try the Beet Recipe. Many find it helps, but others do better with just liquids. It is wonderful for relief from all sorts of gastric disturbances such as stomach pain, gas, and indigestion. I do not add any fat or salt to this recipe. It can be used anytime but is particularly useful as a three day fast with nothing else but water. It is both nourishing and easy to digest. You can alter the amounts to taste. More beans add more sweetness.
Getting Enough Protein
One of the difficulties in the beginning of a gallbladder diet is getting enough protein. Proteins always come with fats which are often not tolerated. We recommend plant proteins in the form of a shake to supplement your protein while you cannot eat many foods.
We also recommend nutritional yeast flakes which can contain more than 4 gm of protein per Tbsp. Sprinkle on salads and vegetables or mix into juice. When mixed with a little olive oil it has a similar taste to a cheese sauce. That's stretching it a little since the texture is missing, but when you can't have dairy at all, it is quite satisfying. Watch for recipes in our newsletters.
Watercress for Liver and Gallbladder
- Watercress is from the crussiferous or brassica family along with Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and aruglua. Plants in this category are known to support liver cleansing as well as bile flow but should be eaten sparingly when your gallbladder condition is acute.
- Watercress soup made with potatoes is delicious, filling and good for the gallbladder. The fresh, subtly peppery flavor adds a bite to salads as well.
- Watercress should not be eaten fresh from the streams due to possible parasitic infections. Rather, they should be purchased from a reputable seller or cleaned thoroughly before ingestion.
Artichokes are Good for Bile Flow
There are many research studies proving the efficacy of artichoke leaf extract for relieving the symptoms of indigestion including nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, flatulence, constipation and intolerance of fat. Although eating artichokes as food does is not the same as a concentrated extract, the components in the artichoke leaves are helpful for increasing bile flow and relieving digestive symptoms. Artichoke leaves have liver-protective and cholesterol-lowering effects as well.