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Gallstones Diet Advice

Gallstones Diet Advice

People having gallstones, need to follow a strict diet prescribed by the health care provider, in order to treat and prevent recurrence of this condition. This HealthHearty article gives a glimpse of a simple diet plan, along with few tips to avoid the risk of developing this condition.
Tarali Kafaie
High concentration of compounds found in bile leads to the formation of crystalline bodies known as gallstones. They can occur either in the gallbladder, small intestine, pancreas, or in the bile duct. They are nothing but crystallized form of cholesterol that occurs when bile salts are unable to dissolve the excess cholesterol in the bile. They are more common among women than in men, mostly affecting those above 65 years of age. Hence, due to the direct relation between cholesterol and gallstones, diet plays a major role in controlling and eliminating this problem. Therefore, seeking diet advice and following a proper diet plan helps in lowering cholesterol and flushing out the stones without surgery.

Gallstones is among the most common diseases affecting Americans. They sometimes occur without any symptoms, yet, the most common symptom of this disease is severe pain in the abdomen that lasts from 30 minutes to several hours. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery and alternative treatment methods like, shock wave lithotripsy and dissolution are the most common ones in existence. They are recurrent in nature, if not removed completely. Hence, it is important to seek advice to reduce this risk, and follow a healthy diet.

Sample Diet Plan

Instead of larger meals, it is advisable to take small but frequent meals in a day. The following is what an ideal diet, to reduce stone formation in the gallbladder, looks like:

06:30 A.M. (Before breakfast): Fresh fruit juice, or lukewarm water with honey and lemon juice.
08:00 A.M. (Breakfast): A mixed-fruit plate, 2 slices of whole wheat bread, and a cup of skimmed milk.
10:30 A.M. (Mid-morning): Fresh fruit juice.
01:30 P.M. (Lunch): A large bowl of salad with lemon dressing, vegetable soup, few spoons of brown rice, steamed vegetables, and an apple or any other fruit as a dessert.
05:00 P.M. (Post lunch): Fresh fruit juice, or lemon or carrot juice.
08:30 P.M. (Dinner): Vegetable juice, baked or boiled potato, brown rice or whole wheat bread, two steamed vegetables and a glass of buttermilk.

Tips

# 1: Drink as much water as you can, as it helps wash off the harmful toxins in the body. Lack of water leads to dehydration, which in turn leads to toxin accumulation. So make it a habit to drink at least 2 liters of water daily.

# 2: To get rid of stones in the gallbladder, adopt a high-fiber diet. Fibers help in digestion of food, so consume healthy water soluble fibers found in fruits and vegetables. Fruits such as, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, dates, oranges, apricots, etc., are a rich source of fiber.

# 3: Include whole grains in your diet to flush off the gallstones and aid digestion. Whole grain bread, bran flakes, whole grain pasta, brown rice, etc., are best to include in the diet.

# 4: Stay away from red meat and fatty foods, and replace them with at least 3 servings of vegetables a day. Beans, corn, and broccoli are usually listed in the prescribed diet for gallstones.

# 5: Lose weight gradually by switching to healthy alternatives in your diet. This is also what most practitioners would advise. Avoid going for fad diets for quicker weight loss.

# 6: Exercise, a common cure for many dreaded diseases, but something most of us tend to ignore. Hence, incorporate regular and vigorous exercise in your daily routine and minimize the risk of gallstones.

As in many diets, it is not about cutting down on food, but switching to healthier food items to lower cholesterol. However, along with diet, it is also important to bring about changes in your lifestyle to lead a healthy, disease-free life.