Gallstones are difficult to prevent. Once you have gallstones, there’s always a possibility that they will recur. For most people, the only way to prevent gallstones from recurring is to remove the gall bladder completely.
Removing the gallbladder poses its own health risk so it should be considered as a last resort. The food we eat plays a big role in gallstone formation. You can prevent gallstones by taking note of the foods you need to avoid. And once you prevent gallstone formation, you can be free of its symptoms. Here’s a list of the foods you need to avoid for people with gallstones.
- Meat and meat products. Cholesterol is the main cause of gallstones and meat is our main source of cholesterol. Try to cut down on fatty meats like beef and pork and go for leaner meats like fish or poultry.
- Dairy products. Most dairy products are high in fat, like butter, cream, and ice cream. You can cut down on the fat but still have the flavor by using butter substitutes or low fat alternatives like margarine or low fat yogurt.
- Sweets. Sugar induces our body to produce more insulin. Insulin stimulates the liver to produce cholesterol. Cutting back on the sweets can help reduce cholesterol production.
- Hydrogenated fats and oil. Hydrogenated fats are important components of cholesterol. You can help lower your cholesterol by avoiding margarine, mayonnaise, and food rich in trans fat.
- Eggs and any food product with eggs. Eggs are healthy but the egg yolks are rich in cholesterol. Avoid any food made with whole eggs like white bread and pastries. You can reduce your cholesterol levels by talking out the egg yolks in your omelets and by buying pastries that use only the egg whites.
- Deep fried foods. Yes, this means you have to say goodbye to French fries and chips. If you’re craving for something crunchy and savory, go for nuts instead.
- Foods with additives like preservatives, sweeteners and colorings. Artificial additives in foods like sweeteners and preservatives can also cause gallstones. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Food that’s fresh and close to its natural state is the best way to go.
- Carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks have very high sugar content. Even diet sodas can cause gallstones because of its artificial sweeteners. If you need something sweet, go for fresh fruit juices instead.
- Coffee, tea, and alcohol. These drinks have a stimulant effect that can cause the gall bladder to contract. A contracted gallbladder is more likely to produce gallstones.
- Radishes, turnips, cauliflower, and cabbage. These vegetables can exacerbate the symptoms of gallstones.
- Citrus fruits. The acids in citrus fruits can contribute to the formation of gallstones.
In addition to avoiding these foods, you also need to exercise and lose weight gradually in order to effectively prevent gallstones. In short, preventing gallstones is all about having a healthy lifestyle. There’s really no substitute to healthy living. By taking care of your body, you can live longer, avoid gallstones, and prevent a wide variety of diseases.
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