“Can I still eat fat after I have my gallbladder removed?” or “I can’t have olive oil because I don’t have a gallbladder.” These are just a couple of questions we have heard when it comes to eating fat and not having a gallbladder.
So what’s the answer? Yes and No. Geez Louise…can’t anything be simple now days 😉
Here’s the deal. 20% of people over 65 and 10% of all adults have gallstones. Just because you have gallstones that don’t mean you’ll have to have gallbladder removal surgery, many people don’t even realize they have them. They aren’t a problem for everyone. But, over half a million people in the U.S to end up having their gallbladders removed each year. And, because the gallbladder is involved in helping us digest our food, many people are under the impression they can’t eat fat anymore.
Actually, most people think that after they have their gallbladder removed they can’t eat any kind of fat… period.
Why do they think that?
Because the last time they went out to eat at a restaurant and had some cheese and pepperoni pizza or went out for fettuccine alfredo…they spent more time in the bathroom than they did at the table!
Here’s the thing.
The gallbladder collects the bile that is produced by the liver. Then it holds the bile there and concentrates it until you eat something fatty and need it to help with digestion. So when you eat a super heavy meal with damaged oils like canola, soybean oils that are usually used with restaurant type meals containing saturated and trans fats, your bile can break it up because it’s been concentrated in your gallbladder.
But… If you no longer have a gallbladder, your liver still secretes the bile it just doesn’t have the gallbladder to send it to for storage and concentration. So when you eat a heavy meal, and one that is full of processed fats, the “diluted” version of bile will have a harder time digesting all the fat.
So, what’s the good news? 😃 (there’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere) Well the good news is you can still eat fat. But…(there’s always gotta be a but!) you need to focus on good fats. By good fat I don’t mean mmmh good hamburger and bacon grease fat. I mean healthy monounsaturated fats.
There isn’t a strict diet to follow after gallbladder removal surgery but there are helpful guidelines. The website Healthline has a great article of foods to avoid and include. Here is a short version of that list. You can get the full article with the link below
Heavy Fat and Processed Foods to Avoid
- steak or high-fat cuts of red meat
- beef, whole or ground
- lunch meats, such as bologna and salami
Try to avoid or limit your consumption of:
- milk, especially whole
- full-fat yogurt
- full-fat cheese
- sour cream
- ice cream
- whipped cream
- sauces or gravies made with cream
Processed foods often contain a lot of additional fat and sugar. This makes them last longer, but they’re also hard to digest and don’t offer much nutrition.
Try to stay away from:
- cinnamon rolls
- sugary cereals
- white or other processed breads
- foods cooked in vegetable or hydrogenated oils
BUT WAIT THERE’S GOOD NEWS…. THERE IS FOOD THAT’S GOING TO AGREE WITH YOU!
- raw nuts (not roasted in oils), such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews
- raw seeds, such as hemp, chia, and poppy seeds
- sprouted grains, nuts, and seeds
- fruits and vegetables
- chicken breast (remember no fried chicken, sauteeing in a bit of olive oil is easier on digestion)
- white fish like cod and halibut
All hope is not lost! You can eat lots of good stuff and yes you can even eat olive oil as well as avocado and coconut oil.
You can also have fish oil as well as flaxoil and smaller amounts of olive oil.
These fats tend to agree more than vegetable oils and animal fats. Remember your body will need time to adjust to it’s new way of processing the fat so be patient and don’t overdo. Foods that tend to be naturally lower in fat (3mg and under) tend to be easier to digest.
The nice thing about Canary Island Garlic Herb Olive Oil is that it’s so concentrated with flavor from the Garlic and Herbs and Spices that you need a smaller serving to add all the zippy do da to your dish and still get all the oh yeeeahhh flavor without the work and worry.
Thank you again for all your questions. Keep them coming. If you have a health question we can help with, just leave it in the comments or shoot us a quick email.
Thank you and until next time,
Splash up a storm!
Miriam and Kristi
Whenever you’re ready here’s two more ways we can help you.
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If you are interested in learning more about the health benefits of different foods for different health concerns. Check out our new bundle pack on Etsy, it has our 3rd book There’s No Food in Your Food, a bottle of Canary Island Olive OIl and professional dispenser as well as a starter pack of recipes.