Eating for Gallbladder Health

gallbladder dietThe gallbladder is a little organ that works in tandem with the liver to store bile — the fluid that helps the body break down and shuttle around fats.

When too much HDL cholesterol (not from food, but the cholesterol your body makes) and other things like excess calcium solidify to form gallstones, it can bring on a list of symptoms including sour stomach, shoulder blade tenderness, fever or chills.

Here’s a little guide for eating if you have gallbladder issues or have had your gallbladder removed.

Avoid or Strictly Limit These Foods

  • Fried foods
  • Highly processed foods, especially desserts (doughnuts, pie, cookies)
  • Whole-milk dairy products (cheese, ice cream, butter)
  • Fatty cuts of red meat, (like greasy burgers, t-bone steaks, prime rib)

Foods and Habits To Add

  • Eat more high-fiber foods like the superfoods you see below, helping to regulate digestion.
  • Eat smaller meals to make it easier for your digestive system to handle fats.
  • Drink plenty of water, half your body weight in ounces.  I’m 120 pounds, so I drink 60 ounces a day (that’s just under 2 liters). If you’re drinking soda of any kind, sugary or diet, cut it. That alone could give you an energy boost.
  • Did your doctor suggest eating softer foods post surgery? Here are some suggestions for soft foods that are also superfoods and are easy to enjoy. Try and get 5-7 helpings (that’s 1/2 cup about half a small coffee mug) of super foods daily.

Sweet Potato

1 cup sweet potatoes — sometimes also called yam, contains 102 calories — as well as 436% of your daily needs of vitamin A (great for skin and eyes), 37% vitamin C (to boost immunity and help to protect skin against damage). It also serves up 15% of your daily needs for potassium (helps balance water levels in your body), 15% tryptophan (helps to combat stress), 15% fiber (slims your waistline).

Bake your sweet potato in the oven for 1 hour, just poke it several times with a fork to prevent it from exploding during the baking process. Top with salsa for a simple get filling meal. Add 1/2 cup canned sweet potato to pancake mix for a supercharged breakfast.


Quinoa is a south American grain that is a complete protein, and has all 9 essential amino acids, great for a vegetarian diet. It’s very high in manganese that helps keep bones strong and healthy and maintain normal blood sugar levels. Quinoa is great for heart health since it’s rich in fiber and niacin — both of which have been proven to lower and control high cholesterol.

Cook it as a breakfast cereal with soft fruits like banana or prepare as a risotto.


Broccoli is a treasure chest of healthy nutrients, at only 30 calories per cups it contains 205% of your daily value of vitamin C, 194% of Vitamin K, and 2.5 grams of fiber.

Gently steam and mash broccoli with a tablespoon of low fat sour cream or tangy barbecue sauce.

Or add steamed broccoli to a good quality chicken broth and along with a pinch of your favorite spice and blend. To make it creamy and low fat add 1 tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese or 2 tablespoons of canned white beans.

Black Beans

Beans are also high in folate — both fiber and folate help people drastically lower their risk of cardiovascular disease in studies. Magnesium, another crucial mineral for heart health, helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels and normal heart rhythms.

Mash canned black beans and add cooked spinach for a fiber rich taco or quesadilla filling.

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