What Foods to Avoid After Gallbladder Surgery


The gallbladder is a small organ in the body that stores fluid produced by the liver after a meal. When another meal is eaten, the fluid (called bile) moves to the intestines and aids in digestion by helping the body to absorb fats and nutrients. If the gallbladder is no longer present, the fluid from the liver has no place to go but straight into the intestines. Avoiding certain foods may help with digestion problems that often lead to diarrhea after meals in persons who have had their gallbladders removed. The general idea is to eat a lot of fresh whole foods and organic foods such as sweet potatoes, grapes, berries, apples, okra and beets. Foods that are more easily digested will provide more comfort in the days after surgery.

Fried Foods

Any fried or greasy foods, such as fried chicken or french fries, should be avoided to reduce the amount of fatty oils in the digestion system. Fast foods and fried foods are rich in unhealthy saturated fats, which tend to slow the whole digestive process.

French fries and ketchup
French fries and ketchup (Image: Azurita/iStock/Getty Images)

Processed Foods

Foods that have been altered from their original state and processed through canning, freezing, pasteurization and other methods should also be avoided or kept to a minimum. Processed foods, such as milk, frozen dinners, dairy products, snack foods and chocolate place some amount of stress on the whole digestive process and normally do not provide healthy nutrients.

Jug and glass of milk
Jug and glass of milk (Image: Miles Higgins/iStock/Getty Images)

Red Meat and Pork

Meat is harder on the digestive system because it requires more enzymes to break down. A digestive system just getting used to not having the gallbladder would benefit from not having to work harder to digest red meat after surgery. Pork is one of the more complex meats that are very difficult for the body to digest. It can sit in the stomach for up to five hours before it is broken down and digested, which causes other foods to become more acidic and gaseous as they remain in the stomach in the meantime.

Pork chops on barbeque
Pork chops on barbeque (Image: Olgaorly/iStock/Getty Images)

Acidic Fruits

Sour fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and pineapples, contain a lot of acid that can upset the digestive system, especially one that is trying to adjust to a change. The acid can lead to gas in the stomach and impede the process of digesting carbohydrates.

Halved grapefruit
Halved grapefruit (Image: enzodebernardo/iStock/Getty Images)

Spicy Foods and Caffeine

Spicy foods, coffee, soda and other foods containing caffeine can cause the stomach to have a lot of gas and acidity, which increases the likelihood of having some minor pain and discomfort while the food is being digested.

Two espresso coffees
Two espresso coffees (Image: Shaiith/iStock/Getty Images)


Although broccoli is very good for the body as far as nutrients and fiber content, it is not conducive to easy digestion. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage can cause bloating in the stomach area because of gas buildup.

Bowl of broccoli
Bowl of broccoli (Image: Lars Kastilan/iStock/Getty Images)

Alcoholic Beverages

Drinking a lot of alcohol tends to create more acidity within the digestive system and can affect the digestive process. In addition, too much fluid can begin to dilute the enzymes within the system that are needed to properly break down food.

Glass of red wine being poured
Glass of red wine being poured (Image: Boarding1Now/iStock/Getty Images)

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