The gallbladder, located just below the liver, produces bile, a substance that aids in the digestion of fatty foods. When the gallbladder becomes inflamed (cholecystitis) or gallstones irritate or clog the gallbladder and cystic duct (cholesthiasis), the pain is so severe it is often mistaken for a heart attack. Patients who suffer from gallbladder problems are often given special diets to minimize the effects of these conditions before resorting to the alternative of surgical removal.
The main use for the bile produced in the gall bladder is to break down fats. Steaks, sausage, heavily-marbled beef and other fat-rich meats are the single greatest contributors to increased bile production and inflammation of the gall bladder.
The grease and cholesterol in fried foods like bacon and eggs and deep-fried chicken, fish and "appetizer" foods, stimulate the production of bile and "feed" gall stones.
Such disparate foods as beans, cabbage and carbonated drinks are direct producers of gas that, in addition to the immediate inconvenience, incites the gall bladder to produce more bile--which produces more gas.
Seeds, skins and "sticks and stems" in berries, tomatoes and leafy greens scratch inflamed tissues and ducts surrounding the gallbladder.
Citrus fruits, fruit juices, tomato sauces and coffee contain acids that irritate the lining of the stomach, further stimulating an inflamed gallbladder.
Spicy foods containing chili and peppers are hard on already inflamed tissues.
Potato chips, buttered popcorn and other snack foods contain large helpings of cholesterol--the main component in gallstones.