To avoid certain health problems that may occur, it is essential that person who has had cholecystectomy eats a diet that is low in fat and high in fiber.
What is Cholecystectomy?
Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder, a small pear-shaped organ that is situated in the upper right part of the abdomen, beneath the liver. Gallbladder stores digestive fluid produced by the liver, known as bile. Gallbladder removal is a common treatment for gallbladder diseases such as gallstones. Gallstones represent small formations that consist of bile salts and cholesterol. They develop due to high levels of cholesterol and excessive intake of fats. Gallstones can block normal flow of bile and lead to inflammation in the gallbladder, a condition known as cholecystitis. Cholecystectomy is performed to treat gallstones and the complications that they cause. However, after removal of the gallbladder the body is no longer able to digest fats normally; thereby, specific diet has to be followed after the surgery.
Low Fat Diet
After cholecystectomy, the body has difficulty digesting fats since it requires bile for fat absorption. Therefore, it is recommended to limit intake of fats and consume only amount needed for healthy functioning of the body. Fat free diet is not recommended because it can cause certain side effects. To much fat in a diet after gallbladder removal can result in diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Immediately after cholecystectomy, a patient is advised to consume liquid diet. Such diet is important for better recovery from the surgery. If indigestion is not present, the patient can eat skimmed or powdered milk and protein powder. Fruits like apples, bananas and berries are also allowed. The patient can consume clear soups, chicken broths and chicken soups.
A week or ten days after cholecystectomy, the patient can transition back to regular solid food diet. Still, it is important to eat natural and healthy foods. Total amount of fat in the diet should not exceed 30% of total calories. Saturated fats, processed oils, refined flours, processed foods, fried foods and similar should be avoided. Also, it is vital to eat high fiber diet. The diet should be focused on vegetables and fruits, lean proteins such as turkey, chicken and seafood, and small amount of healthy fats.
After cholecystectomy, the patient is advised to eat several small meals during a day instead of three large meals. Unsaturated oils are recommended as well as green tea while dairies, chocolate, poultry, pork, carbonated beverages and refined sugars should be avoided. All in all, the patient is advised to increase intake of fluids and fiber and limit intake of fats in a diet.