Few of us might have experienced immense pain on right side of our abdomen. It is unexplained, out of nowhere and settles on its own. But there are times when it is unbearable and diagnosed as gallstones. Gallstones are solid depositions in and around gallbladder. Read on to know about Indian Diet Plan for Gall Stones (Diet for Cholelithiasis, Food list and Remedies).
What is a Gallbladder?
Gallbladder is a small organ located exactly below the liver in your upper right abdomen. It is a sac like structure that stores bile pigment. Bile pigment is a yellowish green liquid that assists in digestion or breakdown of fats.
Function of Bile:
Whenever you ingest fats the gallbladder releases bile. This bile breaks down fats into digestible form that is fatty acids, with the help of cholesterol present in the bile pigment.
Cholelithiasis OR Gallstones
What are Gallstones?
Gallstones are hard, stone like. They come in different sizes ranging from small grain size to golf ball size.
When you lose weight in short span there is sudden reduction in fat intake and excess fat breakdown. This will lead to accumulation of cholesterol and bile in the gall bladder. Excess production of bile or cholesterol in bile, will get accumulated in the gallbladder. This accumulation over the period of time calcifies and forms small stones. Usually these stones do not cause any harm but if the number or size increases and blocks the bile duct it will cause pain.
When these stones completely block the bile duct of gall bladder you experience immense pain in abdomen. If such gallstones are not treated then it might lead to severe complications.
Types of Gallstones:
- Cholesterol stones: These are usually yellow-green in colour and are made of mostly hardened cholesterol
- Pigment stones: These are dark in colour and are made of bilirubin
Some people might have mix of both the stones of different sizes.
Signs and Symptoms of Gallstones:
- A loss of appetite and nausea
- Dark urine
- Rapid heartbeat
- Skin itching
Treatment of Gallstones:
There is no treatment for asymptomatic small size gallstones. They pass through the body on their own. But if the stones cause any mild or moderate pain then certain class of medicines will help to dissolve the cholesterol stones. With severe pain and complete blockage there is need for surgery to remove the stones.
Asymptomatic stones can be managed with diet. Consume high fiber, low GI, good quality but low fat and moderate amount of proteins in the diet.
Indian Diet Plan for Gall Stones ( Diet for Cholelithiasis)
Foods allowed in Gallstones
Low GI Carbohydrates:
High fiber helps to bind cholesterol and fat in the intestines thus slows the release of fats in the body. It also helps to get rid of excess cholesterol in the diet which leads to less accumulation of cholesterol in the body. It also helps to reduce production of bile acids in the gut.
Good Quality Proteins:
Proteins help to repair and maintain the organs of the body. Proteins are necessary for gradual weight loss, keeping sugars in control, reducing lipids in the blood and for liver regeneration. All these above mentioned functions of proteins will help manage gallstones much better. Animal protein is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Thus try to consume lean meat, low fat milk and products, plant based proteins and egg whites.
Good Quality Fats:
Consume low visible fats that will help in gradual weight loss. High saturated fats will overwork the gall bladder which already has gall stones. This will cause immense pain. Thus, try to consume MUFA or PUFA rich fats as it releases slowly in the system. Include oils like groundnut, olive, ricebran or canola oil. Consume nuts and oilseeds that contain good quality PUFA fats.
Antioxidant Rich Foods:
Antioxidant rich foods help to reduce any inflammation caused by gallstones. It also helps to remove free radicals or toxins produced in the body due to gall stones. Antioxidants help to boost immunity and prevent any infection caused by gallstones. Include whole fruits, vegetables, green tea, nuts and seeds.
Foods to avoid in Gallstones:
Refined carbohydrates will lead to weight gain and deposition of excess glucose in form of triglycerides. Avoid refined sugars, refined flours and desserts.
Fried food is high in fats. This will exhaust the gall bladder that produces bile for fat digestion. It also leads to weight gain and the gall stones might increase.
Avoid coffee as much as possible. Caffeine worsens the gallstones productions.
Excess alcohol leads to excess cholesterol in the body which can lead to gall stones.
Processed foods are high in salt, fat and preservatives. These leads to weight gain and excess cholesterol deposition in the body that cannot be digested. Avoids packed and canned foods.
Home Remedies to manage gallstones
- Exercise: Exercise helps to reduce fat and lose weight
- Peppermint tea: Peppermint tea relieves pains caused by gallstones
- Apple cider vinegar: ACV helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain
- Turmeric: It helps to release bile and flush out any clogged bile duct
- Hot compress: Hot water bag will help reduce pain caused by the gallstones
Indian Diet Plan for Gall Stones ( Diet for Cholelithiasis)
Sample Indian Diet Plan for Cholelithiasis:
Empty Stomach: 1 Tablespoon Apple cider vinegar with 1 glass water
Breakfast: 1 cup Hibiscus or peppermint tea + 5 – 7 pcs Moongdal Dhokla with green chutney
Mid-Morning: 1 Fruit (100 – 150 gms)
Lunch: 1 cup Salad + 2 Phulka + 1 cup Vegetable + ½ cup Sprouts / legume in curry form + 1 cup Curd
Mid- Afternoon: 1 glass Buttermilk 1 teaspoon flaxseed powder
Snack: 1 cup Milk (low fat) + Soaked Nuts (2 almonds, 2 walnuts, 1 date, 10 black raisins, 1 dried fig) or 1 cup Roasted or Boiled Chana or 4 to 5 pcs Paneer tikka (Low fat)
Dinner: 1 cup Vegetable soup + 1 cup Boiled Vegetable and quinoa salad or 2 Nachni Dosa or ¾ boiled Brown Rice + 1 cup Sambar + 1 cup Curd
Bedtime: 1 cup Turmeric milk
Gradual weight loss is the key to manage gallstones. A low fat, moderate protein and carbohydrate diet with enough fluids and regular workout will help to manage the gallstones. Minor stones will get eliminated from the body on its own after following such diet. Always remember to consult a professional before following anything. Hope this Indian diet plan for gall stones ( Diet for cholelithiasis, food list and remedies )