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What Foods Triggers A Gallbladder Attack?

Many people are not aware or much concerned about the health of gallbladder, which is actually an important organ which performs the function of collecting and storing bile. Bile is necessary for the fat digestion. This article discusses about the foods that trigger gallbladder symptoms.

What Foods Triggers A Gallbladder Attack?

What Foods Triggers A Gallbladder Attack?

Gallbladder stores bile and releases when required during the process of digestion. However, gall bladder is not considered as necessary for healthy functioning of the body unlike the other important organs such as liver, kidney, and heart. Even if there are gallstones some people do not feel any symptoms, but if the symptoms show up they are quite unbearable. The symptoms presented by the patient suffering from gallbladder disease include excessive pain in the right upper abdominal region, sometimes back pain and right shoulder, bloating, nausea and vomiting, There are treatments which provide symptomatic relief but the final treatment calls for the removal of the same.

There are certain factors which if present in the daily schedule might interfere with the normal functioning of the gallbladder and can lead to the occurrence of gallstones. Diet also plays a role in it. There are certain foods which can trigger an attack of the symptoms of the gallbladder. Therefore it is important to keep a watch on what you are eating.

Hence, knowing what foods trigger a gallbladder attack can help to a great extent. Based on this, those foods can be avoided or taken in moderation. Additionally, if you are aware of the foods that trigger a gallbladder attack, it becomes easy to identify an episode and seek timely medical treatment.

There are a number of factors which contribute to gallstone formation, which is one of the most common gallbladder problems faced. These are family history, age, and gender. Body weight also plays a major role in increasing the risk of developing gallstones. While the overall process of digestion and metabolism, plays an important role, certain foods trigger a gallbladder attack and must be carefully dealt with.

Here is a list of foods that can trigger a gallbladder attack and hence are best avoided. Given below are also some healthy alternatives that can be incorporated in the diet for better health.

Refined Carbohydrates Like Pasta, Bread, And Sugar

Refined carbs are one of the commonest foods that trigger a gallbladder attack. Choose whole grains and their products, whole fruits and vegetables instead

Saturated Fats

Foods containing saturated fats are main food trigger for a gallbladder attack. Instead, include healthy fats like those in almonds, walnuts, fatty fish, flaxseeds and olive oil.

Fried and Processed Food

Avoid these foods as they can trigger a gallbladder attack and prefer baked, steamed, boiled or grilled preparations. Choose freshly prepared foods instead of stored and processed or ready to eat packaged foods.

Fatty Red Meat

Avoid red meat and choose lean meat cuts instead.

Whole-Milk Dairy Products

Whole milk foods often trigger a gallbladder attack. Choose low fat or skim milk and low fat dairy products instead.

Peanut Oil And Vegetable Oils

These foods too trigger a gallbladder attack as they are more difficult to break down.

Commercially Baked Products

They too contain trans-fat and saturated fats, hence these foods trigger a gallbladder attack. Avoid these and instead, go for fresh, homemade healthy options, fruits and dry fruits for snacks.

Alcohol and Tobacco

These foods can trigger a gallbladder attack and are best avoided. Choose plain water, green tea or buttermilk for a change of taste.

When you eat fatty food and cholesterol rich food, the gallbladder tries to exert itself more to release bile, the route of which is obstructed by the gallstone present. This may lead to excessive abdominal pain which can further lead to nausea and even vomiting. Hence, fatty foods trigger a gallbladder attack and must be avoided as much as possible.

Apart from food, weight too plays an important role. Overweight or obese people should concentrate on losing weight, but it should be gradual, not quick. There is also a link between quick weight loss and gallstones. When a person is on a crash diet, the liver produces more cholesterol into the bile. The extra cholesterol can lead to the formation of the crystals leading to gallstones.

Concentrate on losing weight by following a low-calorie diet. This gradual weight loss is very necessary for healthy functioning of the gallbladder and also to prevent the worsening of the symptoms. You can also diet under the supervision of a specialist.

While we are limiting the consumption of foods that trigger a gallbladder attack, it does not treat gallstones. Knowing what foods trigger a gallbladder attack help in planning an appropriate diet. But if there are any symptoms bothering you, they must be discussed with physician to find the best medical approach. For severe cases, surgery is a treatment option, which must be evaluated based on the person’s health condition.


  1. MedicalNewsToday. (2021). Gallbladder: Function, Problems, Healthy Diet, and More. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322520
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Gallstones: Symptoms & Causes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gallstones/symptoms-causes/syc-20354214
  3. WebMD. (2021). 10 Symptoms of Gallbladder Problems. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/ss/slideshow-gallbladder-overview
  4. Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Gallstones: Diet Tips for Managing Gallstones. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15650-gallstones-diet-tips-for-managing

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 4, 2023

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