If you’re wondering how to do the keto diet without a gallbladder, you’re in the right place. In this article, we answer your questions and offer some useful advice.
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**As you read through this guide, it is important to note that the advice and recommendations you receive from your doctor should take precedence.
- Can I Do the Keto Diet Without a Gallbladder?
- Can You Lose Weight Without a Gallbladder?
- Is It Harder to Lose Weight After Gallbladder Removal?
- What Foods are Hard to Digest Without a Gallbladder?
- What Foods Can Trigger Gallbladder Attacks?
- What Foods are Good to Eat After Gallbladder Removal?
- What Keto Foods are Good to Eat After Gallbladder Removal?
- What Helps Digestion After Gallbladder Removal?
- Keto-Friendly Foods Without a Gallbladder
Can I Do the Keto Diet Without a Gallbladder?
Yes, you can do the keto diet without a gallbladder.
Note that, even as you adopt the keto diet after undergoing a cholecystectomy (having your gallbladder removed), it is imperative that you strictly follow your doctor’s post-surgery instruction for your diet.
The best way to get started on the keto diet is by increasing the frequency and reducing the portions of your meals as you gradually introduce keto foods.
For the best results, include soluble fiber from keto bread, low-carb veggies, and supplements in your diet.
In case you experience problems with digestion, try the following.
- Following the surgery, stick to a moderate fat diet for a few weeks then gradually increase your fat consumption until you fully adopt the keto diet.
- Improve your fat digestion by adding an ox bile supplement and ginger to your diet.
- Supplement your fat intake by consuming lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, and caproic acid. These MCTs that improve ketone levels and are easily absorbed and digested without bile.
- Stay hydrated.
- Consume ample magnesium, sodium and potassium.
If you’re like most people, you’ll be able to fully adopt the keto diet within a month following your gallbladder removal surgery as your body readjusts to allow fat digestion without a gallbladder.
In case problems arise later, you can reduce your dietary fat consumptions; eat smaller, less frequent meals; and consume an ox bile supplement.
Can You Lose Weight Without a Gallbladder?
Some weight loss may occur following the removal of your gallbladder.
Possible causes of weight loss include:
Removal of fatty foods:
Following the surgery, your body may need some time to readjust and regain the ability to digest fats.
As a result, your doctor may recommend that you stay away from fried and high-fat foods until your body recovers its ability to deal with them.
A bland diet:
As you recover, you might realize that eating gas-producing foods, and spicy foods result in gastrointestinal upsets.
You might, therefore, become averse to eating some of your previously preferred meals.
A couple of weeks following your surgery, you might have to stick to eating small meal portions in each sitting. The doctor may therefore advice you to increase the frequency of your meals.
Instead of having laparoscopic surgery, you might have had a traditional surgery that results in a longer period of discomfort, pain, and recovery following the surgery. Your appetite might diminish.
Diarrhea is among the possible side effects of a cholecystectomy. It usually lasts only a few weeks.
You might be consuming fewer calories in this period than before the surgery, resulting in a temporary loss of weight.
Is It Harder to Lose Weight After Gallbladder Removal?
It’s not harder to lose weight after gallbladder removal. On the contrary, many people report losing some weight after having a cholecystectomy.
Some of the causes of weight loss after gallbladder removal include surgical side effects, adopting a low-fat diet, pain medication, a bland diet, and surgical recovery.
Doctors recommend generally avoiding “quick fixes” and fad diets as they are not only ineffective, but they also expose you to certain health risks.
The best ways of maintaining your weight loss include:
- Following a work routine and maintaining a healthful diet rich in veggies, fruits, lean protein, fiber, and low-fat dairy
- Avoiding empty calories by eliminating fats and sugars from junk foods
Adopting an active lifestyle is the most reliable way of maintaining weight loss after undergoing a cholecystectomy.
It is imperative that you seek your doctor’s advice on the best to start or return to your exercise routine following the surgery.
In most cases, the doctor will recommend giving yourself some time to recover before you start working out.
Once they clear you for exercise, consider activities such as swimming, yoga, biking and walking.
What Foods are Hard to Digest Without a Gallbladder?
The following spicy and high-fat foods may be hard to digest following your gallbladder removal so you should avoid eating them.
- High-fat meats such as ground beef, sausage, and bologna
- Potato chips and French fries
- High-fat dairies such as whole milk, ice cream, and cheese
- Creamy sauces and soups
- Meat gravies
- Turkey and chicken skin
- Palm oil and coconut oil
- Spicy foods
You should also gradually introduce the following high-fiber foods into your diet
- Whole-grain bread
- Brussels sprouts
Start with smaller and more frequent meal portions.
Reintroducing the above foods into your diet too quickly can result in bloating, cramping and diarrhea.
What Foods Can Trigger Gallbladder Attacks?
Consuming foods that are high in fat—more specifically, saturated fat—has been associated with a higher risk of suffering a gallbladder attack.
You also stand a higher risk of developing gallstones when you eat highly processed foods, such as pastries, doughnuts, pies, cakes, cookies, and packaged snacks such as tortilla and potato chips.
Eating a lot of plant-based foods—such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and seeds—can help prevent gallstones, which in turns reduces the chance of getting a gallstone attack.
Healthful sources of protein include legumes (lentils, peas, beans, etc.), shellfish (grilled, broiled or baked.
If you have to have meat, go for the lean cuts of beef/pork, such as top sirloin, top/bottom round, sirloin tip, and eye of round, all of which have low levels of saturated fats.
What Foods are Good to Eat After Gallbladder Removal?
Your body needs time to recover after the gallbladder removal surgery. So a few days after the procedure, it is recommended to follow a bland liquid diet.
As your body slowly starts to produce gas and stool, your doctor will advise you on when to embark on a soft diet that includes easily digestible foods.
This way, your body can focus on the healing process and gradually readjust itself to the changes in bile production.
Recommended soft foods include:
- Fish or chicken (braised or steamed)
Steamed vegetables bind more easily to bile than raw vegetables. Consuming steamed veggies can decrease the quantity of bile that gets into the large intestines and reduces the likelihood of developing diarrhea.
You can eat the following raw vegetables:
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Green bell pepper
Soluble fiber also easily binds to bile. As a result, it reduces some of the adverse effects on gut functioning and might be helpful in preventing stomach discomfort and diarrhea.
Good soluble fiber sources include:
- Brussel sprouts
You can still digest protein without a gallbladder, so you don’t need to avoid high-protein foods after your surgery.
However, consuming fatty cuts of meat may cause some issues.
Prevent gastrointestinal upsets by marbled cuts of beef and cut away fats from the side of beef, pork chops, chicken and other meats.
Easily digestible meats include:
- Lean cuts of beef and pork
- Fish such as halibut, flounder and cod
- White meat turkey or chicken
Even though your body will have limited ability to digest fats after your gallbladder is removed, you still need some healthy fats in your diet.
Always keeping your doctor’s advice in mind, you can get “good” fats from the following foods.
- Sardines, salmon, anchovies and other fish
- Almonds, walnuts and other nuts
- Olive and extra virgin olive oil
- Psyllium, flaxseed, chia seeds, and other seeds
Practice moderation while you eat the above foods and make sure you eat small portions.
Rather than having your usual three large meals, eat four or five smaller meals spread throughout the day.
What Keto Foods are Good to Eat After Gallbladder Removal?
As you transition into the keto diet after your cholecystectomy, it’s important that you pair your fats with soluble fiber to facilitate the absorption of fats.
You can find this soluble fiber in cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds.
What Helps Digestion After Gallbladder Removal?
Consuming the following foods with aid your digestion as they facilitate secretion of bile from the liver.
- Apple cider vinegar
When your liver secretes more bile, your body is able to break down the extra fat you consume.
In addition to eating the above foods, include an ox bile supplement and digestive enzymes in your diet.
These enzymes stimulate the production of bile and endogenous enzymes that digest food and facilitate the absorption of nutrients in the body.
Keto-Friendly Foods Without a Gallbladder
Among the best foods for the production of bile and stomach acid is ginger.
Thin your bile to improve its flow in the liver by adding apple cider vinegar to your foods and drinks.
Stimulate production of bile and boost its flow into the intestines with artichokes.
Add limes and lemons among other sour foods to your diet to enhance your fat tolerance.
In addition to cleaning your liver, these citrus fruits improve digestion and nutrient absorption by thinning bile.
Fermented drinks (e.g., low-carb coconut water kefir) and vegetables go a long way in improving the production of digestive juices.
Fermented foods and beverages and fibrous vegetables help stimulate your digestive system.
They also aid in the prevention of excessive growth of intestinal bacteria that may result in digestive issues.
Cucumbers and celery are excellent low-carb foods that are naturally rich in vitamins (B and C), trace minerals, and sodium which support good liver health.
Likewise, asparagus and celery are excellent for improving the flow of bile and detoxifying the liver.
For increased bile production and boosted fat metabolism, include radishes in your diet.
Water in the liver facilitates the production of bile in a thick sluggish flow.
For that reason, you should aim to drink at least 32 ounces of water in the first hour of the day and around 35 ounces by noon.
Drinking adequate amounts of water is important to improving the mobility of the gut and maintains ketosis while it prevents constipation.