Rich in fiber and healthy fats, nuts are widely recommended as part of a healthy diet. When you have gallbladder problems, you're advised to limit your intake of fatty foods — the gallbladder is key in the digestion of fats — but if it's not working properly, a fatty diet can put undue stress on it and make your problems worse 1. Although nuts are high in fat, they're often recommended as part of a gallbladder diet. This is because of the fiber and healthy fats they contain. To be on the safe side, choose nuts that are naturally lower in fat.
Nuts and Gallbladder
A study published in American Journal of Epidemiology in 2004 assessed nut consumption as part of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study 2. Among the 1,800 male participants with gallstone disease, the men who consumed the most nuts had a much lower risk of gallstone disease than those who ate very little or no nuts as part of their regular diet. The researchers concluded that, although high in fat, the beneficial compounds nuts contain were protective against gallbladder disease 6. Harvard Medical School proposes that dietary fiber, healthy fats that lower the bad LDL cholesterol and the mineral magnesium in nuts are the likely factors at play.
Nuts in a Gallbladder Diet
Do Nuts Have Cholesterol?
Many experts, including Harvard Medical School, recommend including nuts in a gallbladder diet. If you're interested in getting the health benefits of nuts, but you still want to keep your fat intake low, choose nuts that are lower in fat such as almonds, pistachios and walnuts. Also look for nuts high in fiber (almonds, pistachios and pecans) and magnesium (Brazil nuts, cashews and almonds).
Even though nuts are healthy for you, you still need to control your intake. Being overweight is a contributing factor in gallbladder problems, and nuts are high in calories 135. Internationally-recognized nutrition expert Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends limiting your daily intake to 1 to 2 ounces of nuts per day if you're overweight 6.
Read more: List of Good & Bad Foods for Gallstones
- Many experts, including Harvard Medical School, recommend including nuts in a gallbladder diet.
- Even though nuts are healthy for you, you still need to control your intake.
Foods to Avoid and Eat
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Beans and legumes
- Low-fat dairy
Do Nuts Have Cholesterol?
Nuts & Their Negative Effects
5 Foods to Avoid If You Have Gallbladder Problems
What Happens if I Eat a Fatty Meal After Gallbladder Surgery?
Brazil Nuts for Weight Loss
Should Alcohol and Caffeine Be Avoided After Gallbladder Removal?
How to Naturally Clean Plaque From the Arteries
Can Certain Nuts Help Lower Your High Blood Pressure?
Almonds or Pistachios and Health
The Nutrition of Smoked Almonds
- Live Science: Gallbladder: Function, Problems & Healthy Diet
- American Journal of Epidemiology: A Prospective Cohort Study of Nut Consumption and the Risk of Gallstone Disease in Men
- Harvard Health Publishing: In Brief: Say Nuts to Gallstones
- Patient: Gallstones Diet Sheet
- Dr. Fuhrman: Gallbladder Disease
- Cleveland Clinic: 5 Ways to Avoid Discomfort After Your Gallbladder Removal
- Cleveland Clinic. Fat and calories. Updated April 2019.
- Slavin J, Carlson J. Carbohydrates. Adv Nutr. 2014;(5)6:760-1. doi:10.3945/an.114.006163
- US Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central.
- Liu AG, Ford NA, Hu FB, Zelman KM, Mozaffarian D, Kris-etherton PM. A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion. Nutr J. 2017;(16)1:53. doi:10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4
- Hever J, Cronise RJ. Plant-based nutrition for healthcare professionals: implementing diet as a primary modality in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017;(14)5:355-368. doi:10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.012
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- Wang TY, Liu M, Portincasa P, Wang DQ. New insights into the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption. Eur J Clin Invest. 2013;(43)11:1203-23. doi:10.1111/eci.12161
- US National Library of Medicine. Soluble vs. insoluble fiber. Updated June 2018.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Gluten free diet: building the grocery list. November 2018.
- Harvard Medical School. Quick-start guide to nuts and seeds. September 2019.
- Zhivagui M, Ng AWT, Ardin M, et al. Experimental and pan-cancer genome analyses reveal widespread contribution of acrylamide exposure to carcinogenesis in humans. Genome Res. 2019;(29)4:521-531. doi:10.1101/gr.242453.118
- Iweala OI, Choudhary SK, Commins SP. Food Allergy. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2018;(20)5:17. doi:10.1007/s11894-018-0624-y
- American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI). Newly Issued Clinical Guidelines from the NIAID Recommend the Early Peanut Introduction, Not Avoidance. Milwaukie, Wisconsin; press release issued January 5, 2017.
- Du Toit. G.; Roberts, G.; Sayer, P. et al. Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy. N Engl J Med. 2015; 372:803-13. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1414850.
- McMacken M, Shah S. A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Journal of Geriatric Cardiology : JGC. 2017;14(5):342-354. DOI: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.009.
- Tuso PJ, Ismail MH, Ha BP, Bartolotto C. Nutritional update for physicians: plant-based diets. Perm J. 2013;17(2):61-6. DOI: 10.7812/TPP/12-085.
- Wright, N., Wilson, L., Smith, M., Duncan, B., & McHugh, P. (2017). The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes. Nutrition & Diabetes, 7(3), e256–e256. DOI: 10.1038/nutd.2017.3.
- Preedy, V.; Watson, R.; and Patel, V. (2011) Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention (1st Edition). New York: Academic Press. ISBN: 9780123756886.
Jody Braverman is a professional writer and editor based in Atlanta. She studied creative writing at the American University of Paris and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. She also received personal trainer certification from NASM and her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks.