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Guide to Preventing Gallstones   ( Home | Diet | Foods | Recipes )

Good Foods for Preventing Gallstones

Looking for information on how to prevent gallstones with food? Here's an extensive list of foods that may help prevent gallbladder stones. Pick your favorite anti-gallstone foods from the list and start eating them on a regular basis.

This section of's Guide to Preventing Gallstones presents foods that may help reduce your risk of gallstones. If you are interested in more general information on nutrition and gallstones, visit this Guide's home page and the diet section. For delicious recipes that combine some of the best anti-gallstone foods, visit this Guide's recipe section.

#1:  Walnuts (and Other Nuts)

Regular consumption of nuts can significantly reduce your risk of gallstones.

If you look at the Nutrition Facts label on a bag of walnuts, you'll learn that they are high in fat and calories. But that should not be a reason to shy away from these delicious nuts that are widely used in sweet and savory dishes alike. Consuming nuts such as walnuts in moderation can confer great health benefits as they are packed with several compounds that can help prevent gallstones. The Health Professionals' Follow-up Study, which used a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, found that men who consumed nuts frequently had a significantly lower risk of gallstone disease, compared to men who never are rarely ate nuts. A similar data on women also found an association between a high consumption of nuts and a reduced risk of gallstones: those who ate at least 1 ounce of nuts, peanuts, or peanut butter each week had a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones. Adding chopped walnuts to your muesli or your favorite salad is a great way to include these nutrition bombs in your gallbladder diet. Walnuts can also be eaten on their own as a snack.

#2:  Buckwheat

Lecithin in buckwheat appears to fight gallstones.

Japanese researchers have found high protein buckwheat flour to exert strong protective effects against gallstone formation. These beneficial effects of buckwheat may be attributable to its high concentration of lecithin. Lecithin aids in the breakdown of fat and cholesterol, and low levels of lecithin have been linked to the formation of cholesterol gallstones. Buckwheat groats can be used to make a delicious hot breakfast porridge and buckwheat flour (also known as beechwheat, kasha, and saracen corn) can be used for making baked goods. What's more, they contain only 92 calories per 100 grams and are loaded with protein, which makes them an excellent food also for those who are watching their waistline.

#3:  Apples

Loaded with pectin, apples definitely deserve their place on this list of good gallstone-preventing foods. Pectin, which is concentrated in the skins of all apples, is a type of dietary fiber that has been shown to stop gallstone formation. Among apple varieties, tart green apples – such as Granny Smith – are the winner in terms of pectin concentration. Tip: In order to maximize the anti-gallstone effects of apples, go for organically-grown produce which you can eat without peeling.

#4:  Onions

The humble onion, known for its distinct odor, is yet another good food for preventing gallstones. According to a 2008 study published in the renowned British Journal of Nutrition, consumption of onions (and garlic) may reduce the incidence of cholesterol gallstone formation by 40%. It is worth noting, however, that this study was conducted on mice, not on humans.

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For further information on the nutritional approach to preventing gallstones and maintaining good gallbladder health, see: