Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Gallstones

Can what I eat help prevent gallstones?

You can lower your risk of gallstones by following a healthy eating plan and getting regular physical activity to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Experts recommend the following to help prevent gallstones:

  • Eat more foods that are high in fiber, such as
    • fruits, vegetables, beans, and peas.
    • whole grains, including brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread.
  • Eat fewer refined carbohydrates and less sugar.
  • Eat healthy fats, like fish oil and olive oil, to help your gallbladder contract and empty on a regular basis.
  • Avoid unhealthy fats, like those often found in desserts and fried foods.
A group of people eat a meal across a table.
You can lower your risk of gallstones by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.

Talk with your health care professional before you make any changes to your eating plan. Losing weight too quickly may cause health problems. Very low-calorie diets and weight-loss surgery, also called metabolic and bariatric surgery, can lead to rapid weight loss and raise your risk of gallstones. Learn more about weight-loss, dieting, and gallstones.

Last Reviewed November 2017
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This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.