Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Very Low Fat Diets May Cause Gallstones: Are you at risk?


What are gallstones?

Gallstones are hard, pebble-like deposits that form inside the gallbladder. Gallstones may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.

What causes them?

Gallstones are more common in women, Native Americans and other ethnic groups, and people over age 40. Gallstones may also run in families.

There are a wide variety of causes for gallstones. Ones that would be caused by a low fat diet would be due to a build up of bilirubin, which is a substance secreted by the gall bladder, that we use to digest fats. 

If you are not eating enough fat then the gall bladder doesn't contract and secret bilirubin.  This is how the build-up occurs.

How can I prevent them?

At least one meal per day must contain 10g of fat. Its okay if you may not have been doing this for a few days.

This doesn't mean you can finally drive through McDonalds and get a Big Mac.

What I recommend:

Continue to eat a diet low in fat, with one meal containing 10g of fat.

Fats should come from mono or poly unsaturated sources such as olive and canola oils, salmon and other fatty fish, etc.

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