Gallbladder Removal Recipes, Foods to Eat and Avoid After Surgery


Tomato Sauce:

David Jones 2 weeks, post op, says:

I discovered that most store-bought Tomato sauces have some form of OIL in them. I circumnavigated that by making my own Tomato sauce:

1- 28oz can of “Dei Fratelli Tomato Puree”
1- 14oz can of “Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes Fire Roasted”

Combined, made the sauce and damn was it delicious. And it caused no problems for me at all.


Some food for thought: 

  • One size does NOT fit all. Go slow. Eat a little. Wait. See how you feel. Proceed if ten minutes or so pass and you feel fine.

  • Some people can eat a cheeseburger and fries right away no problem while others can never eat this kind of food again.

  • Most are fine after 4-6 weeks, but reintroduce the foods you like slowly and gently to your system.

Bile and Diet 

Bile is made by the liver to help the body digest fats. Fats and oils do not mix well with the water-based environment of the digestive tract, which means bile is needed to emulsify fats and oils in the diet, which helps keep the fat from forming large globules that are hard for the intestines to absorb. Bile is stored in the gallbladder, where it is released in response to large, fatty meals.


The main reason to follow a special diet after gallbladder removal is that it can help reduce the frequency and severity of side effects. After gallbladder surgery, your ability to digest certain foods will be reduced. This means that if you eat the wrong foods, you could develop diarrhea as a result of undigested foods. Fatty and spicy meals may also cause abdominal pain, and other foods might give you gas.

Week 1-6…
In the first few weeks definitely avoid: Fatty, Fried,
Heavy, Hard to Digest Foods Like:

Gravies & Heavy Sauces
Food Made with Lard/Butter
Red Meat
Meat Skin
High fat meats:
Porkbacon, bologna, sausage, duck, ground beef, and ribs
Fried Foods:
Like French Fries, Tater Tots, Pork Rinds, Potato Chips
High Fat Dairy items:
Eggs, Whole Milk, Cream, Cheese, Full Fat Yogurt, Ice Cream, Butter
Spice/Spicy Foods:
Peppers, Chile, Chili, Cayenne, etc.
Sugars & Syrups
Processed Foods
Coca Colas (always avoid anyway)
Tomato sauces with oils
Greasy Fats
Oils (especially heated oils)
Alcohol & Caffeine

Grains and fibrous foods cause pain early after surgery and for some ongoing there after such as:

Cereals/Oat Meal
Whole-grain breads
Nuts and Seeds
Brussels sprouts

Questionable bland foods that are great for some,
and not so great for others:

Rice, pasta, toast, bananas


Some food for thought: 

  • When the gallbladder is removed, bile is less concentrated and it drains continuously into the intestine. This affects digestion of fat and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • How much of a problem it is varies from person to person.
  • With time, the body often adjusts and becomes better at digesting fatty foods
  • The gallbladder collects bile, a fluid that is produced by the liver, and releases it when you eat to aid the breakdown and absorption of fat.
  • Between meals, bile collects in the gallbladder and is concentrated.
  • The amount of fat eaten at one time also factors into the equation. Smaller amounts of fat are easier to digest.
  • On the other hand, large amounts can remain undigested and cause gas, bloating and diarrhea
  • Your liver secretes bile on a schedule that coincides with the natural rhythm of eating three meals per day, so the key to digesting fats without a gallbladder is to time your meals to coincide with your liver’s inherent bile cycles.
  • Add a bile supplement with each meal to ensure a sufficient supply and to support your body’s natural rhythm.
  • Become and avid label reader
  • Aim for 40-50g fat per day.

Week 1-6…
Again, this can vary from person to person so go slowly. Test carefully:

Apple Sauce
Low Fat Smoothies
Low Fat Yogurt
Salad in small quantities
Fish such as Salmon/Tuna in small quantities
Salads without heavy oily or creamy dressings
Fresh or dried fruit in small amounts
Non gas causing vegetables
Non oil based veggie/chicken broth based soups
non oily tomato sauce
Gluten Free breads
Boiled/Baked lean meats such as chicken/turkey/fish
Skim Milk/Low Fat milk
Low sodium foods

Some excellent tips to follow after phasing out the first month or so after gallbladder removal as you introduce safe foods to your diet:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals. This may ensure a better mix with available bile.
  • Avoid inflammatory gluten/wheat products
  • Eat organic as often as possible, avoiding Genetically Engineered/modified foods and produce (GMO)
  • Include small amounts of lean protein, such as poultry, fish and nonfat dairy, at every meal, along with vegetables, fruit and whole grains.
  • Eat low fat. Avoid high-fat especially hydrogenated trans-fat foods
  • Avoid fried and greasy foods
  • Avoid fatty sauces and gravies.
  • Instead, choose nonfat or low-fat foods.
  • Read labels and look for foods with 3 grams of fat or less a serving.
  • Gradually increase the fiber in your diet to normalize bowel movements by reducing incidents of diarrhea or constipation.
  • Adding fiber to your diet can worsen gas and cramping worse so slowly increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of weeks.
  • Be aware that after gallbladder surgery some people find that caffeine and dairy products are difficult to digest.

A Holistic Nutrition Consultant & Certified Health Coach With an Integrative Realistic Approach to Wellness Through Whole Life Transition. Coaching, Intervention, Juicing and Nutrition Programs for Healthful Living. Mind-Body-Spirit, Integrative Healing, Biofeedback, Meditation, Self Regulation.

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5 comments on “Gallbladder Removal Recipes, Foods to Eat and Avoid After Surgery
  1. Laura Lucas says:

    This is the most informative page I have found and its easy to read. I just want to say thank you for this page

  2. Leslie's says:

    This article was very informative and easy to read.Thank you it has made dealing with my mom’s gallbladder emergency easier to get through.

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