Article contributed by Janita Bold (Durban- based Banting Buddies coach)
Many people ask if they can embark on the Banting lifestyle if they have had their gall bladders removed. The answer is a definite YES!
What actually causes gallstones?
The gallbladder stores bile, made by the liver, to digest the fat you eat. Eating foods low in fat results in less bile being released from the liver. This means that the bile produced sits in the gallbladder longer than it should, and gallstones may form. A study conducted on extremely low-fat diets found that patients developed gallstones on the low-fat diet. Therefore, gallstones are caused by a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat.
Eating a diet higher in fat, will mean that bile will be released from the gall bladder more regularly, and stones won’t have the time to form. Sometimes, those who have been eating a diet low in fat who then embark on the high fat diet, have stones that have formed flushed from the gall bladder causing a pain in the side whilst being flushed into the small intestine.This is very rare, but should you experience discomfort, please treat this as an emergency. If a stone lodges in the bile duct it can be life-threatening. This hardly EVER happens (we don’t know of a single Banter it’s happened to), but it’s as well to be forewarned.
A Swedish low carb site conducted a survey of 145 people who used to have gallstones and asked them what happened since they started eating LCHF. This survey gives some support to the theory that high fat food can eliminate gallbladder disease.
Banting without a gallbladder
If you have had your gallbladder removed, you may need to increase your fat intake slowly to allow your body time to adapt. Instead of eating 2 or 3 meals a day with a lot of fat, rather eat your fat spread out throughout the day in smaller amounts. You will still eat the same amount of fat as someone with a gallbladder, just spread out more. If you are struggling, then something else to try is digestive enzymes containing lipase. Lipase is a digestive enzyme that helps break down fats found in many dairy products, as well as fats found in nuts, oils, and meat. Take one capsule before or during a meal.
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