Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Digestive health centre

Gallstones - Preventing gallstones

NHS Choices Medical Reference

NHS Choices Logo

You cannot change some of the things that make you more likely to develop gallstones, for example your age and your gender.

However, from the limited evidence available, changes to your diet and losing weight (if you are overweight) may help prevent gallstones.

Diet

Due to the role that cholesterol appears to play in the formation of gallstones, it is advisable to avoid eating fatty foods with a high cholesterol content.

Foods that are high in cholesterol include:

  • meat pies
  • sausages and fatty cuts of meat
  • butter and lard
  • cakes and biscuits

low-fat, high-fibre diet is recommended. This includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day) and wholegrains.

There is also evidence that regularly eating nuts, such as peanuts or cashews, can help reduce your risk of developing gallstones. Cutting down your drinking to no more than 3-4 units a day for men and 2-3 units a day for women may also reduce your risk.

Losing weight

Being overweight, and particularly being obese, increases the amount of cholesterol in your bile, which, in turn, increases your risk of developing gallstones. You should, therefore, control your weight by eating a healthy diet and taking plenty of regular exercise.

However, avoid low-calorie, rapid weight loss diets. There is evidence that they can disrupt your bile chemistry and increase your risk of developing gallstones. A more gradual weight loss plan is recommended.

Read more about losing weight safely and getting started with exercise.

Medical Review: February 13, 2012
Next Article:

Mind, body & soul newsletter

Looking after your health and wellbeing.
Sign Up Now!

WebMD Video: Now Playing

digestive disorders

Digestive disorders

Learn what triggers IBS and how to manage symptoms, including diarrhoea and bloating.

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
womans toned abdomen
A workout for a toned tummy
79x79_less_is_more_with_exercise.jpg
Which exercises are safe?
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
Immune-boosting foods
The role of diet
79x79_not_good_for_you.jpg
18 secrets men want you to know
boy looking at broccoli
Quick tips for feeding picky eaters
hamburger and fries
A guide for beginners
salmon dinner
A diet to boost your mood & energy
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting