Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Repost of my post on gallstones and low-fat diets

NutriSystem is very low-fat and I don't believe a low-fat diet is healthy in the long run. For example, it is a major cause of gallstones. The bile isn't used, so it just sits around in the gallbladder and forms stones:

The liver makes bile continuously and stores it in the gall bladder until such time as it is needed. However, if a low-fat diet is eaten, that bile remains in the gall bladder. Gallstones are formed when the gall bladder is not emptied on a regular basis. In people who continually resort to low-fat diets, bile is stored for long periods in the gall bladder – and it stagnates. In time – and it is really quite a short time – a 'sludge' begins to form. This then coagulates to form small stones which then become bigger.

To avoid this on NutriSystem I will eat more fat on Saturday - probably peanuts on the snack table at church since that is one of my favorite things.

Sparky's Girl made this comment on my earlier post. I feel it should be seen by more people, so I'm posting it here:

I'm not sure how I missed this post, but it's a great one. I am one of those people who unknowingly killed my own gallbladder. I ate fat free everything for several years. While in the last couple of months of my first pregnancy I started having these uncomfortable pains behind my ribs. I attributed it to the baby's feet (or hands, elbows.. whatever) and tried to get by. After my son was born the pain worsened. I would literally lie on the floor holding my chest and cry. I frequently felt I would throw up. 3 months later I was diagnosed with gallstones - approx. 40 of the little buggers. I had to have emergency surgery to remove not only the stones, but my gallbladder as well. It was beyond repair. To think I could have prevented it all had I known about low-carb 11 years ago.

What I really find interesting is my doctor told me afterwards, off the record, that he believed the gallbladder was meant to be used, and when it's not, it quits working. He believed low-fat diets were the cause.

The moral of the story: Fat is healthy and good for you. :)

[Editing this post to add something I stumbled across:
But the diet-gallbladder link, if indeed there is one, is far from clear. Consider a class action suit being filed against a popular dietary plan. "Last spring, according to newspaper reports, 19 people filed suit against NutriSystem for developing gallbladder disease after the diet," says Carol Heppe, a consumer safety officer at the Food and Drug Administration. But would they have become ill anyway? There is no ready answer.


[Second edit: Don't miss this view from a doctor on the topic of gallstones.]

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1 comment:

JustForToday said...

Thank you Victoria for sharing this post with me!!! Thankfully I am feeling better today but I will need to definitely watch what I eat and make sure I have the right proportions of fat in order to be sure this doesn't happen often or ever gain preferably!!!