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colette_heimowitz's Blog
New Research: Higher-Fat Diets Help Prevent Gallstones

If you have ever had a gallstone, you know how painful the entire experience can be. Research also shows that the likelihood of getting gallstones is typically linked to obesity, yo-yo dieting and rapid weight loss. A group of researchers recently published a systemic review in the journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology of the best non-surgical strategies to prevent gallstones in adults while they lose weight.

The final analysis of 1,837 obese participants compared taking a daily supplement—ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA)—with a high-fat diet. The results? Although UDCA reduced the risk of gallstones compared with a control group, the effect was significantly larger in the higher-fat diet trials. In addition, the high-fat diet (12.2 grams-30 grams of fat/daily) beat a low-fat diet (2 grams-3 grams of fat/daily) in the reduction of gallstone formation.

What does this mean to you? We have hard data that consuming as much as 60% of your calories as healthy fats on a low-carb diet like Atkins does not have a negative impact on your health—in fact, it has a positive influence on your levels of good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, plus it leads to a drop in triglycerides. In addition, people with insulin resistance (a precursor to Type-2 diabetes) who eat a low-carb diet rich in fat lose weight while reducing their insulin resistance (and their risk for Type-2 diabetes). Plus, consuming a higher percentage of fat tends you to make you feel less hungry and more satisfied than other diets. And now, this most recent analysis shows that a higher fat intake may be the best way to prevent gallstone formation while you are losing weight.

Published Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:51 PM by colette_heimowitz
Filed Under: Nutrition
Comments
shalisha42 said:
I'm so glad you posted this! I was wondering though - I noticed that Atkins has now come out with frozen dinners (like Weight Watchers frozen meals) like pasta and other - what would seem to be - high carb foods. They also have the equivalent of M&Ms. I was wondering if these frozen atkins pasta and rice dishes will impact our blood sugar. Also, I can't find any supermarkets that carry these frozen meals.
January 16, 2014 09:26 PM EST
Benedina said:
Colette, this seems a very exciting piece of research. I've seen research linking high carb intake/low-fat diets to gallstones, but I think this is the first showing direct correlation between high fat and protection? And a sample size of more than 1,800 participants is great.
January 17, 2014 08:31 AM EST
RadFam said:
Collette---Curious...did the study or any other quality resources tell the best way to dissolve existing stones and stones that are connected together? Especially seems that if the gall bladder has stones in it that it might impair its ability to break down the high-fat diet fat content. What might be resources for further inquiry?
January 27, 2014 12:07 PM EST
flourshoppe said:
I work for a Safeway supermarket in Houston and they carry the frozen Atkins meals.
February 06, 2014 10:37 PM EST
jholt9372 said:
Thanks for posting this! I have often wondered what my common sense has told me if you eat more fat, then your gall bladder will empty more often rather than when someone eats a low-fat diet for 20+ years, which you would think would get thick and result in gall stone formation or at least contribute to their formation. It seems like there are is a noticeable amount of people over 40 who have gall stones and if you look at how they have been eating, it was always low-fat.
February 10, 2014 08:52 PM EST
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