Can you eat dairy without a gallbladder?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat dairy without a gallbladder?”, along with foods to eat and avoid after surgery, and delicious recipes which are gallbladder friendly. 

Can you eat dairy without a gallbladder?

Yes, you can eat dairy without a gallbladder, although you should only choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as skim milk. 

This is because dairy is difficult to digest without a gallbladder, and since calcium and vitamin D are provided by dairy, it is only recommended in small amounts. 

What is the use of the gallbladder for eating dairy?

The gallbladder is used for the digestion of fats, via the secretion of bile after eating dairy and other food. When some people have excess cholesterol, they may experience gallbladder conditions such as gallstones, bile duct stones, or acute inflammation. Sometimes, the gallbladder may need removal if the condition is serious. 

Does the gallbladder grow back after surgery?

No, the gallbladder does not grow back after surgery, although the duct remains to drain bile from the liver onto the intestines. 

Gallstones can form in this duct, so the diet should be maintained even after removing the gallbladder. Failure to do so will result in inflammation and pain. 

What food should you eat after gallbladder removal? 

There are certain foods to avoid and certain foods which you should eat after gallbladder removal. Foods you should typically eat include: 

High fiber food

High-fiber food is important in preventing constipation, so fiber should be introduced slowly after gallbladder removal. Some high-fiber food includes whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, and bran cereals. 

However, too much fiber should not be eaten at once, as the body needs to readjust after surgery.

Low-fat dairy

Low-fat dairy is easier on the digestive tract after gallbladder removal. However, the vitamins and minerals from dairy products can also be obtained from other food sources such as legumes, pulses, green leafy vegetables, and fish such as sardines and salmon, which are packed with calcium. 

What foods should you avoid after gallbladder surgery?

Foods to avoid after gallbladder surgery include fatty foods, fried food, spicy food, refined sugar, and alcoholic and carbonated beverages such as sodas and fizzy drinks. 

Failure to avoid this type of food completely will have the risk of diarrhea, jaundice, extreme pain, and other serious complications. 

What are some good food recipes after gallbladder surgery? 

There are several gallbladder-friendly recipes that are low in fat, and high in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. More detailed versions of the recipes can be found here.

Spicy carrot juice

This delicious juice is packed full of antioxidants and tastes amazing on a warm day. Start by mixing carrot juice and curry powder into a puree, and then add a cup of skimmed milk to increase the thickness of the juice. Serve with fresh cilantro as a topping, and this juice can be drunk daily in the morning. 

Strawberry papaya smoothie

After washing kiwis, papayas, and strawberries to remove dirt and debris, blend them together till a puree is formed. Add a couple of ice cubes to a glass, and pour the juice onto it. 

Garnish with a couple of mint leaves, and serve chilled. You can also add low-fat skimmed milk if you want to add more flavor to this smoothie.

Brazilian fish stew

Add onions, garlic, peppers, and celery to some oil and saute before adding tomato, chilies, and ginger. 

After that, add coconut water, cumin, and broth, bringing it to a boil before adding lime juice and the fish. Cook until ready, and serve it with fresh cilantro, and a bowl of noodles or rice.

Multigrain porridge

Wash peaches, remove their pits and place them on a baking dish. Drizzle with maple syrup, and bake at 380 degrees Fahrenheit until soft. 

In another pan, combine salt, cereal, and milk and cook until softened, and drizzle with ground cinnamon. Serve the porridge topped with baked peaches, and it is the perfect filling breakfast. 

Papaya mango smoothie

Combine chopped papaya, mango, and a wedge of orange in a food processor, until a smooth puree is formed. You can add low-fat milk to this if you prefer, but it tastes better on its own as well. 

Serve in a glass with ice cubes, and garnish with a few mint leaves on top. This is the perfect drink for a warm summer day.

What sauces can I eat after gallbladder surgery?

Light sauces can be eaten after gallbladder surgery. Make sure that they do not contain high-fat ingredients, as it is difficult for the body to digest. Good options are light mayonnaise sauces with mustard, balsamic dressing, and lemon juice. Do not eat sauces that contain high-fat yogurt or milk. 

Other FAQs about Dairy that you may be interested in.

Can you eat keto without dairy?


In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat dairy without a gallbladder?”, along with foods to eat and avoid after surgery, and delicious recipes which are gallbladder friendly. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.