Can you eat keto without a gallbladder?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Can you eat keto without a gallbladder?” We will also discuss why the gallbladder is removed and how the keto diet works.

Can you eat keto without a gallbladder?

Yes, you can eat keto without a gallbladder. However, it takes more adaptation to follow this type of diet as well as seek advice from your doctor. After the gallbladder is removed, the body will need a few months to recover, so it’s best to wait to adjust to a gall-free life before going on a keto diet.

The keto diet is used by several doctors as a way to promote fat burning associated with a diet rich in fats and proteins without great quantity limitations. Parallel to this, the gallbladder is an oval organ that collects, concentrates, and releases bile, an emulsifying agent that aids in the digestion of fats.

Why is the gallbladder removed?

The gallbladder is usually removed in 3 cases: gallbladder inflammation, gallstones, or cancer. In all cases, the person will experience sharp pain in the abdomen, yellowish skin, and fever.

Inflammation can be caused by gallstones, but it can also be associated with blood or viral problems (such as HIV). Gallstones are small stones, usually made of cholesterol, which are formed in the gallbladder.

Many factors affect gallstone formation, including a high-cholesterol diet, advancing age (the risk increases as you get older), gender (women, especially mothers, are more likely), and body mass (overweight or obese are more willing to)

Finally, there is cancer, which, due to the presence of tumors, requires the removal of the organ so that it does not harm the rest of the body and complements the chemo and radiotherapy treatment.

Surgery can be done conventionally, opening a cut in the abdomen or through laparoscopy, in which only 4 holes are made in the abdomen and the surgery is done with the help of micro cameras. After the procedure, the patient will need to take some care with his food, avoiding mainly processed foods.

What foods to eat and not to eat after gallbladder surgery?

Gallbladder removal will affect how and how quickly your body digests food, so while there is no standard diet, avoiding fatty, greasy, oily, processed, and sugary foods can help minimize unpleasant symptoms like diarrhea, agonizing gas, and bloating.

Replacing fatty sauces and processed meats with fat-free or low-fat foods can provide you with adequate protein and not be too harsh on your digestive system. An example of substitution is swapping fried chicken with mayonnaise sauce for grilled chicken breast with fat-free yogurt sauce.

Increasing the fiber in your diet can help normalize bowel movements, especially soluble fibers that are easier to absorb. They are present in oats and fruits but remember to respect the process and not overdo it. Too much insoluble fiber can cause fermentation in your gut, making your pain and gas worse.

Finally, choose to eat smaller, more frequent meals as there will not be a reservoir of bile to aid digestion. A healthy meal should include small amounts of lean protein, along with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Limiting the amount of caffeine, dairy, and sweet foods can also be important to prevent diarrhea episodes.

How does a keto diet work?

The keto diet is based on the principle of ketosis. Ketosis is an increase in the level of ketones in the blood. This occurs when your body needs energy and there is no glucose available for use. To meet its need, the body breaks down fat molecules into ketones and the ketones are used in place of glucose.

To reduce blood glucose, the keto diet advises the consumption of a diet rich in fat, intermediate in protein, and low in carbohydrates, in this way the body is forced to look for fat reserves for energy.

The keto diet seeks, among other benefits, weight loss, usually in an accelerated way due to the impact on the body as well as the reduction of sugar and insulin in the blood.

Nowadays there are 4 keto diet schedules:

  • A standard ketogenic diet (SKD): The best-known structuring diet containing 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs
  • The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): Consists of alternating several days without carbohydrates followed by a period with a high carbohydrate diet.
  • The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): Allows carbs only pre-or post-workout, with a focus on carb expenditure for physical activity only.
  • High protein ketogenic diet: Similar to the SKD, this schedule is more protein keeping the ratio at 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

Approaching the keto diet without a gallbladder to help digest fats, it is possible to choose to consume the minimum amount of fat necessary to enter ketosis, use medium chain triglycerides that do not need bile to be digested, or supplement digestion using bile salts. Every diet should be accompanied by a nutritionist and in the case of a person without a gallbladder, this support is even more important.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “Can you eat keto without a gallbladder?” We have also discussed why the gallbladder is removed and how the keto diet works.

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


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