At first, even as a Nutritionist, I wondered what on earth I was going to do to keep up with variety and flavour. The Gallbladder has a function where it helps assimilate and store bile to help digest fats. By eating low to no fat we were hoping too rest the organ and also shrink the liver, so key hole surgery would be easier. We store fat in the liver, so if it is engorged, it is harder for the instruments for gall bladder surgery to be used.
I decided to get some food items in which would boost flavour, act as digestive support, and rotate my main meals around these. I also cooked extra so that lunch was generally a smaller version of dinner so I was certain my partner didnt stray away from the plan (he doesn't cook).
I bought a good quality non stick frying pan and roasting tin, so I could still do a 'fried egg' without the oil, and I could roast chicken or fish etc, by adding cherry tomatoes to the roasting tin, which would burst to add liquid to the tray and flavour too any sauces.
Some great products which replaced fatty foods were:
Lemon Juice used instead of olive oil.
Fat Free Quark to replace cream, cream cheese and act as a sauce base.
Lemon Grass, Fennel Seeds, Ginger and Turmeric to add flavour and introduce their gallbladder supporting qualities.
Lime Zest and Black Pepper for flavour.
One meal which I cooked was Thai Curry using Quark gently heated with 0% milk, Lemon Grass and Coriandar for the sauce and you really couldn't taste the difference from this version and a fatty version.
We often associate fat and oils with flavour, crispiness and colour, but by using other ingrediants I managed too adjust existing recipes by tweaking the ingrediants.
As a Nutritionist I do feel that this eating style has reinforced how easy it can be making changes. You can still cook lovely tasty meals. My only concern was the lack of essential fatty acids in this style of eating. We added 1000 mg capsule of Omega 3,6,9 to his regimen as this meant we could monitor his gallbladder activity. Gallbladder dumping can mean very severe urgent bowels, so by removing the oils from the food and adding them in a controlled way we could control and avoid this as much as possible.
I hope this article gives a little inspiration to readers who have gallbladder problems, may be pre operative and worried about the changes. I will be writing up some of the recipes and posting them, so watch this space.