Ultimately, the only real cure for gallstones is to have your gallbladder removed. However, in the meantime, you’re going to need to control your diet to avoid these devastating attacks and prepare for surgery (I believe surgeons won’t operate if the gallbladder is inflamed). Here’s some ideas for a gallstone-attack-avoidance diet:
A low fat diet which minimises the occurrence of gallstone attacks. Typically, you need to restrict yourself to items with less than 5g fat per 100g serving (i.e., < 5% fat). Do not be confused by product labelling which gives the fat content of a smaller serving or the percentage of your daily fat allowance — both will get you into trouble. Always check the label!
Things to avoid
Oil - if you need a little oil for frying use spray-on oil which is very efficient and actually contains an oil/water mix
Fatty meats such as duck and lamb
Some curry sauces (too creamy)
Cheesy pasta sauces / Italian dishes such as lasagne
Replace full-fat milk with semi-skimmed or skimmed (I seem to be fine on semi-skimmed milk)
Breakfast / Energy bars
Meat: Chicken, lean mined beef, white fish, pork rashers or ham with all the fat trimmed off
Pasta sauces: Most tomato-based sauces contain very little fat (the “light” sauces are actually light on sugar). Make your own creamy pasta sauce with light or extra light Philadephia and some semi-skimmed milk —just remember to add plenty of herbs to taste!
Stir fry: Most asian sauces are fine
Spicy foods: Chilli and some curry sauces are fine (but not those which are based on coconut milk)
Rice, potatoes and pasta will form the bulk of the meal
Add plenty of interesting veg too!
Dessert / Treats / Snacks
Yoghurt drinks like Yop!
Low-fat flavoured milk
Weight-watchers desserts (mousse things with < 5% fat)
Jacobs Low-fat fig rolls
Toast and jam (no butter!)
Fruit: anything and everything except avocados
Fruit smoothies like Innocent drinks (just watch out for anything with cream or ice cream)
Low-fat “diet” bars like Alpen and Fitnesse bars (a great way to sneak a little chocolate in!)
Starbucks “skinny” muffins (and a no-fat banana & choc chip muffin recipe Hilary found) but beware because the regular muffins ruined a perfectly good Friday!