Many people want to lose weight fast. All kinds of diets they do to achieve the desired body shape, even to torture themselves by avoiding food. This might help you lose weight quickly, but be careful, a diet like this might be a cause of gallstones.
What is gallstones?
Gallstones are clumps of material or solid crystals that form in the gallbladder. The gallbladder (the organ under the liver) itself serves to help the body digest fat by storing and releasing bile to the small intestine. Bile can also help eliminate cholesterol in the body.
Gallstones can consist of a mixture of compounds, but most can form from cholesterol. There are several conditions that allow gallstones to form, namely:
- The liver releases too much cholesterol and bile does not provide enough bile salt to dissolve cholesterol, so that bile becomes saturated
- There is an imbalance of protein or other substances in the bile, causing cholesterol to begin crystallizing
- The gallbladder is not enough to contract to empty the bile regularly
Gallstones are more common in women and adults over the age of 40. Women are more likely to be affected by gallstones because the female hormone estrogen can increase the amount of cholesterol in the bile, and reduce the contraction of the gall bladder to empty bile.
A weight loss diet can be a cause of gallstones
Weight loss is recommended for those who are overweight or obese. Decreasing weight until you reach a normal body weight can be proven to reduce the risk of many diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, including also can prevent gallstones.
Yes, obesity is a risk factor for gallstones. This is because obese people produce high cholesterol levels. As a result, bile is not able to help the body digest all cholesterol and gallstones will form.
However, weight loss must be done well, not to the point of causing you the risk of getting another disease. One thing you need to know is that losing weight too quickly can cause gallstones to form. People who lose weight more than 1.4 kg per week are more likely to suffer from gallstones than people who lose weight more slowly.
This might happen because a diet can cause changes in bile salt balance and cholesterol in the gallbladder. Cholesterol levels increase, while bile salts decrease. The body that breaks down fat during a strict diet causes the liver to release large amounts of cholesterol into the bile, so that bile becomes saturated. In addition, often skipping meals or not eating for a long time can reduce the gallbladder contraction to empty the bile. As a result, gallstones can form.
Gallstones formed in people with a strict diet or very low in calories usually do not show any symptoms. This is a matter of caution, because if gallstones continue to grow, surgery may be needed to remove gallstones to eliminate them.
Then, how do you run a safe weight loss diet?
If you want to lose weight safely, you should do it slowly. Weight loss of 0.5-1 kg per week is recommended. It is also best not to limit your calorie intake excessively. Doing a diet very low in calories or limiting your intake to just 800 calories per day puts you at a higher risk of suffering from gallstones.
In running a diet, you can choose healthy foods as an effort to lose weight. Foods recommended in carrying out a weight loss diet are:
- Take lots of fibrous foods, such as brown rice, whole grains, whole wheat bread
- Reduce consumption of refined grains
- Reduce sugar consumption
- Choose to consume healthy fats, such as those in avocados, fatty fish, fish oil, and olive oil
- Reduce consumption of bad fats, such as those found in fried foods.
In addition to maintaining a diet, you also have to do regular exercise in order to achieve the balance of incoming energy and energy coming out of the body. To reduce and maintain weight, you are advised to exercise for 300 minutes in one week.
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