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EATING FOODS HIGH IN SUGAR and saturated fats appear to cause gallstones,
clumps of cholesterol that can cause serious abdominal pain. In a recent
Italian study, people who ate 400 calories worth of sugar in desserts and
soft drinks daily were three times more likely to develop gallstones than
those whose sugar intake was 260 calories a day. Currently, Americans average
approximately 320 calories from refined sugar each day.
Consuming 25 grams of
saturated fat daily (easy to do if you eat meat and whole-fat dairy products)
also increases the risk for gallstone formation. Since gallstones have
long been linked with obesity, these findings may be an important reason
to watch your weight and to replace high-fat sweets with fresh fruits.
Another reason many people
develop gallstones? Yo-yo diets that result in temporary weight loss not
only increase the incidence of gallstones but raise the likelihood of needing
gall bladder surgery as much as 70 percent, according to a recent study
in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
in Gallstone Formation," Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter,
"'Yo-yo' Dieting Raises
Gallstone Risk," Reuters Health News, 3/16/99