Exercise and diet alone, often fail to effectively treat people with extreme and excessive obesity. Bariatric surgery is performed in order to help such morbidly obese individuals lose weight. This is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach. Post surgery, patients must be extremely careful about what they eat. Appropriate modifications to their diet must be made according to the doctor’s advice. Here are a few suggested foods that can be consumed by bariatric surgery patients.
Clear Liquids: For the first one week after the surgery, patients should strictly be on liquid diet. You can consume one to two ounces of liquids per hour at regular intervals. The clear liquids include water, fat free milk, fat free broth, sugar free jello and popsicles. It is important to stay hydrated during this phase. Some doctors may also recommend protein shakes a few days after the surgery.
Pureed Foods: Due to the smaller size of the stomach, patients are advised to consume smaller meals throughout the day. Pureed foods will help make the digestion of food easier. Patients should consume around 60-70 grams of protein daily. This can be in the form of protein shakes, egg whites, non fat soft cheese and non fat cottage cheese. Apart from this, patients should maintain initial intake of clear liquids. It is advised that a gap of one hour should be maintained between consumption of pureed foods and liquids.
Soft foods: Any food item that can be easily mashed with a fork or a spoon is known as soft food. It is recommended that you consume 1 to 2 ounces of protein each day, while eating 3 to 6 small meals on an average. You should try to include high quality lean protein sources along with small servings of fresh vegetables and fruits. This includes lean chicken, lean turkey, fish, egg whites, non fat cottage cheese, tofu and non fat cheese. You can also eat boiled or mashed vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, avocados and bananas.
Solid Foods: Although solid foods can now be eaten, patients should strive to maintain a healthy balance of proteins, vegetables, grains and sugars. Patients should steer clear from pre packaged and processed foods. Instead, opt for fresh, home cooked meals. Be sure to include plenty of green leafy vegetables in your diet and stay away from refined sugar products. Drink plenty of liquids throughout the day to remain hydrated at all times.
Dumping Syndrome: Since the gastric surgery involves modifications in the dimensions of the stomach, patients should be very careful to avoid the dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome occurs when sweet or fatty foods have been consumed in large quantities or at very fast pace. The stomach then dumps food into the small intestine even if it has not been broken down properly. This can cause extreme discomfort, nausea, diarrhea and cramping.