First, let’s talk about what not to eat.
As you transition into your long-term bariatric diet, certain foods will need to be put on the back burner until your stomach is ready for them while others may upset your stomach forever. You may be able to avoid the trigger by reducing their amounts, but there is also the chance you will need to give the food up altogether.
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery1, following are the foods may or may not be okay depending on your body and the type of surgery you choose…
Soft “doughy” bread
Tough, dry, red meat
Other fibrous foods
Caffeine in moderation
Alcohol in moderation
The following foods should be eliminated from your diet forever…
Sugar, sugar-containing foods and concentrated sweets
So, what should you eat?
Healthy bariatric eating has two angles… what you eat and how you eat. Here we focus on what you eat. We’ll get into the “how” further down the page.
The creative packaging in the supermarket can make it difficult to distinguish between the healthy and unhealthy foods. In general, your bariatric diet should only consist of FOG foods…
Farm – The food is raised on a farm (i.e. chicken, turkey, eggs, dairy products)
Ocean – It comes from the ocean (i.e. fish)
Ground – It is grown in the ground (i.e. fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains) (click here for a great resource about starting a garden and organic gardening)
When possible, avoid anything that was modified by humans in any way. A good rule of thumb can be applied by reading the label… if there are more than 3 to 5 ingredients or if there are any ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t buy it.
How you prepare your food is as important as what you buy…
When cooking, bake, grill, poach or broil…don’t fry.
Use skim milk instead of whole milk.
Use chicken or vegetable broth instead of oil.
Replace oil in recipes with applesauce or yogurt.
Add spices or lemon juice to add flavor instead of olive oil or butter.
We know, we know… how boring, right?
Give it a shot. Not only will you eventually get used to the change, you will probably start to be turned off by not eating this way.
Many patients have said that after a while they actually became repulsed at the thought of unhealthy food because of how it made them feel compared to their new bariatric diet.
In addition, many patients’ taste for unhealthy food changes after surgery.
Here is a list of good diet books for Post Surgery Patients: