Bariatric surgery limits the amount of food you can consume and in the case of gastric bypass, limits the amount of calories and nutrients your body can absorb. Therefore, it is very important that you follow the recommendations of your surgeon and/or dietitian. You must choose healthy, nutrient-rich foods and stay hydrated. Learn about Fooducate, a free downloadable application, that can help you food shop.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 100 times – the four keys to success for bariatric surgery patients are:
- choose the appropriate operation
- change the way you eat – forever
- take supplements, attend follow-up appointments and support groups.
Let’s focus on the second key to success: change the way you eat – forever. Bariatric surgery patients must be committed to following the nutrition recommendations prescribed by their surgeon and/or dietitian during each phase of their post-operative care. For example, a patient two weeks out from surgery will have different nutrition recommendations than a patient six months out from surgery. Bariatric surgery limits the amount of food you can consume and in the case of gastric bypass, limits the amount of calories and nutrients your body can absorb. Therefore, it is very important that you follow the recommendations of your surgeon and/or dietitian. You must choose healthy, nutrient-rich foods and stay hydrated.
It sounds simple – just choose healthy, nutrient-rich foods – but with the amount of food products that claim to be healthy, this can often be a daunting and overwhelming task. Short of bringing your surgeon and/or dietitian to the grocery store with you, how do you ensure you are making the appropriate food choices?
One option is to eat “clean” by shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, choosing fruits/vegetables, meats and dairy and limiting the purchase of processed, pre-packaged foods. This is not always an option for all of us, however. Fortunately, there’s a free app to help us choose healthy products if/when we do have to purchase processed, pre-packaged foods.
Fooducate allows you to scan the barcode on almost any food product and get an analysis of the nutrition facts and a product rating from A-F (A being healthy and F being… well not so healthy). The application will then suggest healthier alternatives to that product. One drawback: this particular application doesn’t know you have had bariatric surgery. Therefore, you must continue to follow the nutrition recommendations of your dietitian according to your procedure and weight loss phase. It’s important to keep in mind that the stated serving size on the food label may often be enough for two servings for bariatric surgery patients.
Remember, there are certain foods that are not conducive to losing weight. Even if Fooducate picks a better option for a specific pasta or chip, it may not be a good option for you as a bariatric surgery patient.
Practice by scanning products in your pantry, then progress to using it at the grocery store. Your grocery shopping may take a bit longer, but you’ll leave with healthier products. You may even be inspired to branch out and try something new!