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Recipes for Post Bariatric Surgery Patients

Recipes for Post Bariatric Surgery Patients


Bariatric surgery dramatically changes your body and your digestive system. That makes it necessary to change your approach to food after bariatric surgery. Post-surgical nutrition can be a tedious balancing act.

Ideally, the patient should take vitamin supplements and take in 30-70 grams of protein daily. That's not easy to do when you've got a stomach that's as small as your thumb!

Diet Guidelines for Post-Bariatric Patients

During bariatric surgery, the patient's stomach is reduced to a very small size. It can typically hold three ounces of food after the procedure is complete. Because of this, and because the resulting stomach pouch bypasses the part of the small intestine where most nutrient absorption takes place, it's crucial for post-bariatric foods to be easily digestible, highly nutritious, and small in serving size.

Immediately after bariatric surgery, patients will adhere to a clear liquid diet for one to two weeks. For the next two weeks, they follow a full liquid diet that is high in protein. Next, they move on to soft foods such as pureed low-fat cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, and soft fruits and vegetables. It takes about 12 weeks for the patient's digestive system to handle whole foods.

Healthy Doesn't Have to Mean Boring

Post-bariatric surgery patients must avoid fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber. They should also avoid fried, fatty foods; fresh bread; carbonated beverages; tough meat; whole milk products; and sugary drinks and sweets. That doesn't seem to leave a lot of choices, but all it takes is a little creativity to come up with post-bariatric recipes that are both nutritious and satisfying.

Here's a flavorful example to get you started.

Savory Tomato-Crab Bisque

Post-bariatric stage: Soft foods and purees
Serves six

  • 3 Tbl olive oil
  • 3 Tbl onion, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbl flour
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Splenda sweetener
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 10 oz lump crab meat

1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic, and olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes or until they soften.

2. Add flour and continue to cook for one minute.

3. Add the tomato juice, milk, and all seasonings.

4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Stir occasionally. The mixture should thicken after simmering 15 minutes.

5. Add the crab meat, stir, and remove the bisque from heat.

Nutritional information (per serving)

  • Calories: 231
  • Protein: 16 grams
  • Fat: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 4 grams


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