Patients who are recovering from bariatric surgery like gastric bypass procedures have enough on their plate even before they need to worry about what foods they can and can’t eat. Even with the right advice, following a specific diet and making changes to how you eat and when can be a chore. That said, it is critical to follow the guidance of your doctors and surgeon in order to avoid complications and ensure the speediest recovery possible.
Part of that recovery is going to be coming up with a diet plan, and bariatric diets are strictly regimented and formulated. For the sake of this post, we’re going to focus on some bariatric food that is acceptable to most people after they begin the stabilization portion of their diet.
At the beginning of your recovery, you will need to follow a strict diet plan that will begin with a full liquid diet, progress to pureed foods, and then soft foods before you can begin on the stabilization diet that you will be following for the rest of your life. For more information on the methods by which those diets are typically structured, please consult your doctor for more information.
Here we will focus on some of the solid foods that you may be able to work back into your diet when you begin the final phase of the diet. These foods are loved not only by bariatric patients but by people everywhere because they are not only (generally) loaded with nutrients, but they are delicious, adaptable, and can be worked into amazing bariatric recipes.
Lean Ground Beef
Lean ground beef, such as 90% lean ground beef, is a wonderful blank canvas for creating unique and delicious recipes. It is also relatively affordable as a “cut” of meat; there is so much you can do with it. You can season it and eat it on its own or work it into one of our amazing bariatric recipes like our Stuffed Pepper Soup.
Admittedly, beef is one of those foods that some doctors may tell you to avoid because it can be tough to digest, so you should always follow the guidance of your doctor. However, if you have been cleared to consume lean ground beef, it is a great way to introduce flavor and satisfaction back into your diet, especially after weeks or months of tolerating liquids and pureed foods.
The mouthfeel of ground beef is excellent, and even unseasoned ground beef is full of flavor. Plus it contains a lot of protein which is important for the dietary needs of bariatric patients. Work it into a special recipe and you’ll hardly even notice that you’re eating a bariatric meal.
Lean chicken is another one of those foods that you’ll be likely to work back into your diet at the stabilization phase. That’s a big bonus since a lot of people consider their favorite meat to be chicken, bariatric patient or not.
Chicken is loaded with protein and most cuts of chicken are low in fat, to begin with. Plus, chicken, like beef, is a great black canvas on which you can build up delicious meals while still keeping your protein intake up and your fat intake down. Chicken might even be a better base than beef since it is easier for some people to digest, it is lower fat and it works great with so many different flavors.
In addition, everyone can get behind the fact that chicken is one of the most affordable meats out there, so you can really build out your repertoire of bariatric recipes with it. Check out some of our recipes like our delicious Smoky Bacon Wrapped Grilled Chicken or our Coconut Chicken with Sweet & Sour Sauce for some gustatory inspiration.
Salmon is another delicious bariatric food that is packed with heart-healthy fatty acids, protein, oils, and most importantly, tons and tons of flavor. Salmon, like chicken and beef - perhaps even more so - is extremely versatile. There is so much you can do with it that you’ll never come up short on flavor again.
Some people even eat salmon raw as sashimi, which we aren’t necessarily advising you to do, but even so, that illustrates the immense complexity and versatility of salmon. Full of flavor and nutrients, salmon is a winner on a lot of fronts.
That’s one of the reasons that salmon features so prominently within our collection of bariatric recipes which you can peruse via the link above. Try out our Cedar Plank Salmon which contains only four ingredients and you will be amazed that so much flavor could hide out in so few ingredients. Zesty, tangy, satisfying, there’s nothing you’ll want.
Since we’re not including a separate category for other fish like tuna, we’ll give a shout out to some of our other recipes here that use other fish. There are other fish besides salmon that make great bariatric foods. Try out Halibut with Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers or our Seared Tuna with Summer Salad for a kick in the taste buds!
In addition to these meats listed above, there are tons of vegetables and fruits that are not only great for you but delicious and versatile as well. As a result, you will see a number of them featuring in, or serving as the foundation of, some of our bariatric recipes.
Perhaps the best representation of this is avocado, which like salmon, is a superfood that is completely loaded, not only with vitamins and minerals but also with heart-healthy fats and oils and even a good dose of protein to boot. It doesn’t hurt one bit that avocado has a unique umami, an extremely satisfying presence that is filling and delicious.
That’s why some of our recipes lean on avocado to make an impression. There’s so much you can do with avocado and to some people, there’s nothing like the buttery delectable sensation of a bite of avocado. Whether you’re a bariatric patient or not you’ll love some of our recipes that build off of the character of avocado.
Try out our Shrimp Stuffed Avocado for an experience that can only be called out of this world. Filling, delicious, with a complex palette of flavors, it’s an experience that we’d welcome everyone to try once, even those who have no express need for bariatric food!
Peppers may not be as heavy on the superfood status as avocado, but they are so packed with flavor that many cultures lean on them bodily for support in creating original and delicious dishes. Various different peppers are not only an ingredient but a spice and have been used in a number of ways through history to “spice” up otherwise plain dishes.
Think about how peppers have been used. They are dried and ground to add spice, sliced and roasted to add a smoky flavor to dishes, smoked and dried for use as chipotle and ancho peppers, and stuffed and cooked outright. Peppers can be enjoyed raw or cooked in a number of different ways, and each of them offers something that will satisfy.
Because there are so many different flavors that peppers can offer and they can provide so much to a dish, you will find them very well represented in our catalog of bariatric food. Check out recipe ideas like our Mexican Stuffed Mini Peppers, Chinese Pepper Steak, and Air Fryer Roasted Stuffed Peppers. These are dishes that lean on peppers as the building blocks, but don’t be surprised if you see the rest of our catalog of recipes accented with peppers as well.
Eggs are another one of those superfoods. They’re delicious, satisfying, good for you, and packed to the gills with important nutrients. Think about it, eggs feed embryos, so it should come as no surprise that you can get a lot out of them. Also, considering the fact that you can start eating eggs fairly early on in your recovery, they’re one of the “best” bariatric foods out there.
Relatively easy to digest, flavorful and versatile, eggs are a great food for bariatric patients because they are high in protein, good fats, and other nutrients. Plus, they are effectively sugar-free and you can make a lot of seriously delicious dishes with eggs.
For the most part, you will see eggs incorporated into bariatric recipes rather than serving as the foundation, but a few of our recipes do lean heavily on eggs to make their impression. For example, you could try out one of our recipes like our Egg ‘Crepe’ with Ricotta and Salsa for a new appreciation for flavor. In place of a traditional crepe, it’s made with eggs - which are even better, if you ask us!
Fresh, Raw Fruits and Vegetables
There are some fruits and vegetables that you will want to avoid because they are hard to digest, but in general, raw fruits and vegetables are full of critical vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs to grow and heal.
Too many of our recipes contain fruits and vegetables (some cooked) to list easily, so instead, you should sift through them via the link above to help identify what appeals to you before you go through with crafting some new meals. And, as always, consult your doctor with any changes you plan to make.
Don’t Forget Supplements
In addition to remembering to stick to foods that are advisable for bariatric patients to eat, it is crucial to follow the advice of your doctor with which vitamin supplements to take and to follow the schedule devised.
We can’t necessarily give you advice on which specific supplements to take and when; your doctor can do that. What we can do is furnish you with the high-quality vitamins that you will need to take in order to ensure that your nutritional needs are met in the long term.
There are a number of different vitamins and supplements that you will have to take after surgery, probably including but not limited to supplements for calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamins as well. We offer plenty of vitamins in our collection above, so be sure to check them out pursuant to the advice of your doctor.
Foods for Every Stage of Recovery
The bariatric food we covered in this article primarily applies only to bariatric patients who have proceeded through the first stages of their recovery and are in the stabilization diet portion or beyond.
However, we offer plenty of foods in our collection that you can use throughout your journey to recovery, including protein drinks that are not only delicious but have a creamy, smooth texture that you will just love.
The difference at Bariatric Eating is that we aren’t just satisfied with meeting nutritional needs. We are driven to provide flavor and satisfaction with everything that we offer, and many of our products have been specially formulated just for us. Learn more about how we do it while you shop, and if you have any questions, contact us.