After undergoing weight loss surgery, patients need to adhere to certain dietary restrictions. These restrictions are not only necessary to align with the new limitations of your digestive system, but also help maximize the nutrients ingested from the food you eat. Often times, this means prioritizing protein in order to feel full and satisfied on less food.
Similarities to the Paleo Diet
Immediately after surgery, patients will follow a specially prescribed liquid diet which is made up of ingredients not compatible with the Paleo diet. But once you are able to eat solid foods (usually after about eight weeks), you should adhere to the following recommendations:
- Build your diet around high protein foods
- Do not eat fatty or sugary foods
- Use mineral and vitamin supplements
- Avoid tough, stringy, or fibrous foods and grains
These requirements align fairly well with the Paleo diet, which restricts you to eating “biologically appropriate” foods and avoiding foods that require processing, cultivation, or farming. The Paleo diet consists of the following:
- Meats, fish, and eggs from organic, free-range sources
- Fruits and vegetables
- Raw honey or coconut sugar
- Pure water
- Nuts and seeds
- Minimally processed fats
Paleo also forbids salt, refined sugars, beans, vegetable oils, dairy, and anything processed or artificial.
While the high emphasis on natural, unprocessed foods, high protein, and low carbs aligns the Paleo diet pretty well with the restrictions posed by gastric bypass, gastric band, and other bariatric surgeries, it does need certain modifications to be completely acceptable. These include:
- Eliminating nuts and seeds, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems for weight loss surgery patients
- Adding beans and other legumes since other sources of protein are limited
- Possible inclusion of some forms of dairy, such as low-fat cheese or skim milk to further increase protein
If you are interested in following a modified Paleo diet after weight loss surgery, it’s important to consult with your bariatric surgeon. Dr. Malladi can provide you with the dietary guidance you need after your operation.