For those who struggle with obesity, bariatric surgery may be a good option for meeting weight loss goals and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Bariatric surgery can help jump start the weight loss process, but it is only part of the equation when it comes to losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Dietary changes are essential for bariatric surgery patients and require a lifelong commitment for long-term results.
One important dietary change is the intake of carbohydrates, or “carbs,” after bariatric surgery. For more information about carbs after bariatric surgery, we welcome you to contact Tijuana, Mexico bariatric surgeons Fernando García and David Vazquez.
Carbohydrates are a type of nutrient found in food that helps fuel the body and provide energy to the cells. The body breaks carbohydrates down into sugars, which are then absorbed and used by the muscles and other parts of the body. Carbs are necessary for our bodies to function. However, consuming excessive amounts of carbohydrates causes sugars, in the form of glycogen, to be stored as fat.
Bariatric surgery decreases the size of the stomach. This makes it necessary to make dietary changes in portion size and food choices. Because bariatric surgery makes patients physically unable to eat as much as they did prior to surgery, it is important to choose foods that are nutrient dense to preserve muscle tissue and provide the body the nutrients it needs.
The body needs carbs for energy, but when excess carbs are consumed, the body converts the leftover sugars to fat. Therefore, the key to eating carbs after bariatric surgery is choosing nutrient rich carbohydrates and avoiding carbohydrates that are high in fat and sugar.
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are often good sources of healthy carbohydrates because they are low in fat, free of added sugars, nutrient rich, and high in fiber. Fiber dense carbohydrate choices have additional benefits, like preventing constipation and helping patients feel fuller longer. High fiber carbohydrates also help keep blood sugar levels stable. This is important for weight loss as stable blood sugar levels can reduce sugar cravings and keep energy up.
Carbohydrates that are high in fat and sugars, while low in fiber and other nutrients, should be avoided after bariatric surgery. Such carbohydrates increase fat stores, cause patients to feel hungry faster, and can cause blood sugar to spike and fall quickly, making patients feel tired and drained of energy. Carbohydrates to avoid after bariatric surgery include pastas, white rice, cakes, cookies, fried or breaded vegetables, and white breads.
After bariatric surgery, it is important to follow all dietary restrictions and recommendations in order to see results and ensure your body gets the nutrition it needs to thrive. To learn more about diet after bariatric surgery, or for answers to other questions you may have about weight loss treatments, please contact the Tijuana Bariatric Center today.