One of the most common questions I get as a registered dietitian is “which foods should I have in my kitchen?”. It’s important to keep your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy foods to ensure that you’re sticking to your pre or post-op diet and to resist temptation. Here are a few staples to stock up on:
- Canned Tuna/Salmon/Chicken – These are convenient and packed with protein. Throw them on top of a salad or eat them with sliced veggies
- Snacks – Look for snacks that are low in calories, less added sugar and high in protein and fiber. Almonds and other nuts are a great choice. Parm Crisps is one of favorite crunchy snacks to stock up on because it’s low in carbohydrates and high in protein
- Protein Bars – For a quick meal on the go protein bars are a good choice. Just be sure to check the ingredients as some can tend to be high in sugar. Celebrate, Quest, Pure Protein, Power Crunch are some of the healthier options
- Protein Powder – Protein is important both before and after surgery. Find a bariatric approved protein powder and keep it on hand for smoothies and shakes. This will help to make sure you’re reaching your protein goals every day
- Poultry, Beef and Plant-Based Protein Sources – Keep your favorite cuts of lean meat in the freezer and defrost when you need to prep a protein-rich meal. Some of my favorites include chicken breast, ground turkey and lean ground beef. When choosing plant-based protein sources like veggie burgers, be sure to check the ingredients. Tofu and beans are both good sources of plant-based protein
- Low Carb Wraps – These wraps are a healthy choice for sandwiches or tacos. Taco Tuesday anyone?!
- Salmon – As a great source of omega-3s and protein, salmon is a healthy food staple. If you purchase frozen salmon, most come in individually wrapped filets, making it easy to defrost what you need
- Frozen Vegetables – Stock up on your favorites like broccoli, asparagus, peppers, cauliflower and more to pair with your protein of choice for a healthy bariatric friendly meal
- Frozen Fruit – Add to smoothies with protein powder and skim milk or unsweetened almond milk. Stick with berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) for fruit as they have less sugar than other fruits
- Greek Yogurt – A healthy protein-rich breakfast option. Check the ingredients and choose the kind with less sugar and more protein. Chobani less sugar, Oikos triple zero, Dannon light and Fit Greek are good options
- Eggs – For breakfast, eggs are a good choice. You can meal prep as egg muffins, quiche or even hard boil them
- Milk – If you’re choosing a non-dairy milk, choose the unsweetened version. Fairlife or almond milk are healthier choices
- Cheese – Low fat cheese sticks or reduced fat cheeses make great snacks to take on the go
- Salads – Go with the spring mix for salads and add raw vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers
For a more personalized meal plan, schedule an appointment with one of our registered dietitians at 908-481-1270.