These days you don’t have to wait for summer to find lots of great fruit in your grocery store. But during summer, you find even more choices, and the best part is that many are in season and locally grown right here in New Jersey so they taste great! Weight loss surgery patients are often confused about fruit consumption. As consumers, they are told over and over that fruit is healthy. But as bariatric patients with smaller stomachs, they know they need to choose their foods wisely – focusing on protein and limiting carbs. Fruits are packed with vitamins (good) but can also be high in carbs (not so good).
So should you eat fruit after bariatric surgery? The answer is yes, there is a healthy place for fruit in your post-bariatric surgery meal plan. But as with everything after bariatric surgery, there are some conditions. First, you want to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck. Ideal fruits are those that are lower in sugar and have a healthy dose of fiber, which helps keep you full. Second, you should be having only 1-2 servings of fruit per day and pair it with a protein if possible, which will also help with satiety. Here are some guidelines and tips to consider when eating fruit after gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or gastric balloon.
While any fresh fruit is fine to eat as long as you are only eating one serving, the following fruits provide anywhere from 3-8 grams of fiber per serving and would be a good choice for bariatric patients:
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 medium pear (with skin)
- 1 medium apple (with skin)
- 1 medium orange
- 1 cup strawberries (halves)
- 1/3 medium avocado
Tips to Make The Most Of Your Fruit
- Add 1 serving of fruit to protein-rich Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. Choose plain, non-fat or low-fat varieties.
- Speaking of cottage cheese… steer clear of the kind that contains fruit mixed in or comes with fruit toppings, such as Breakstone’s Cottage Doubles. These have added sugar and none of the fiber you get from eating whole fruit.
- Pair your fruit with 1 ounce of cheese for a more savory take on the protein/fruit combo. (Try Sargento reduced fat cheese sticks or string cheese, Mini Babybel Light or The Laughing Cow cheese wedges.)
- Shake it up. For patients who are at least 3 months post-op, blending one serving of fruit with your protein shake adds variety to your protein routine.
- Try frozen. You can buy frozen fruit in your supermarket. Just make sure there is no added sugar. Or freeze your fresh fruit (particularly berries) when in season, which will make them last even longer.
- Although we love fresh fruit, canned/jarred fruit comes in handy during winter and early spring when there’s limited variety of fresh fruit. If you purchase canned, always make sure it is in its own juice. No syrup!
- Boost the fiber even more. Tossing in a tablespoon of chia or flaxseed to your fruit and yogurt, cottage cheese or shake will increase the fiber content and keep you full longer.