Is It Smart To Follow A Vegetarian Diet After Bariatric Surgery?

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Vegetarian diets have become more popular in recent years thanks to a greater awareness of what’s happening in the factory farming industry. They’ve also been promoted in recent years as being healthier than the omnivorous Western diet.

Vegetarian Diets After Bariatric Surgery

First, we must let you know that there is nothing wrong with eating a vegetarian (or even vegan) diet after bariatric surgery. You can be just as healthy (if not more so) than if you ate meat. However, there are some things to keep in mind if you’re planning to eat vegetarian.

The Benefits

Lowers the amount of “unhealthy foods” you can consume.

You can’t eat a burger if you’re not able to eat meat (unless you opt for a veggie burger, which is much lower in calories). Many of the most common “trigger foods” contain meat products.

However, vegetarian diets traditionally do not exclude dairy products and eggs, which can be high in calories.

Promotes the consumption of healthier foods.

Vegetarian meals tend to include more vegetables, which are low in calories and contain vital nutrients. It’s not that meat is bad for you, it’s that a lot of unhealthy foods contain meat.

Choosing to consume vegetables that are high in protein instead of meat will also encourage the consumption of fiber. However, if you’re early in your post-op diet, you will not want to eat foods that have a lot of fiber.

The Disadvantages

High fiber meals may cause stomach upset in the weeks post-op.

If you get most of your protein from plants, you may notice that the higher protein plant foods such as nuts and legumes also have a considerable amount of fiber.

Fiber is important for healthy digestion, however when you’re still recovering from surgery, high amounts of fiber may cause abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, and nausea.

It might be more difficult to meet protein goals.

Vegetarian dishes do not contain nearly as much protein as meat dishes. Since your protein goals are a big part of recovery and maintaining adequate weight loss, you’ll want to meet your protein goals for the best results.

If you decide to choose an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet (vegetarian with milk and eggs), protein goals will be a lot easier as you’ll have access to whey protein shakes.

If you’re concerned about overeating after bariatric surgery, check out this guide on how to stop overeating during quarantine!

Getting bariatric surgery in Mexico with Dr. Jalil Illan can save you thousands of dollars on the cost of surgery! Schedule a consultation today!

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