Eating After a Lap-Band Surgery

In the recent news of New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie’s efforts to lose weight, it’s important for people everywhere to really understand the extent of a lap-band surgery.  So far the New Jersey native has lost 40 pounds. But, it’s important to keep in mind, after having major surgery like this, that maintaining weight loss will be attributable to adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle. Here are some diet tips to follow after lap-band surgery:

        Eat small portions

o   Limiting portion sizes is essential to patients after having surgery. A lap-band surgery decreases the size of your stomach and could even make it painful to consume large quantities of food. It is recommended that patient also eat slowly and chew their food thoroughly to avoid discomfort.

        Focus on high protein foods

o   Proteins provide a sense of satiety and fullness. But, focusing on soft proteins is important after surgery. Some examples of soft proteins are Greek yogurt, low-sodium soups, or cottage cheese.

        Avoid drinking and eating at the same time

o   Avoiding the consumption of drinking and eating at the same time is one of the most important rules to follow post-surgery. Staying hydrated is very important as well. So patients should stop drinking at least 10 minutes before eating and then avoid drinking at least 45 minutes after finishing a meal. The main concern here is to prevent vomiting from occurring.

        Limit pasta, rice, and bread

o    Since eating fiber is healthy for people without surgery, it is not suggested that it should be avoided completely. Most patients simply do not tolerate pastas and bread products because they absorb fluids and expand. These types of foods can make patients feel uncomfortable and too full.

        Consume soft fruits and vegetables

o   In the first few weeks post-surgery, patients will need to puree fruits and vegetables. Later these patients can introduce whole fruits and vegetables. The skins of fruits and vegetables (like apple skins or cucumber skins).

The main message that people should know is that lap-band surgery is a tool to maintain weight in patients. The surgery is not a quick-fix or a solution. It is only efficient if the patient is aware of what they’re putting in their stomach and how much of it as well.

What to eat after lap-band surgery

lap-band

The “Salt Calculator” Has Arrived!

The “Salt Calculator” Has Arrived!

Now Americans can take that extra step at reducing their sodium intake when eating out or cooking at home. A new online “salt calculator” jointly developed by a Toronto dietitian aims to encourage Canadians to curb the unhealthy quantities of sodium gulped down daily. So, why not Americans too, right?

The results can be staggering, said a University of Toronto postdoctoral fellow who developed the calculator with researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

“Many people are surprised about how high their sodium intake is,” she said, adding that more than three-quarters of consumed sodium is “hidden” in processed foods and prepared meals.

“It was really to engage people about the amount of sodium in their diet,” “It’s really making high sodium intake personal.”

On average, Canadians consume about 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day, more than double Health Canada’s recommended “adequate intake” level. This can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke, heart problems, kidney disease and other health problems like osteoporosis and stomach cancer, according to Health Canada.

There are hopes this calculator can act as a wake-up call to many who are unaware they are consuming risky levels sodium, and serve as a tool for doctors to bring up the issue with their patients. It also breaks down the sources of one’s salt consumption, suggesting what changes will help bring it down.

“People cannot make effective dietary changes unless they are aware that they personally are consuming high amounts of sodium,” she said. “Through the calculator, we do hope to show people that.”

Salt Calculator article

Salt Calculator

The calculator asks questions regarding the user, like age and gender. Then dives right into everyone’s “hidden secrets” and asks questions regarding eating out:

  • Lunch/dinner from quick-service or fast-food restaurants (eat-in or take-out)
  • Lunch/dinner from table-service restaurants (eat-in or take-out)
  • Breakfast from quick-service or fast-food restaurants (eat-in or take-out
  • Breakfast from table-service restaurants (eat-in or take-out)

Other areas of interest that the calculator takes into consideration are:

How often you eat these foods prepared or eaten at home

  • Bread products
  • Baked goods
  • Breakfast cereal and hot instant cereal

Processed meats, fish, and poultry

  • Processed meat products
  • Frozen or pre-seasoned meat, poultry, and fish
  • Canned tuna and salmon & smoked fish

Cheese & Dairy

  • Cheese eaten alone or with other food
  • Milk as a hot or cold drink & milk in cereal

Canned vegetables

  • Canned vegetables, legumes, pickles & olives

Added salt

  • Add a dash or shake of salt to food

Spreads, Condiments, Dips Sauces

  • Condiments & dips
  • Prepared sauces & marinades

Prepared Meals, Sides & Soups

  • Pasta and rice dishes with sauce/seasonings, and packaged mashed/scalloped potatoes and stuffing dishes
  • Frozen appetizers & side dishes
  • Frozen entrees & meals
  • Canned chili, stew & pasta or baked beans with sauce
  • Pizza or pizza snacks
  • Soup, broth, oriental noodles & bouillon

Salty Snacks

  • Salty snack foods i.e., potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, other nuts.

salt calc