After any bariatric surgery, a patient has several phases to their diet during recovery. It usually starts with a liquid-only diet followed by other fluids like decaffeinated tea or coffee, freshly squeezed juices, etc.
After that comes the pureed diet, which is usually a soft mash of vegetables, meat, or fruits like summer squash, fish, apple, etc.
Anything that does not have too many seeds can be converted into a puree of thick consistency. It is important to follow this diet diligently as several complications can occur if it is not.
This stage is usually introduced two to three weeks after the bariatric surgery. This is due to the fact the body takes quite a while to adjust itself to eating normal food again.
However, even while consuming pureed foods, it is important not to consume too much in one sitting as that can excessively stretch the pouch leading to further complications.
Drinking too much water, too quickly, or right after a meal can cause vomiting, bloating, or nausea.
Due to these factors, following a strict diet regimen for several weeks after the surgery is important to acclimate the stomach to eating normal foods once again.
As a rule of thumb, each meal should have higher protein content than fats and carbs as it promotes muscle and tissue growth and decreases recovery time.
People must also ensure they consume enough water to meet their daily quota. Sugary drinks, sodas, alcohol, or processed fruit juices should be avoided at all costs.
1. What Are Pureed Foods?
Various vegetables, fruits, meats, and dairy items can be turned into fine puree suitable for this stage of the recovery period.
Any food should be chopped finely and then put into a food processor or blender to turn into a smooth paste.
Several foods are recommended for this stage, like steamed fish without skin, refried beans, soft scrambled eggs, tofu, soups & clear broths, cottage cheese, yogurt, sugarless puddings, and mashed potatoes, fruits, oatmeal, etc.
However, none of these foods should be consumed without pureeing them first, as the newly formed pouch might not be able to digest them properly.
Protein should be the main factor in this diet, and starches should be consumed last only if a person is still hungry.
Fish, eggs, yogurt, and cottage cheese are all good protein sources during this time. We’ve got you covered if you are looking for high protein pureed food recipes.
2. Diet Recommendations
Despite which stage of the recovery diet a person is on, there are some factors that remain common in all of the stages like:
- Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water every single day. Additionally, it is also important to pace yourself while drinking water, making sure not to drink too much of it in one sitting as it will expand the pouch beyond its limit.
- Only take sips between meals; you must not drink in between meals as it may lead to vomiting and hinder the stomach’s ability to digest food.
- You must wait at least thirty minutes before drinking water after a meal.
- Dumping syndrome is not uncommon among patients recovering from bariatric surgery. This happens when food and liquids enter the small intestine rapidly, leading to bloating, fullness, nausea, and vomiting. Some patients also experience diarrhea with dumping syndrome. To prevent this, chew the food properly and eat slowly in small portions.
- Foods low in sugar, fats, while being high in protein are recommended for all stages.
- If coffee is an integral part of your daily routine, make sure to choose the decaffeinated option during the recovery period, as caffeine may lead to further dehydration.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption is to be avoided strictly.
- Due to the surgery, your body might not be able to absorb some nutrients like vitamin D, B12, calcium, etc. Supplements need to be consumed for these nutrients and vitamins to prevent a deficiency.
3. High Protein Foods
Some good options for a high protein v=breakfast include cooked pureed oatmeal with milk and mashed banana.
You can supplement the banana with any other fruit that does not have too many seeds. For example, kiwi and strawberries should be avoided.
Also, high fiber foods like cauliflower and broccoli should also not be consumed during this time.
Meats like fish or chicken can also be pureed along with refried beans and eggs to boost your protein intake. Baby food is also a good option as it is already pre-cooked and easy for the stomach to digest.
Unflavored protein powders, milk, or water with peanut butter and cottage cheese can also be consumed during this time. Yogurt, along with fruits, can be eaten as a snack.
A pureed diet is easy on the stomach, and since the food is already broken down and turned into mush, it is accepted and digested much more easily by the stomach.
During this period if you swallow a big chunk of food without chewing it properly, there’s a possibility it might get stuck in the newly created entrance to the small intestine, which can cause complications and hinder the healing process.
Overall, pureed food introduces a lot of options and variety into a recovering bariatric patient’s diet. However, it is important to remember that none of these meals can have spices in them as they can irritate the stomach lining.
It is important to get the right consistency of any food you are pureeing, ensuring no big chunks remain.
These chunks can get lodged at the opening of the pouch leading to nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Additionally, having some form of physical activity in your daily routine is important to prevent constipation, as that is also a common symptom after bariatric surgeries.