By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS
You’ve had weight loss surgery—why does a plant-based diet apply to you?
That’s a great question which we’re going to address right here, right now.
Food derived from plants provide all the macro and micronutrients needed for a healthy, weight normalizing diet.
Many of the medicines we use today are derived from plants—so it makes sense that we should be eating more of these foods.
As opposed to an animal-based diet, which has been scientifically proven to support the production of inflammation, a plant-based diet actually reduces inflammation, helping the body heal and resume healthy function.
Plant-based eating has also been proven to prevent the onset of chronic disease, notably cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
While we’ll be discussing the health benefits of this type of eating, I’d like to outline four primary categories of the plant-based diet and how it can invigorate weight loss and minimize side effects from some medical conditions:
Beans and other legumes can provide all the protein requirements for a healthy diet–no animal products needed. Think all kinds of beans: kidney, pinto, black, chickpeas; lentils and green peas. Filling, tasty and hearty.
Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, romaine, spinach, beets, kale and cabbage. Add peppers and onions for flavoring and more crunch.
They fill you up with healthy fiber (keeping your colon active) and cost very few calories.
The other subgroup of vegetables are more starchy vegetables: sweet potato, Yukon white potatoes, yams, tubers and squash, which are also good choices when minimally processed and eaten in measured portions.
Sweet tooth? Prepare to be surprised by the tastiness of fresh oranges, creamy bananas, tart berries, mangoes, apples and don’t forget tomatoes. They also offer a great shot of fiber and several antioxidants.
Skip the fruit juices—they pack too many calories and often come packed with hidden sugars and preservatives.
Brown rice, wild rice, whole wheat, oats, barley, quinoa and so on.
When it comes to bread, all ‘whole wheat’ bread is not created equal. Look for the terms whole grain, stone ground or Ezekiel loaves made from sprouted whole grains.
My favorite breakfast? Steel-cut oatmeal topped with fresh fruit.
Want to feel great? Try a plant-based diet
You don’t need to eat 100% plant-based to see health benefits. There is evidence that eating a more “whole foods” can improve health, even if you don’t cut out animal products completely.
So where do you start? Depending on your current bariatric journey, first check with your doctor or dietitian about your current nutritional roadmap and see where you can build in these foods groups.
If you are in the weight maintenance phase, aim to eat plant-based meals more than 60% of the time, treating yourself to meat and dairy occasionally.
Plant-based nutrition is not about restriction—it’s about prioritizing eating whole foods first, at all your meals. Once you try it, fake food that comes out of a box or plastic bag will never taste nearly as good, I promise you.
Ready to begin your bariatric journey?
To learn more about bariatric weight loss surgery, call the friendly team at Sterling Surgicare and make a prompt appointment to meet with Dr. Adeyeri.
Call (732) 217-3897.