What foods you can’t eat after gastric bypass surgery?

What foods you can’t eat after gastric bypass surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery or Roux-en-Y is a surgery that aims to help with weight loss. The procedure involves forming a small pouch in your stomach and connecting it directly to your small intestine. The food you eat after the procedure directly enters your small intestine, bypassing a large portion of your stomach and duodenum (the first section of the large intestine). Roux-en-Y is a common bariatric surgery that works by limiting the food one consumes. Bariatric surgery becomes the last resort when strict diet and exercise don’t show any results in weight loss. It helps weight loss in two ways- make you feel full with less food, and prevents your body from absorbing more calories from the food you have eaten.

Strict diet control is necessary following the surgery to make sure your body doesn’t get nutrient deprived. This article explains in detail the foods you cannot consume after gastric bypass surgery.

Why is gastric bypass surgery?

The primary aim of gastric bypass surgery is to help you reduce weight and prevent the risk of potentially life-threatening obesity-related problems. Here are some potential problems an obese person might encounter:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Infertility

Who is suitable for the surgery?

You can consider gastric surgery and other weight loss if:

  • BMI is 40 or more than 40 (extremely obese)
  • BMI is between 34 to 39.9 and has associated problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea

However, gastric bypass surgery is not for everyone who is extremely overweight. As you need to qualify certain medical guidelines, there will be a proper screening before the procedure. The surgery works only if you are ready to make permanent changes in your lifestyle.

Cost of gastric bypass surgery

The gastric bypass surgery cost in India differs depending on three major factors- hospital for surgery, the surgeon and team, and the patient’s condition. The average cost of gastric bypass surgery cost in India ranges between Rs 2,25,000 to 4,75,000.

Gastric surgery bypass diet 

Why do you need a gastric bypass diet?

The bypass diet is designed to target a range of goals, including:

  • Permit the stomach to heal faster without getting under pressure by the food you eat
  • Make you adopt to smaller food quantity that your stomach can digest comfortably
  • Help you shed some pound and prevent weight gain
  • Prevent any complications related to the surgery

A detailed account of diet 

The diet plan varies after the surgery depending on the individual’s condition. The diet includes a well-planned approach to get you back on track and consume nutritious solid foods. The pace at which you move from one stage to another depends on how swiftly your body responds and adapts to the new food habits. If your body recovers at a normal rate, you can resume your regular healthy food after three months of the surgery.

Say a strict no to the following food as it may slow the recovery process or lead to complications.

Foods with empty calories

You can compare your stomach to that of an egg after bariatric surgery, therefore you must make wise nutrition choices to get your daily nutrients. Your doctor will consult a nutritionist and suggest you take food with high nutritional value and avoid food with no nutritional value. You have to strictly follow this rule. Stay away from foods such as pastries, sweets, chips, pretzels, and popcorn. Consuming such foods leads to two possible problems- you might become undernourished or end up gaining weight. Consuming food high in sugar or fat and lack of portion control leads to a condition called dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome is a condition where you experience a lot of symptoms including:

  • sweating
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea

Pay attention to what you eat to avoid such complications.


Alcoholic drugs are high in calories and you should never consume alcohol while on a post-bariatric surgery diet. This is because the alcohol takes up a lot of space in your stomach which should rather be filled with  nutritious food, hence depriving you of necessary nutrients. Also, post-bariatric surgery absorption of alcohol increases dramatically, which might also result in intoxication. The only form of liquid you are advised to take after the surgery is two liters of water.

Bread, rice, and pasta

Bread, rice, and pasta are rich in starch which might form a paste in your throat and makes swallowing harder. It might block the stoma, an opening in your abdomen to release waste. You need to reject starchy food completely but it is a great idea for them at the beginning of your diet.

Fibrous fruits and vegetables

You might get confused as fibrous fruits and vegetables are of high nutritional value but why should you avoid them? It is because fibrous foods are hard to digest. Foods like celery, corn, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, beets, and artichoke are off-limits for the first few days after the surgery. During the initial days, consume soft and cooked vegetables only.

Dry foods

As you are restricted on liquids, it is better to avoid dry foods in the initial phases of recovery. Nuts and dry fruits pose a challenge to swallow. The regular cereals are fine if you have softened them with low-fat milk.

You should also avoid sugary or highly-caffeinated beverages, fatty foods, tough meats, and heavily seasoned or spicy foods.

Bottom line

The success of gastric bypass surgery depends on how well you follow the gastric bypass diet. Only after you know all the details regarding the surgery and post-surgery phase, decide on surgery at the best surgical center.

Achebe Oarhe

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