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Fruit and the Bariatric Patient

Updated on May 3, 2015

Is it Good or Bad?

I saw a post in one of my gastric bypass groups on Facebook this morning about fruit. The original poster questioned the members of the group about eating fruit: she wanted to know if we are allowed to eat it. Her surgeon says to stay away from it because it has too much sugar.

I was shocked. Here is what I said:


Was I diplomatic enough?
Was I diplomatic enough?

Not allowed to eat fruit?! What?!

I don't understand. Isn't having this surgery about learning better eating behaviors? Shouldn't we dodge things that are bad for us, and embrace the things we once shied away from? I LOVE fruit now. I wasn't kidding when I said that I'm addicted to grapes. I found a new passion for red seedless grapes. The refrigerator is empty if that bag of grapes isn't there. I take some to work every single day. I eat them at home. In the car. During class. Writing this.

I. MUST. HAVE. GRAPES.

Yet, her surgeon told her not to eat a lot of fruit. There must be some reason behind this advice. Time to do some research...

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Should Fruit Be a Part of the Bariatric Patient's Diet?

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The Research

Protein is the go-to nutrient for all weight loss surgery patients. We are required to get a certain amount during the day. For me, that's around 75-100 grams. But, what about fruit? Is it good for our restricted diets, or not?

According to the Obesity Action Coalition, "Fruit should be eaten sparingly for maximum weight-loss or wait until your goal weight to add the extra carbs that come with eating fruit. The average serving of fruit has about 15 grams of carbohydrates, which can add up quickly throughout the day" (Brown). The site then goes on to tout the benefits of a protein-packed day. Fruit isn't mentioned again. OK, we get it; protein is more important.

I checked other sites, and they all conclude that the sugar from eating fruit can slow down weight loss or even cause dumping syndrome. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, weight loss patients should avoid eating too much sugar and carbohydrates, "Berries -- blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and others -- contain less sugar and carbohydrates than other fruits" (Brinkley). So, some fruit is better than others.

Luckily for me, I haven't had a bad experience from fruit. Now, pasta, that's a whole other story...

To be safe, weight loss patients should keep track of their carb counts right along with those golden protein amounts. According to the Bariatric Times website, patients should consume less than 90 grams of carbs per day. This will help avoid stomach upset, such as dumping, and maximize weight loss (Faria).

That settles that! Off to have some (measured) grapes!


© 2015 Kimberly Carey

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