Recently undergone weight loss surgery? We’ve got three healthy gluten-free recipes to help ease your healing journey!
Metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) can address obesity and enhance the quality of your life. However, it’s important to be aware of potential food intolerances post-surgery. Believe it or not, nearly two-thirds of patients with MBS experience some kind of food intolerance – and gluten intolerance is a common one. (1)
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why bariatric procedures can lead to gluten intolerance, though it is being observed as a relatively common occurrence. (2) Even if you don’t have specific issues with gluten, you may want to avoid bread, pasta, and other starchy foods as they can be challenging to swallow and digest after bariatric procedures, including gastric bypass surgery.
Luckily, these days, it’s pretty effortless to adopt a gluten-free diet. In this article, we’ll explain why a post-op gluten-free diet is worth exploring after weight loss surgery and share our top three dietitian-approved gluten-free recipes.
What Is Gluten?
First, let’s explain what gluten is and why you might want to avoid it. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley that acts as a binder, lending a stretchy quality to foods like bread and pasta. Gluten can also be hidden in soups, salad dressings, beer, and cereal, so read labels carefully!
Many people have adopted a gluten-free diet over the last few years, either in an attempt to eat healthier, fight celiac disease, or aid in weight loss.
While gluten doesn’t contain any essential nutrients, it’s common for people who adopt a gluten-free diet to consume less fiber, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough nutrient-dense fruits and veggies in your diet. As always, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider or dietitian to ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs post-surgery.
Is it Expensive to Go Gluten-Free?
It doesn’t have to be! The most cost-effective way to go gluten-free is to create healthy recipes from naturally gluten-free foods like fruits, veggies, meats (chicken breast, beef, turkey), dairy, legumes, nuts, and seafood. To keep your budget in check, focus on seasonal veggies, buy in bulk, and purchase less expensive cuts of meat. You don’t need to buy filet mignon and lobster tails to go gluten-free!
Our Top Three Gluten-Free Recipes
The best way to stick to a gluten-free meal plan is to stock up on some versatile ingredients and to have a few easy recipes. These tasty recipes will help you successfully stick to a bariatric diet!
All the best parts of pizza, stuffed into zucchini! Protein-rich ground turkey and mushrooms simmer in a zesty tomato sauce, then loaded into zucchini boats and topped with cheese. Bake until bubbly, and serve it while it’s hot. It’s a favorite among metabolic and bariatric surgery patients!
Zucchini is a low-carb, gluten-free veggie that’s easy on your digestive system. You’ll get plenty of essential nutrients like fiber, folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and B vitamins in every bite.
Plus, this zucchini recipe offers a high protein and low carb nutritional profile suitable for a bariatric diet.
Best of all, zucchini is usually pretty affordable, so you can bake up a big batch of pizza-stuffed zucchini boats on a budget!
Ingredients: 4 zucchini, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 pound 99% lean ground turkey, 1 cup diced mushrooms, 2 garlic cloves, ½ tsp oregano, ½ tsp basil, 1 cup marinara sauce, 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, and 4 tbsp part-skim mozzarella cheese.
Sweet Potato Lasagna
Layer up thin slices of sweet potato with herby ricotta, ground beef, marinara, and top with mozzarella for a gluten-free take on your favorite pasta! This easy recipe only requires 15 minutes of prep time, so it’s a snap to pull together.
Plus, you’ll get plenty of fiber (if you leave the potato skin on) and antioxidants from the sweet potatoes, and they’re heartier and more filling than traditional noodles. Win-win!
Tip: You can also add a dollop of pesto over the top for extra garlicky flavor! Just puree about two cups of fresh basil with three tablespoons of olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of pine nuts, and ¼ cup of parmesan cheese until smooth.
Ingredients: 4 large sweet potatoes, 1 jar of marinara sauce, 2 eggs, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp dried basil, ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 pounds ground beef, 1 large container part-skim ricotta cheese, ½ large onion, and 1 cup shredded mozzarella.
Peanut Butter Protein Dip
Are you looking for an easy side dish or snack? This whipped four-ingredient chocolate dip tastes great with a side of apples for dunking!
It’s easy to meet your daily protein goals when you treat yourself with this gluten-free dip. You’ll get lots of high-quality protein from the Greek yogurt, plus an added boost with a scoop of our chocolate-flavored protein powder. Simply blend the ingredients together, and get dipping!
Ingredients: 6 oz plain Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter, 1 scoop Bariatric Fusion Chocolate High Protein Powder, and ½ tsp vanilla extract.
Following metabolic and bariatric surgery, it’s recommended that you eat whole foods that are low fat, high protein, sugar-free, and low-calorie. Since food sensitivities may occur after weight loss surgery, a good bariatric diet often includes naturally gluten-free foods.
Think you might have developed a gluten intolerance after metabolic and bariatric surgery? Pay attention to what you’re eating and how you’re feeling. Consult with your healthcare provider if you experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, or bloating when eating bread, pasta, or other gluten-rich foods. In the meantime, a gluten-free diet may help you get back on track after gastric bypass surgery and other bariatric procedures.
This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.