For those considering getting gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico, there are a lot of questions about what to expect after surgery. From how quickly healing goes to the specifics of diet after gastric sleeve, it is essential that patients are educated before getting their procedure.
For those who don’t eat meat, this post-surgery landscape is a little more complex. Maintaining a vegetarian diet after sleeve gastrectomy requires extra mindfulness when it comes to sources of protein.
The Power of Protein
When people talk about post-bariatric surgery diets, the number one topic is protein. How to work it into the diet, how much is needed, creative ways of packing it into each day’s meals.
There’s a reason for this: protein is essential to recovery, muscle strength, and energy. You need it to look and feel your best after your bariatric procedure. This is especially true given you are likely to cut carbohydrate consumption significantly, which is the other major source of energy.
But there is a misconception that protein means you have to eat lots of meat. Ultimately, this just isn’t true. You only need to consume 60-110 grams of protein every day, and this is easy to get from dairy or plant-based sources.
Don’t Neglect Other Nutrients
While protein is king, a balanced diet is essential after surgery. As part of your gastric sleeve diet for vegetarians, be sure to focus on the following as well:
- Iron: found in leafy greens and eggs
- Zinc: found in beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products
- Vitamin B12: found in dairy, grains, and mushrooms
- Calcium: found in dairy, leafy greens, and almonds
- Omega-3: found in eggs and some nuts
Tips for a Post-Gastric Sleeve Vegetarian Diet
- Make sure your plates always feature a mix of protein and veggies; non-meat sources of protein include:
- Lentils and beans
- Sunflower, pumpkin, flax, and chia seeds
- Nuts & nut butters
- Fortified plant milk
- Oatmeal (regular/steel cut)
- Dairy and eggs
- Switch up your meals often to avoid eating the same nutrients, leaving others out
- Make sure your snacks feature protein
- Track your food consumption to ensure a good nutrient mix
- Work with your dietitian to plan balanced meals
- Take your supplements every day
Ultimately, after getting a gastric sleeve in Mexico, your surgeon and their team should work to set you up for success, including helping you navigate vegetarian living. To learn more, speak to the experts at ALO Bariatrics.