How Much Fruit is Okay?

Steph Wagner MS, RDN

May 7, 2019

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What about fruit after WLS?


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With all the focus on carbs, how do you work in fruit?


An awesome question from a FoodCoachMe Member

I love this question one of my members posted in our online community.

Talk to me about fruit and carbs. I love fruit I eat some every day. But with all the focus on carbs lately, I’m starting to stress about it.

As I started to answer the question on my personal guidelines for fruit after weight loss surgery, it started to spring up more questions. Let’s start with how I answered the fruit debacle.

Fruit once per day, with protein

The best way I find to approach fruit is to start with the basic meal structure I recommend and work it in. Here is how I approach the bariatric diet.

Eat three meals a day. 70% of your meal from a lean, solid protein.

The other 30% of the meal from a vegetable. One meal can have 30% of fruit instead of a vegetable.

Here would be a sample day:

sample day how much fruit to eat after weight loss surgery

Simple Italian Stuffed Peppers with ground turkey marinara sauce baked in bell pepper Zucchini Turkey Burger with grated zucchini and ground turkey over lettuce topped with tomato slices


If you have fruit at breakfast, skip beans or protein bars

This was when the questions came in as our thread continued.

I mentioned in the example meal plan “if you have fruit at breakfast, don’t have beans or protein bars that day.” Why? Because the fruit from breakfast brought in a little more carbohydrate. Other healthy food choices that have more carbohydrates are beans and protein bars.

If someone had a fruit at breakfast, a protein bar in the afternoon and chili with beans at dinner – without meaning to they would have eaten quite a bit of carbohydrates.

A food journal in Baritastic would show that.

That’s another reason why I love using phone apps to journal. You can see the macronutrient pie chart and see that the carbs were higher that day. Then you can look at what foods brought in more carbs and make adjustments as needed.

FoodCoachMe Members can connect with dietitian steph wagner for food journal feedback

The lowest sugar fruits

I realize the next question on your mind is ‘how much is a serving of fruit?’

That depends on the fruit.

The lowest sugar fruits are always berries. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries. You can eat more of them compared to a banana to end up with the same fructose (sugar) intake. Bananas are the highest sugar fruit and also the highest glycemic fruit (raise blood sugar the quickest).

That doesn’t mean you can enjoy a banana. It means it’s better to have a half a banana compared to say 1 1/4 cups of berries.

The same two bites protein to one bite fruit guideline still applies.

I do have a list of portion sizes for fruit on the bariatric food list for members [click here for list]. Measuring out the portion size is a great idea to stay mindful but even so I recommend always eating fruit with protein.

Protein slows down the absorption of the sugar from the fruit. 

Eggs with berries at breakfast. Cheese stick with half a banana before a big workout. These are great uses of fruit in the bariatric diet.

Steph :)

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2 thoughts on “How Much Fruit is Okay?”

  1. I’m vegan and still a diabetic hypoglycemic. I had surgery two years ago. I need assistance getting my protein in and keeping my blood levels up

  2. @Teri Grant do you have a dietitian to work with? With a specialized diet like Vegan plus being a post-op patient I would recommend more one-on-one nutrition counseling! You can go to to search for a dietitian in your area. Those are big things to work through!

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