For Bariatric Patients, the word “carb” is often known as a very, very bad word. But obviously you need to have SOME carbs in your diet, right? Which ones are the right ones? And how do you keep you foods balanced to make sure you didnt’ overdo the carbs? Gastric Sleeve, Bypass, Banding patients…this one is for you…
Script – “Balancing the ‘Good Carbs’”
Hi it’s Steph Wagner, Bariatric Dietitian on FoodCoach.Me.
When you hear carbs – do think of the word…”evil” because most low carb dieters and weight loss surgery patients have learned that lots of carbs in the diet stall out their weight-loss. Especially the farther out from surgery you get.
What about foods that are “allowed” but still contain a good amount of carbs? Even a bariatric diet is not a “no carb” diet, rather it’s a “low carb” diet with a big emphasis on protein. Carbohydrates are a major nutrient for the body, along with protein and fat. No one is meant to eat zero carbs…it’s just important for us to get them in the right places.
The right places for carbs would be foods like vegetables, beans, fruits, protein bars, protein shakes and other items like condiments. So how do you balance the good carbs without getting too MANY carbs. Herein lies the question.
As a recap my recommendation for postop patients is to eat 3 meals per day, 70% lean protein and 30% non-starchy vegetables. I recommend having fruit only once per day as a part of the meal…pared with a protein. I recommend only 2 healthy fat servings a day within your meal if you need it. And I always recommend steering clear of starches and sweets.
So! When it comes to good sources of carbs, there are some things to look out for. The biggest disclaimer being balance. Protein bars, beans and fruit…for example…contain a good amount of carbs. To keep the overall carb intake down for the day, I would have only one of those three in one day. If I had a protein bar at breakfast, I would skip any fruit for the day. If I was making chili with beans at dinner, I wouldn’t have a protein bar OR fruit that day.
Of course the big question you’re probably thinking right now is “so how many carb am I shooting for?” And I don’t have an answer in GRAMS of carbs, but I do have an answer in terms of the RATIO of carbs. My best suggestion is to food journal on your phone, in particular with MyFitnessPal. Other apps do this, but I’m most familiar with this one. MyFitnessPal will take your foods for that day and put the protein, carbs and fat into a pie chart. You want 50% of your pie to be from protein, while you’ll want to keep carbs at 20% and fat is okay at 30%. Not everyday will look perfect, but looking at this chart will help you learn from each day. If you felt you did really well with food choices but our carbs are at 40%, you might find you did have a protein bar and fruit that day.
Within the MyFitnessPal app you can get to the pie chart by scrolling to the bottom of your food diary and clicking nutrition. Then click the tab on the top for “Macros” which stands for “macronutrients” and that will show you the protein, carbs and fat in the pie chart. It’s best to look at the end of the day because your chart might look funny right after breakfast compared to a day in it’s entirety.
Remember to keep those carbs balanced always keep protein at the center stage of your food choices. Thanks for watching, I’m Steph Wagner and remember to chose better food for a better life.