When you think of summer, it often conjures memories of long days by the pool, chasing fireflies, and strolls along the boardwalk — ice cream in hand.
While pool days and active nights can still be a regular part of your new, healthier lifestyle, that standard summer fare can sabotage your post-bariatric-surgery diet in the following ways:
• High-calorie foods can cause your weight loss to plateau;
• High-sugar foods can lead to dumping syndrome;
• Nutrient-poor foods make it more difficult for you to get all the micronutrients you require to stay healthy.
• And an abundance of low-protein foods make it more difficult for you to maintain muscle mass and keep your hair, skin and nails strong.
So what can you do when you want a cold, refreshing treat, but also want to stay on track?
Try These Bariatric-Friendly Options
Fruit is low in calories, high in fiber and makes an excellent frozen snack. The benefits of high-fiber foods include slowed digestion, which makes you feel fuller longer. A diet rich in fiber also can lower blood cholesterol levels, help you better control your blood sugar and aid bowel regularity.
Add protein to your frozen fruit by incorporating Greek yogurt or a small portion of nuts to make your nosh even more satisfying.
Your grocer’s freezer aisle also has some options that are good for occasional snacking if you don’t have time to make your own. Sugar-free, whole-fruit popsicles, no-sugar-added ice cream sandwiches or no-sugar-added fudge bars can be an OK indulgence every once and a while.
But beware, low-fat and fat-free items can still be high in sugar and calories, and low-sugar items can be high in calories and fat. Be sure to read the labels to guide your decisions. Take a look at our Food Labels 101.
Simple, Satisfying Swaps
A half-cup of a leading ice cream maker’s cherry-chocolate offering has about 260 calories and nearly 10 grams of saturated fat.
Here’s a lighter, dairy-free take on that to try this summer:
Yield: 6, half-cup servings
- 4 cups cherries, pitted and frozen
- 1 banana, peeled and frozen
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 6 tablespoons dairy-free, semisweet chocolate chips
Pour a half cup of the almond milk into ice cube trays and freeze well — about three hours. Set aside the other half-cup of milk in the refrigerator.
Once the almond milk cubes are ready, place the frozen cherries, banana, cubes, and the half-cup of almond milk in a food processor, and process until smooth. This can take several minutes.
Remove from food processor, stir in chocolate chips and enjoy!
Calories per serving, 126; total fat, 4 grams; saturated fat, 2.3 grams; dietary fiber, 2.8 grams; sugars 17 grams; protein, 2 grams