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Why Dietary Fat Matters After Weight Loss Surgery

Written by: Emma Squillace

Do you remember one of the biggest diet trends from 20 years ago? It was a focus on eating fat-free foods. From cookies to ice cream to potato chips, companies touted the ability to eat great foods with none of the fat. Dieting-hopefuls were thrilled with the idea of getting to indulge without ruining their weight loss journey. However, the truth was far from what people wanted to hear. These fat-free foods were high in sugar and very processed. Instead of helping dieters lose weight, they promoted weight gain through the simple sugars and chemicals the contained. Today most people recognize that these fat-free promises were too good to be true, but many still worry about dietary fats. Let’s look at the actual dangers of eating fat, as well as why we encourage our bariatric patients not to be too afraid of fats overall.

Why you should eat fat after bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery, like the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, is an incredible tool that helps many people shed weight they’ve been unable to lose for years. No matter what procedure you have, your hard work at eating well is going to determine your ultimate level of success. It may be natural to shy away from dietary fat, thinking this fat turns easily into the fat on your body that you are trying to lose. However, dietary fat and body fat are not the same thing. You do not want to over eat fats, but not eating enough fat is not going to help you either. Fat is an important component of your diet. It helps build hormones, and healthy fats have benefits like improving heart health and lowering cholesterol.

What types of fat are best after bariatric surgery

Depending on what type of procedure you have, you may find that you cannot eat high fat or deep fried foods without getting a stomach ache. This is normal, and can help you choose good eating behaviors. When we talk about eating healthy fats, we’re not recommending deep fried food anyway. Instead, healthy fats can be found in small portions of olive oil, walnuts, avocado, and certain fish. Additionally, these fats can even help with weight loss and encouraging your body to feel more full and satisfied with the foods you eat.

The danger of eating fats after bariatric surgery

While eating the right portions of healthy fats is a good dietary choice for weight loss, there are dangers to eating the wrong types of fats, or the wrong amounts. Unhealthy types of fats include trans fat and saturated fat. These often increase the risk of heart disease, weight gain, and cholesterol levels. Not only can these fats sabotage your weight loss efforts, but they can also make you feel sick. There’s a side effect of gastric bypass called “dumping syndrome” that often affects patients who have eaten a meal with too much fat. Dumping syndrome can include painful cramps, vomiting, racing heart, and diarrhea. In general, patients tend to find that eating refined sugars is the most common cause of dumping syndrome, but eating greasy or high fat meals can also lead to this unpleasant experience. In the long-term, eating the wrong types of fats can prevent you from losing weight, and can even undo health gains you’ve reached because of your weight loss.

The best way to understand the type of eating plan that our weight loss patients follow is to talk to an expert team, like the bariatric team at West Medical. Our experts will not only make sure your surgery is as successful as possible, but we’ll stand by you every step of the way from your recovery to your long term eating changes. If you have questions about weight loss, please call us at 855-690-0565.

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