The ketogenic diet is based on the principle that the reduction in carbohydrates puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis allows the body to become very efficient at burning fat for energy, thereby maximizing weight loss. The keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet. It typically consists of 75% fats, 20% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates.
But can gastric sleeve patients go on a keto diet after gastric sleeve surgery? Read on to find out.
What is a Gastric Sleeve Bariatric Diet?
After gastric sleeve surgery, it’s important to follow a strict diet to allow your body to recover and adjust to its new stomach size. Your post-op diet will progress from clear liquids to full liquids, pureed foods, soft foods, and finally, regular diet. Solid foods can cause pain as your stomach is still healing, therefore transitioning through these stages will allow you to comfortably adjust.
A bariatric diet focuses on small portions, high protein, low fat, and low carbs. We recommend patients eat primarily lean protein and low carb vegetables each meal, with proteins being eaten first.
High Protein: A high protein diet is essential to help your body heal, promote weight loss and preserve lean body mass (muscle). Patients are required to eat at least 65g-80g of protein each day.
Low/Moderate Fat: Patients should aim for minimal saturated fat with a moderate amount of healthy fats. Fats are still an essential part of your dietary intake; although, fat has more than twice the energy (calories) of carbohydrates or protein. Therefore, it adds up very quickly, leaving you with less room for other nutrients, like protein, which should be your main focus.
Low Carbohydrates: Carbs are also a vital part of your dietary intake. However, after weight loss surgery, eating too many carbs will leave you with less room for other nutrients. Therefore, it is important to limit your carb intake. Aim for healthy carbohydrate sources that will deliver adequate amounts of fibre and nutrients.
Is a Keto Diet Recommended for Bariatric patients?
Bariatric patients are required to adhere to the post-op diet provided by their surgeons. This is especially important during the early stages of recovery. A high protein diet is essential for healing the body and preserving lean muscles while the body is rapidly losing weight. Although a keto diet has many attractive benefits for weight loss, we do not generally recommend it for bariatric patients. The keto diet, with its extremely high fat content, low carb and low fibre content, is a potential concern for bariatric patients. Some patients may be unable to even tolerate such high levels of fat as it can aggravate acid reflux.
Although we don’t recommend the keto diet for our patients, some dietitians might suggest a modified ketogenic diet for those further along in their bariatric journey. A bariatric-friendly keto diet increases protein, slightly reduces fat intake and reduces caloric intake. It is important to focus more on healthy fats such as salmon, avocado, nuts, and olive oil and to include lots of dark leafy greens.
Please consult with your bariatric surgeon and nutritionist if you are considering a keto diet after gastric sleeve. For more information on what you can eat after bariatric surgery, visit our gastric sleeve diet page.
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