After surgery, you will follow a special nutrition guide (read Eating after Duodenal Switch) that will have you eating liquids at first, adding solid food gradually until you can eat solid food normally.
Despite each person has his/her own food intolerances, Duodenal Switch patients tend to complain after specific foods. What they mainly have in common is that they are high in fat or fried, whether it is vegetables, such as fried zucchini, french fried potatoes, hash browns, fried plantains, onion rings, poultry, such as fried chicken, chicken nuggets, buffalo chicken wings), refried beans or snacks like Cheetos®, Doritos®, Fritos®, and potato chips. Grilled cheese sandwiches, egg rolls, French toast, chow mein noodles, croutons, and hard taco shells are all fried foods that should be avoided.
Feeling free to eat any type of solid food, some patients may find discomfort after eating some of it. Here are recommendations of food to avoid post-surgery:
1) Food with No Nutritional Value
Because after surgery your new stomach is so small, reaching adequate nutrition daily is very important. Snacks with empty calories such as pastries, chips, popcorn, pretzels, and candy are part of this list. Apart from not providing you with any nutritional value, you are very likely to regain weight. Also, food containing too much sugar may cause “dumping syndrome,” which is when the food is quickly dumped in the colon after you eat them, causing you weakness, cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
2) Dry Food
Food like granola may be hard to swallow at the beginning of the final phase when you will begin eating solid food because you don’t drinking liquids while you eat. Moistened cereal with low-fat milk is fine. You will eventually be able to eat dry food as your body heals.
Alcohol is high in calories that provide no nutrition whatsoever, and it is not recommended as part of your post-bariatric surgery diet. Alcohol is more quickly absorbed after surgery and can lead to intoxication. Patients should drink two liters of water or beverages without caffeine or sugar every day.
4) Some Fruits and Vegetables High in Fiber
Fruits and vegetables will be essential to your diet but avoid those hard-to-digest such as celery, corn, broccoli, cabbage, and asparagus. You may eventually be able to tolerate these, but prefer to eat cooked, soft vegetables with no skin. Choose beans and peas as they are high in protein.
5) Bread, Rice, and Pasta
Bread, rice, and pasta are high in starch, which may be difficult to swallow after your surgery. Some patients report they form a paste in the back of their throats that requires liquid to swallow. In some cases, they can block the stomach hole that leads to the pouch. You will eventually be able to eat these high-starch foods, but it’s best to avoid them in the beginning. When you do eat them, try to have very small portions, and make sure that you only eat small bites of each. We recommend no liquids 30 minutes before and after solid food because you need your system to absorb nutrients and drinking water during meals takes up space in your stomach making you feel full before you reach adequate nutritional intake.
6) Sugary and Caffeinated Drinks
All drinks with sugar, corn syrup, or fructose should be avoided as they can lead to dumping syndrome. Instead, choose water, unsweetened packaged drinks, decaf coffee, and tea. Caffeine leads to dehydration, and after surgery hydration is very important for proper homeostasis.
7) Fatty Food
Patients report nausea after eating high-fat food, and weight loss is more difficult. Therefore, avoid bacon, sausage, butter, whole milk, and hard cheeses and choose lower-fat options instead. Sandwich meats should be low fat, such as, lean beef, chicken, turkey, and low-fat cheeses. Eating too much fat can make you sick and also result in dumping syndrome.
8) Tough Meats
A good habit will be chewing your food thoroughly in order to swallow easier and digest food properly, especially when it comes to meat. Lean meats will be your best option and are an important source of protein. Avoid steak, pork chops, hot dogs, and ham. Instead, choose ground turkey, baked chicken, or fish.