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Focus on lean proteins first; then opt for vegetables and fruits, and finally for starches. Choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados and peanut butter, instead of saturated ones, such as butter, fatty meats and full-fat dairy products. High-calorie, low-nutrient foods, such as sweets, condiments and caloric beverages, should be limited or avoided.
These are the foundation of the weight loss surgery diet. Each serving has about 45 calories, 7 grams of protein, 0 to 3 grams of fat and 0 grams carbohydrates.
- 1 ounce of lean meat, such as lean steak, tenderloin or pork
- 1 ounce of skinless chicken or turkey breast
- 1 ounce of extra lean ground beef, chicken or turkey
- 1 ounce of soy-based meat substitute, e.g., soy crumbles
- 1 ounce of fish or shellfish
- 1/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese
- 1 egg, 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup of fat-free, cholesterol-free liquid egg substitute (or the equivalent in dried egg white powder)
- 1 ounces of canned flake meat or fish, such as chicken, tuna or crab
- 1 one-ounce slice of deli meat (high in sodium, though, so don't choose too often)
- 1 ounce of fat-free or low-fat hot dog, turkey dog or veggie dog
- 1 ounce low-fat cheese or 2 tablespoons of fat-free or low-fat ricotta
These foods provide protein and some healthy fats and/or carbohydrate. These serving sizes have about 100 calories, 8 grams of protein, 0 to 2 grams of fat and 8 to 15 grams of carbohydrates.
- 1 cup of yogurt (fat-free, no sugar-added or plain)
- 1 ounce veggie burger
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of silken tofu
- 1/2 cup of cooked beans or lentils
- 1/4 cup of hummus, or garbanzo bean dip
These should be eaten after protein foods because of their low calorie and high nutrient content. They're also good choices if you're still hungry. Each serving has about 25 calories, 0 to 2 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat and 5 grams of carbohydrates.
- 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables, such as cooked, canned or frozen carrots, spinach and other greens, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower florets, zucchini, green peas, onions, artichokes, mushrooms, eggplant and turnips
- 1 cup of raw vegetables, such as peeled cucumbers, carrot sticks, radishes, tomatoes, celery and lettuce
- 1/4 cup of tomato sauce or salsa
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) of tomato or vegetable juice
Each serving has 60 calories, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat and 15 grams of carbohydrates.
- 1/4 cup of cooked, peeled fruit or canned fruit (in its own juice, not in heavy syrup)
- 1/2 cup of grapes
- 1/2 of a regular fresh fruit, such as a medium apple, orange, pear or peach
- 1 piece of small fruit, such as an apricot or plum
- 3/4 cup berries
- 1/2 cup of fruit juice (remember to dilute 50-50 with water)
Starches (Grains and Starchy Vegetables)
Enriched grains provide B vitamins and iron, and starchy vegetables are high-potassium. Each serving has 80 calories, 1 to 3 grams of protein, 1 to 2 grams of fat and 15 grams of carbohydrates.
- 1/2 slice of regular bread or toast
- 1 slice of low-calorie bread or toast
- 1/2 of an English muffin
- 1/4 of a bagel
- 1/3 cup of cooked grains, such as rice, polenta, barley or pasta
- 1/3 cup hot cereal, such as cream of wheat, farina or oatmeal
- 1 ounce of dry breakfast cereal, such as 1/2 cup shredded wheat or 1 cup puffed wheat
- 1/4 cup of cooked starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, parsnips, acorn squash, sweet potatoes or butternut squash
- 3/4 ounce hard pretzels
- 1/2 cup of puffed cereal, or one-quarter cup of bran cereal or granola
- 4 crackers, e.g., 4 saltines, four Ritz crackers or 4 quarters of a graham cracker (1 large graham cracker)
- 1/4 cup of canned or cooked corn
- 1 cup of canned mashed pumpkin
Unsaturated fats can lower cholesterol, while saturated fats can raise it. Each serving of fat has 45 calories, 0 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 0 grams of carbohydrates.
- 1 teaspoon olive, canola, sunflower or other vegetable oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of creamy (smooth) peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons avocado
- 1 tablespoon seeds
- 8 to 10 olives
- 4-6 almonds, cashews or pecans; or about 2 tablespoons of peanuts, walnuts or other nuts. Chew them well and avoid them until you're sure you're comfortable on the solid foods diet
- Limit solid fats, such as butter and shortening