Healthy eating before surgery

What you eat and drink, along with physical activity, can help you manage your weight and improve your overall health. Eating a healthy and balanced diet doesn’t have to be complicated. The goal is to choose foods that nourish your body more often and limit the foods that contribute to weight gain.

Try making some healthy changes before surgery to help you prepare for your new lifestyle and diet after surgery. Here are some basic tips to get you started. 

Focus on variety. Your body needs foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other important nutrients. By eating a variety of foods from the food groups, you can give your body the right mix to stay healthy and energized. 

  • Add fruits and vegetables to your meals and snack. Aim for color and variety. 
  • Vary your protein foods with lean options such as turkey, chicken, fish, beans, and lentils. 
  • Choose whole grains. Look for whole grains listed first or second on the ingredients list. Try whole -wheat pastas and breads, quinoa, oatmeal, and brown rice. 
  • Select low-fat dairy products like skim milk and reduced-fat yogurts and cheeses. 

Know your fats. Unsaturated fats are “good” fats and are helpful in moderation. They are found in many oils, fish and nuts. Limit saturated and trans-fat from meat, full-fat dairy, and packaged and processed foods. 

Cut back on sugar. Limit foods containing added sugar like sweetened beverages, cereals, and desserts. Swap your soda for water or fat-free milk. Try fresh fruit for dessert instead of cakes or cookies. 

Limit salt. Instead of salt, use herbs and spices to flavor your food. Watch out for high-sodium foods like frozen dinners, deli meats, and canned foods.

Start with small changes. The goal is to make eating healthy a part of your lifestyle. This doesn’t happen overnight. But through simple and positive changes to your food choices, you may start to see a big difference in your health and weight. Start with trying a new vegetable or replacing a bag of chips with an apple or some almonds. Overtime, these small steps can lead to long-lasting healthy habits.