Protein is the focus of bariatric diets. It’s what helps preserve muscle mass while the reduction in calories and carbohydrates promote weight loss. But, protein is also one of the foods that many postoperative gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients report have trouble tolerating. Food preferences often change after bariatric surgery, but one common theme that Dr. Shillingford’s patients often report is a newfound fondness for seafood.
Fish and shellfish are high in protein, and there are many heart healthy choices. Dr. Shillingford has posted many recipes, including some featuring salmon, mahi mahi, and shrimp. Another good choice is halibut. Halibut is a flaky white fish that is a little more substantial than other white fish (such a cod or tilapia). It has a mild and slightly sweet taste that easily incorporates into many flavor profiles.
According to the USDA, 3 oz of cooked halibut has 95 calories, 19 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, and 0 grams of carbohydrates. This makes halibut an excellent choice for bariatric patients to include in their post-op high protein, low calorie diet. Halibut also has a variety of micronutrients including selenium, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, B12, and B6. Also found in halibut are heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which are thought to have numerous health benefits including lowering triglyceride levels and improving “good” HDL cholesterol.
When buying fish, it’s best to buy it without any seasonings or breadings. Halibut can often be found frozen in individually vacuumed sealed portions. These are ideal as they are often flash frozen very soon after being caught, and thaw quickly to make meal prepping easy.
Have you tried halibut? If you haven’t, look for it next time you are in the frozen foods section of your grocery store. Or, order it along with your groceries to be delivered. Tender and flaky halibut can be a good source of protein for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients.
Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric surgery patients can find many more recipes on his website, his Facebook page, and his Pinterest boards. Patients also learn helpful and practical tips from fellow gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients during Dr. Shillingford’s Nutrition Support Meetings. For more information about bariatric surgery with Dr. Shillingford, call his Boca Raton, Florida office or visit www.drshillingford.com.