How to Season Your Food After Bariatric Surgery

Condiments, sauces, and dressings are a staple feature of many refrigerators and most restaurant tables. They can add a burst of flavor or make an otherwise bland meal tastier. However, many of these flavoring agents come with a hefty dose of sugar, sodium, and fat that make them unsuitable for bariatric patients. Even so, this doesn’t mean bariatric patients must suffer through a life of boring meals. Bariatric patients have several options to inject some zest into their dishes without derailing their weight loss efforts.

Bariatric-Friendly Condiments

Bariatric patients can still enjoy condiments with a few caveats. Look for low or no-sugar condiments to avoid a glucose spike. Similarly, opt for low or zero-fat condiments to reduce the calorie content. Be cognizant of how much condiment you add to your food, as those calories can add up quickly. The following are several healthier condiment alternatives for bariatric patients:

  • Mustard
  • No-sugar ketchup
  • Horseradish
  • Low-fat mayo
  • Low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Light and low-fat salad dressing
  • Flavored vinegar (balsamic, fruit, rice, red or white wine, etc.)
  • Low-sugar marinara
  • Pesto
  • Salsa
  • Lemon or lime juice

Bariatric-Friendly Spices

Bariatric patients can use almost any spice in their dishes. However, you should forego spicy seasonings during the first several months after bariatric surgery. Similarly, you should avoid spicy foods altogether after bariatric surgery if you’ve ever developed an ulcer.

Spices can be just as effective as condiments for upping the flavor factor of your meal. The following are some of the more popular spices and seasonings among bariatric patients:

  • Bouillons (particularly for the liquid phase of the bariatric diet)
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Cumin (if you can tolerate spicy seasonings)
  • Garlic powder
  • Herbs (basil, cilantro, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, etc.)
  • Lemon pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika

Traditional salt and pepper are usually fine for bariatric patients with a couple of stipulations. Be mindful to avoid adding too much salt, as excess sodium can make you retain water. Additionally, pepper may bother you if you’re sensitive to spicy seasonings.

Long-term weight loss success depends a great deal on how much you enjoy your food. You’re more likely to give into cravings if you habitually deny yourself sweet and savory flavors. In contrast, you’ll feel much less temptation if your meals are satisfying, tasty, and offer a diverse palate. Still have questions? Contact us to learn more about the bariatric diet.


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