Following bariatric surgery, patients need to utilize a post-op diet that both creates long-term habits, improves recovery, and promotes healthy weight loss.
Protein-rich smoothies and shakes are essential to bariatric patients following surgery. Any of our smoothies can be used as part of the thick liquid diet. Incorporating different sources of protein intake results in a higher success rate for weight loss surgery. Bariatric smoothies and shakes also helps give patients a variety of options to keep post-op fun, healthy, and new!
All you need is any type of blender and the ingredients of your choice!
General Guidelines for Bariatric Smoothies
Once you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to make the smoothie. It is important to make sure your smoothie is fully blended together.
- Blending fully – blend until smooth
- If you use a straw, be sure to sip slowly. Straws may incorporate air into your pouch and lead to discomfort
- Drink slowly
Components of a Healthy Bariatric Smoothie Recipe
- Protein Base: 1 scoop of Protein Powder
- Liquid: 1 cup (8 ounces of sugar-free liquid)
- Fruit: ½ cup
- Vegetables: 1 handful
- Fat: 1-2 tablespoons
- Thick Liquid Protein: ½ cup of liquid protein (Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese)
- Spice or Sweetener: 1-2 small pinch, up to 1 teaspoon
What to Incorporate in a Bariatric Smoothie or Protein Shake
To get the most out of your bariatric smoothies or bariatric protein shakes, specific guidelines are set by our nutritionist. The best bariatric smoothies include five components; Protein Base, Fruit/Vegetables, Liquids, Fiber, and Fats.
A protein-based smoothie is important for bariatric patients. There are many varieties of protein to incorporate into your smoothie or shake. Patients can use their protein source of choice.
Mexico Bariatric Center recommends that the protein powder has more than 20 grams of protein with less than 5 grams of sugar. High-protein, low-sugar supplements are best for gastric sleeve and gastric bypass patients. Some protein base options include:
- Protein Powder: Adding a scoop or two of High Protein Powder supplements to your smoothies or shakes can aid in healthy weight loss. (Whey protein powder)
- Pre-made bariatric protein shakes: Use already made shakes as your protein source and your liquid for a smoothie.
- Greek Yogurt: Low-fat Greek yogurt contains the most protein compared to yogurt varieties containing fruit.
- Fairlife Milk: Fairlife Milk offers bariatric patients more protein and calcium while still tasting like normal milk. Fairlife milk is also lactose-free so is a great option for those who are lactose intolerant.
- Cottage Cheese
Patients can choose almost any fruit to blend into their bariatric smoothie or bariatric shake. Regardless if it’s fresh or frozen – fruit is a great addition to any smoothie.
Ice cubes are mostly needed for fresh or canned fruit. With frozen fruit packed into your smoothie, ice cubes are not generally needed. The fruit we recommend for bariatric smoothies are:
- Blueberries: Blueberry is great for potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and very beneficial for heart health.
- Strawberries: The strawberry is filled with vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, and more. It is one of the most popular smoothie fruit!
- Raspberries: Raspberries are also rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
- Banana: Bananas have high amounts of potassium along with essential vitamins and minerals.
- Peaches: Peaches are rich in iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, antioxidants, and benefit a healthy nervous system.
- Pineapple: Pineapple is a great fruit with large amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants. It also benefits the digestion process.
Vegetables are also a great addition to bariatric smoothies. These are the vegetables we recommend:
- Kale: Kale and is great for its low calorie, zero-fat, and is high in fiber. It also greatly benefits digestion and filled with nutrients.
- Baby Spinach: Baby spinach is low in fat while high in protein, fiber, iron, calcium, thiamin, and vitamin A, C, E, and K.
- Cucumber: Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and other major vitamins and minerals.
In order to avoid constipation after bariatric surgery, fiber supplements are a great addition to smoothies or bariatric shakes. One to two servings of fiber supplements can really help digestion throughout the week, primarily for gastric bypass or sleeve patients. The fibers we recommend for bariatric smoothies are:
- Chia Seeds
- Psyllium Husk
All bariatric smoothies need some form of liquid. Milk, tea, or sugar-free drinks are great options to add to smoothies. This aids in digestion for gastric sleeve and gastric bypass patients. Additional liquids we recommend are:
- Fairlife Milk
- Dairy milk (skim milk, low-fat milk, or whole milk)
- Almond milk, Coconut milk, or Cashew milk
- Soy milk
- Coconut water
- Diet “Juice” drinks or Sugar-free beverages such as Crystal Light or Vitamin Zero water
- Unsweetened Tea
- Pre-made bariatric protein shakes
In addition, fats can be implemented in smoothies. Some healthy fats for bariatric smoothies are:
- Peanut Butter (smooth nut butter)
- Almond Butter
- Coconut Oil
Optional Flavor Add-Ons:
- Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice
- Vanilla, coconut, almond or any other extracts
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Espresso powder
- PB2: Powdered peanut butter
- Zero-calorie Sugar-free syrups such as Torani
- Sugar-free jello or pudding powder
Bariatric Smoothie Recipes
Bariatric smoothies are a healthy and fun way to incorporate new foods into your bariatric diet. For the best bariatric protein shakes and protein powder for gastric sleeve and gastric bypass patients, check out our nutritionist’s Pinterest bariatric smoothie recipes.
Here are our top 3 bariatric smoothie recipes!
Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie Recipe
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 banana
- 3/4 cup of water
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 large handful spinach
Berry Avocado Smoothie Recipe
- 1/2 of an avocado
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 8-12 strawberries (no stems)
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 tsp raw honey
Cocoa Almond Protein Smoothie
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. milk (any milk)
- 2 tbsp. almond butter
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 banana
- 2 tsp. ground flaxseed
- 3/4 cup ice cubes