Condiments are a great way to add a blast of flavor to our favorite dishes. Unfortunately, bariatric patients are restricted from eating many tasty sauces and seasonings due to the post-op diet. Don’t worry, we got you covered. Luckily, there are alternatives that are low in sugar, fat, and sodium while maintaining a sweet and savory taste. This will help you avoid sabotaging your weight loss success while you keep up with your new, healthier lifestyle.
Bariatric-Friendly Seasoning Options
You can have any seasonings you want, as long as it’s not too spicy. Your meals will be much more condensed, leaving little wiggle room. Take advantage of the proper seasoning to enrich your dish without adding more filler foods to your limited portions. The flavor is key in adding that tasty food-enriching effect to any bariatric dish.
Bariatric-Approved Seasonings and Spices
Usually, just a pinch of these seasonings can add a big punch of flavor.
- Rosemary is most commonly found in various Italian dishes such as salads, casseroles, and stews. (lemon rosemary chicken is a perfect soft protein meal option after gastric sleeve surgery)
- Paprika is a spice that can range from sweet to very hot, often used in Latin meals. (paprika yogurt chicken skewers are a perfect meal with plenty of protein)
- Cumin is a popular Indian spice used in curries and chutneys (coconut chicken is the perfect dish after weight loss surgery)
- Parsley is a fresh seasoning that is an excellent addition to any poultry dish. (Pairs deliciously with a hearty breakfast known as shakshuka)
- Fresh Herbs have a variety of choices ranging from mint, and basil, or cilantro.
- Onion/Onion Powder can be used in different forms of cooking. (Try it in nick’s french onion soup.)
- Garlic/Garlic Powder can offer a kick of flavor to any dish. (butter garlic herb tilapia is an excellent dish with plenty of flavors)
- Lemon Pepper is a blend of dried lemon zest and ground black pepper (Perfect for lemon pepper tilapia)
- Bouillon is the french word for broth. This is perfect for patients who are on a liquid diet. (a tasty recipe to try is aromatics-infused chicken broth)
- Crushed Red is an excellent source for when you’re looking for a little spark of flavor in any dish. (add a little zest of flavor to your next soft food dip)
- Sumac (Somach or Somaq) is an antioxidant and antimicrobial spice with many health benefits including lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. It also has anti-inflammatory effects to reduce muscle pain.
Healthy Condiments for Bariatric Patients
Fear not! Your favorite condiments can still be enjoyed after having bariatric surgery as long as they are low in sugar and fats. You can avoid condiments high in sugars, like regular ketchup, by trying healthy alternatives such as ketchup with no added sugars.
Condiments are also notorious for being high in fats, so keep an eye on low to no fat options instead. Keeping track of how much you are eating is essential in controlling those calories. Measuring appropriate portions is vital in staying on track for weight loss.
- No-sugar Ketchup*
- Low-sodium Soy Sauce
- Pesto (red or green)
- Light or low-fat salad dressings (≤50 per serving)*
- Lemon/lime juice
- Mustard(spicy, Dijon)
- Low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
- Low-fat mayonnaise*
- Sugar-free jelly/jam*
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Low-sugar marinara sauce*
- Flavored vinegar
- Pickle Relish
- Sugar-free Syrup
How can I be sure which seasonings and condiments I can cook with?
You can have any seasonings you want, so long as they are not spicy. In terms of condiments, prefer you do not have any. Mustard is the only acceptable option.
I was wondering if I can eat salad dressings during the pre-op diet. I like a Ceaser salad with grilled chicken, but I wasn’t sure if a little dressing is ok or not?
In regards to the salad dressing, no salad dressing during the pre-op, but feel free to do a Mediterranean mix of lemon juice and olive oil. These habits that you are changing and going to help you with post-op and be part of your lifestyle. :)
Seasonings are a great way to introduce more flavor to your favorite dish. Avoid making your foods too spicy as this can cause you to drink more liquids during your meal, leading to stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting. Dousing your food with too many condiments or letting it soak for too long can cause it to become much softer, leading to faster digestion by quickly moving food from your stomach to the duodenum, causing dumping syndrome. Be mindful when it comes to adding condiments and avoid overindulging. Food enhancing seasonings are excellent when used sparingly since it doesn’t take much to satisfy your taste buds.