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Should I eat carbohydrates after surgery?

First of all, what is a carbohydrate? Carbohydrates are a source of energy for our bodies. They can come in the form of complex carbohydrates – those that take a little longer to break down and be absorbed in the body. These are carbohydrates that give you sustained energy for longer periods of time. Examples include oats, multigrain bread/crackers and brown rice. The other form are simple carbohydrates – those that are quicker to break down in the body. Examples include sugary cereal, biscuits and white bread.


Carbohydrates should not be avoided completely. However, as portion sizes decrease significantly after surgery, so will the amount of carbohydrates the body can manage.


At every meal, protein and vegetables are the priorities. If you are eating a meal such as chicken, vegetables and rice, eat the chicken first, followed by the vegetables, an only eat the rice if space allows, or leave it out if you are full.  If you do include carbohydrate with your meal, opt for the complex type. This will provide fibre, which is important for gut and bowel health.


Speaking to your dietitian about the right amount of carbohydrates for your weight loss journey is very important. If exercise and physical activity increases, your need for this energy source might also increase. Your dietitian can help you tackle any questions you may have about carbohydrates post-surgery and your weight loss goals.