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What Can I Eat print email
After your bariatric surgery, you'll need to approach eating differently—carefully following each stage of your bariatric diet and making sure you're getting the nutrients you need to achieve your weight-loss goals and improve your health.

But that doesn't mean you have to give up enjoying foods. In fact, eating a variety of tasty and nutritious foods—along with liquid protein supplements (which come in the form of shakes, drinks, or powder)—is key to your success.

Click on the links below for a list of nutritious foods you will begin adding as you progress through the stages of your bariatric diet, as well as tips for making sure you're getting enough protein. And check out our recipes section  to get ideas for delicious meals, snacks, desserts, and beverages.

Helpful Hints to Boost Protein Intake

Follow these simple tips to help boost your protein intake:

Cheese: Low fat or Fat free
  • Grate and add to breads, casseroles, mashed potatoes, noodles, rice and vegetables
  • Use as a meal with crackers
  • Melt on eggs, fish, hamburgers, low-fat hot dogs, and sandwiches
Cottage or Ricotta Cheese: Low fat or Fat free
  • Add to spaghetti or pasta dishes
  • Add to casseroles or egg dishes
  • Use as stuffing for fruits and vegetables
  • Add finely chopped, hard-cooked eggs to casseroles, sandwiches, sauces, salads, and vegetables
Legumes (dried beans, peas and lentils)
  • Mash cooked or canned beans with cheese and milk for a sandwich or cracker spread
  • Add cooked or canned beans to salads, casseroles, soup, pasta, or rice
Meat, Fish & Poultry
  • Add chopped or pureed pieces to baked potatoes, casseroles, omelets , pasta, quiche, rice, salads, soufflés, soups, stews, stuffing, or vegetables
Milk: Low fat, Fat free or 1%
  • Use as a substitute for water in recipes such as casseroles, hot cereal, mashed potatoes, sauces, soup, or sugar-free pudding
  • Serve in sauces with vegetables, rice, noodles, or pasta
  • Substitute double- strength milk in place of regular milk whenever possible
Get the recipe for double-strength milk

Yogurt: Low fat or Fat free
  • Add to fruit and vegetable dishes
  • Use as a topping for pancakes, waffles, French toast, or cereal
  • Use as a filling for stuffed baked potatoes
High protein powder (non-fat milk powder and others)
  • Add 1 tablespoon to virtually anything
  • Ground meat: Add ½ cup of powder to each pound of meat
  • Mix an equal measure of powder with dry cereal before cooking
  • Add 1/3 cup powder to 2 cups of vegetable puree to make creamed or mashed vegetables. Add skim milk to reach preferred consistency.
  • Add 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) powder to each cup of fluid milk or ½ cup powder to each cup of water or broth in recipes for sauces, soups, puddings and custards.

Examples of Good Protein Sources and Their Serving Sizes

Serving Size
Protein (grams)
Poultry (without skin): chicken, turkey,cornish hen, domestic duck or goose
1 ounce
Fish: catfish, cod, flounder, haddock  
halibut, herring, orange roughy,
salmon, sardines, trout, tuna

1 ounce
Shellfish: clams, crab, lobster, oysters, scallops, shrimp
1 ounce
Beef: cubed, round, sirloin, flank, T-bone, porterhouse steak, tenderloin, chuck, ground round, 90-97% lean ground beef
1 ounce
Pork: tenderloin, sirloin, chop, roast, ham, Canadian bacon
1 ounce
Lamb: roast, chop, leg
1 ounce
Veal: lean chop, roast
1 ounce
Skim and 1% milk
1 cup
Double strength milk*
1 cup
High protein eggnog*
1 cup
Sugar-free instant breakfast*
1 cup
Sugar-free fortified instant breakfast*
1 cup
Yogurt shake*
1 cup
Non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup
Non-fat or low-fat cheese
1 cup
Artificially sweetened yogurt
1 cup
Egg 1 large 7
Egg whites 2 7
Egg substitutes ¼ cup 7
Low-fat lunch meat 1 ounce 7
Low-fat hot dog 1 7
Plant Proteins:
Tofu ½ cup 7
Tempeh ¼ cup 7
Soy milk 1 cup 7
Dried beans, peas, lentils ½ cup 7
Peanut butter 2 tablespoons 7
Nuts 1 ounce 4


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