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What Foods Can't I Eat With a Lap Band?

By Jayne Blanchard ; Updated July 18, 2017

The ideal outcome of lap band surgery is to eat a healthy array of high quality, solid food in much smaller quantities than you did before the procedure. It is not to have an exhaustive list of taboo foods. A properly adjusted lap band affords you the permanent lifestyle change of being satisfied for 3 to 4 hours on less food. Knowing what you can and cannot tolerate requires experimentation since every lap band patient is different.

Forego Fibrous

Fibrous foods can lodge in the stoma, causing swelling and discomfort. These foods include asparagus stalks, pineapple, rhubarb, and the skins of some grapes and varieties of apples. Avoid this by peeling asparagus, or only eating the tender tips, and eating pineapple chunks that come from the base of the fruit rather than toward the core and outer skin. Peeling grapes and apples and thoroughly chewing fibrous fruits and well-cooked vegetables generally lessens the chance of these foods getting stuck.

Stick It to Sticky

Peanut butter is a high fat food that can effectively plug up your stoma. This can trigger a vomiting episode, potentially damaging the surgery, not to mention that peanut butter is nowhere near as pleasurable an experience coming up as it was going down. Avoid sticky foods like nut butters, doughy white bread and rolls, sticky white rice and dumplings, and candied dried fruits.

Toss Out Tough

Chewy chicken or turkey skin, gristly or crusty meats, and foods that acquire a tough or stringy texture after being cooked in the microwave are not appropriate for those who have had lap band surgery. Pare away poultry skin or gristly parts before eating your protein and err on the side of undercooked when reheating in the microwave. Many lap band patients report leftovers go down easier when warmed on the stove top or in the oven, using a touch of added liquid.

Ban the Bubbles

Many bariatric surgeons believe carbonated beverages can cause the small upper pouch to distend, eventually leading to enlargement. After surgery, soda bubbles also may cause digestive discomfort and swelling from gas in the fist-sized upper stomach and the narrowed stoma. Swearing off bubbly beverages is the best tactic, but if you can't completely give it up limit servings to the occasional soda or glass of champagne--once a month, perhaps. Let the beverage sit awhile so some of the bubbles dissipate; this can aid in avoiding carbonation bloat.

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