Healthy Food Substitutes for Weight Loss Surgery

Healthy Food Substitutes for Weight Loss SurgerySometimes, it can seem like all the foods you enjoy most are too high in fat, calories, and simple carbs to be part of a healthy diet after weight loss surgery. But, with a bit of careful substitution, you can make favorite recipes more nutritious and lower in fat and calories. A few simple places to start:

Slimming Down Dairy

After weight loss surgery even when consumed in smaller portions, whole milk and heavy cream can pack on calorie and fat grams. But, by picking lower fat choices, you can still enjoy these creamy additions.

Instead of sour cream, try using non-fat plain Greek yogurt. The tart flavor and creamy texture is great over baked potatoes and as a dip for vegetables.

If you are craving cheesy, gooey treats like nachos or lasagna, swap out the full-fat cheeses for low-fat or skim varieties instead. Skim-milk ricotta adds creaminess to dishes without adding all the fats.

Better Meat Choices

Marbled steaks and fatty cuts of meat are bad for your heart health. Reduce the fat component of protein in your meals.

In many dishes, you can substitute boneless and skinless chicken breasts for beef or pork. Cut chicken breast into cubes for stews or into strips for fajitas and stir fries.

In place of ground chuck, choose a leaner ground beef like ground sirloin. Most stores also carry ground turkey and chicken, as well. When cooking with these leaner choices, be careful not to overcook. The lower fat content means that these meats can more easily dry out.

Find creative meal choices that eliminate the meat altogether. Pinto beans, kidney beans or black beans can form the basis of a healthy vegetarian chili to serve in places of meat-based alternatives. When making lentil or split pea soup, leave out meat-based flavorings like ham and bacon and use a dash of heart-healthy olive oil and some liquid smoke instead.

Remember, half your plate lean protein, one quarter vegetables and the remaining quarter starchy vegetables and whole grains. It can take some time to get used to healthier ingredients. But, as you find new and enjoyable ways to cook them, your diet will improve and you will find new pleasures at every meal.