Nutrients and a Healthy Diet

Nutrients and a Healthy DietNutrients are the body’s primary source of nourishment, and we rely on them to help us perform certain functions. Everything from digestion to cognitive processing relies on different nutrients. Since the body cannot produce nutrients on its own, it is up to you to deliver optimal levels of nutrients into your body through the foods you eat.

Nutrients supply us with health benefits like:

  • Optimal growth and development
  • Cognitive function
  • Energy production
  • Immune system support

Types of Nutrients

There are six essential nutrients that our bodies need to thrive. They are:

  • Water
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

Each of these nutrients supports different functions throughout the body. Even nutrients like fats and carbohydrates play an integral role in our health and wellness, despite their overall negative reputation. Managing your intake of these nutrients and making sure that you are getting them through healthy sources can make a big difference in your diet.

Following weight loss surgery, you won’t require as many calories in your daily diet to feel full. However, the amount of nutrients you’ll need to thrive will not change. This makes it even more important to be conscious of nutrient rich food sources and to make the healthiest food choices possible.

Finding Nutrients

You may have heard the term “nutrient-dense” diet before. Nutrients are found in our foods, but they aren’t in all foods. Many foods common to the American diet are actually low in nutrient value. Fast foods, fried foods and highly processed foods are often deprived of healthy nutrients, but are generally high in calories.

Foods that are nutrient dense have a high proportion of nutrients to calories. This is ideal following weight loss surgery, as these foods will help you maximize your nutrient intake before you grow full.

Always begin your meal by completing your protein requirements. Then select foods that provide the richest source of vitamins and minerals possible through your choice of vegetables and fruits.

Whole foods are often good sources of nutrients. This includes foods like:

  • Meats
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Legumes

Nutritional Supplements

Supplements are a popular tool after weight loss surgery as they will help increase your daily nutrient intake without adding any calories to your daily intake. Oral supplements are available in the form of nutritional shakes, meal bars and capsules. By containing high levels of nutrients, supplements help you meet your nutritional guidelines in a reduced calorie diet.

Following weight loss surgery your nutritional recommendations may change. Talk with the specialists at your bariatric center to find out what nutrients you should be looking for in your diet.