What is Fat?

What Is FatAfter bariatric surgery, fat may seem like a scary word, or at least something that should be avoided. But do you really know the facts about fat and how it affects your post-bariatric diet?

Fat is a nutrient that is essential to the human body. It provides the body with energy and makes it possible for other nutrients to function. For example, some vitamins require fat in order to dissolve and nourish your body. There are several different types of fats. Some are made in the body naturally, while others have to be consumed through the foods that we eat. Some of these fats are more harmful to our diet than others.

Although our bodies need fat to function properly, consuming more fat (especially the wrong types of fat) than we are releasing may lead to weight gain and eventually obesity. If you have just undergone weight loss surgery, it is beneficial to your post-surgery lifestyle to understand different fats and how they impact your post-bariatric diet.

The Different Types of Fats

There are about five different types of fats that we are likely to consume. Two of them are considered to be “bad” or harmful fats, while the other three are healthier, “good” fats.

Harmful Fats:

  • Saturated fat. This type of fat is mainly found in products from animals like red meat, poultry and whole fat dairy products.
  • Trans fat. These fats are made through partial hydrogenation; a process that makes the trans fat oils easier to cook with and less likely to spoil. This type of fat is usually found in fried foods and highly processed foods.

These are fats you will want to avoid after your weight loss surgery. Foods high in trans fat and saturated fat raise your cholesterol levels and put you at risk for cardiovascular disease. One of the goals of your post-bariatric diet is to decrease your risk of heart disease and other obesity related disorders that you were once at an increased risk for.

Healthier Fats:

  • Polyunsaturated Fat. This type of fat is mainly found in plant-based foods and oils. Olive oil, sunflower oil, flax, walnuts and fatty fish like salmon or trout are all sources of polyunsaturated fat.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. This is a type of polyunsaturated fat that may be extremely beneficial to your heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids are mainly found in fish and decrease your risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Monounsaturated fat. This type of fat also includes many oils, avocado, peanut butter and nuts. Monounsaturated fats may also benefit insulin levels and blood sugar regulation. This can decrease your risk for type 2 diabetes.

These “good fats” are healthier for your body and help to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk for cardiovascular complications.

Fats after Bariatric Surgery

Once you know the difference between the harmful and healthier fats, you can make educated choices for your post-bariatric lifestyle. After your weight loss surgery it’s a smart choice to make sure that you’re avoiding foods that could put you at a higher risk for weight regain or health complications. For the most part, you’ll want to remain on a diet plan that is low calorie, low fat and high in protein. So it is important that when you do consume fats, you are consuming the right kinds in moderation.