Keto After Gastric Sleeve: Is It a Good Idea? 

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If you’re considering the keto diet after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea. While there isn’t a lot of research on this specific topic, we can look at the general benefits and risks of the keto diet to help you make a decision.

Whether you are morbidly obese or have reached a healthy weight after weight loss surgery would recommend that you don’t do Keto after Gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery and here are the reasons why!

keto after gastric sleeve

What Is the Ketogenic Diet?

Generally speaking, the keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. When you severely restrict carbs, your body goes into a state of ketosis, burning fat for energy instead of glucose. This can lead to weight loss, as you are burning stored fat as well as other potential health benefits like improved mental clarity and decreased inflammation.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about going on the keto diet, especially if you’ve recently had gastric sleeve surgery. Read more about the Keto diet here!

It’s Not the Best Diet After Bariatric Surgery

The ketogenic diet doesn’t always work well with the bariatric diet and whilst it can help people lose weight this way of eating may make losing weight more difficult and cause more harm than good. It’s not a good diet strategy after gastric sleeve surgery especially due to the extremely high-fat content which can affect your blood sugar and cause fatty diarrhea.

1. Keto Diets Are Low in Fiber

If you’re on a ketogenic diet, you’re likely not getting enough fiber in your food intake. This can be an issue for a few reasons. First, fiber is an important nutrient that helps keep you regular and can help prevent constipation.

You Need Fiber in Your Diet!

Second, if you’re not getting enough fiber, you may be at risk for developing small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition that can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Low fiber is not good for overall health and can cause issues in the gastrointestinal tract.

Following the ketogenic diet can often reduce the potential benefits of weight loss surgery and it can result in excess fat intake and be counterproductive to bariatric surgery.

2. Keto Diets May Cause Nutritional Deficiencies

Another potential issue with the keto diet is that it may cause nutritional deficiencies. This is because you’re likely not getting enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which are all good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

After bariatric surgery, you need to eat healthy foods to prevent heart disease and help improve your health. Good nutrition and a good diet strategy can help with this.

Keto After Gastric Sleeve

Highly Processed Foods Is Bad for Your Health

Without nutrients, you may be at risk for developing health problems like anemia or osteoporosis.

Gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery patients require vitamin and mineral supplements and following a diet that reduces the natural nutrition in the body is not exactly healthy.

3. Keto Diets May Raise Your Risk for Kidney Stones

A Kidney stone can be a common side effect of the keto diet. This is because when you restrict carbs, your body breaks down protein for energy, which can lead to an increase in calcium in your urine.

Calcium is a key component of kidney stones, so if you’re on the keto diet, you may be at a higher risk for developing them.

Gastric sleeve patients do need to monitor their protein intake and it is advised they eat protein-rich foods, and drink protein shakes, however, this needs to be balanced with many vegetables and nutritious foods to help maintain weight loss.

4. Keto Diets May Cause Gastrointestinal Issues

If you’ve recently had gastric sleeve surgery, you’re probably already aware that there are potential gastrointestinal issues that can occur.

The keto diet may make these issues worse. This is because the high-fat content of the diet can lead to issues in the intestinal tract causing diarrhea, constipation, and other gastrointestinal problems.

Fatty diarrhea, dumping syndrome, and other uncomfortable symptoms can result when you don’t follow the recommended diet after bariatric surgery. You don’t want to make things worse for your gastrointestinal tract by following the ketogenic diet.

5. Keto Diets May Increase Your Risk for Gallstones

Gallstones are another potential side effect of the keto diet. This is because the high-fat content of the diet can lead to an increase in cholesterol in your bile, which can form gallstones.

Whilst low carb is important for gastric bypass patients and sleeve patients it is better to eat healthy fats and avoid highly fatty foods

6. The High-Fat Diet Is Not Good for Gastric Sleeve Patients

Keto is a high-fat diet and can cause you to exceed your calorie intake. Keto encourages you to eat cheese, which is high in protein and high in fat.

Whereas bariatric patients are encouraged to eat snacks such as low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat string cheese, or low-fat dairy products such as yogurt.

7. The Keto Diet Avoids Certain Food Groups

The ketogenic diet avoids specific food groups including most carbs. A low carb diet is a good thing for bariatric patients, however, sleeve and gastric bypass patients do need some carbohydrates and due to reduced absorption, a little of all the good food groups should be part of the bariatric diet.

So, Is the Keto Diet Right After Weight Loss Surgery?

If you’re considering the keto diet, we recommend that you speak with your doctor or registered dietitian first. This is especially important if you’ve recently had gastric sleeve surgery, as there are potential risks involved.

While the keto diet may lead to weight loss, it’s not necessarily the best or healthiest option for everyone.

There are other ways to lose weight and keep it off long-term, such as eating a healthy plant foods diet and exercising regularly. So, be sure to talk to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.

What Diet Should I Follow After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Whilst your first port of call is a registered dietitian, weight loss surgery patients should aim to eat a diet rich in protein, low in fat, and low sugar.

You can do this by eating plenty of lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, tofu, legumes, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats.

It’s also important to avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of saturated and unhealthy fats. Protein will help with muscle tissue growth and repair and help keep you feeling fuller for longer as you work on losing weight and maintain weight loss after surgery.

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