Get to Know Nutrients
When we talk about healthy diets, you will hear a lot about nutrients. These are the building blocks of our diets, and are the reason why the foods we eat will influence our health and energy levels.
There are six forms of essential nutrients. They are:
Nutrients provide nourishment, and since we cannot produce these nutrients on our own, we must rely entirely on the foods we eat to supply us with enough to keep us healthy.
When we don’t get enough of a certain nutrient, we experience a deficiency. This is a condition in which the body lacks enough of a nutrient to maintain certain functions.
Without nourishment, we will start to systematically shut down, preserving what is left of the nutrients still in our body for the most essential tasks—like our heart. Dehydration is an example of a deficiency which develops when our body lacks water.
A Well Balanced Diet
When your diet is well balanced, it has the proper amount of sources to provide correct levels of each nutrient to your body. Overeating certain nutrients or eating the wrong form of a nutrient can result in weight gain and illness.
Following weight loss, it helps to be aware of what foods are the best sources of different nutrients, and what foods will support your post-bariatric surgery needs.
Protein is the building block of the cell and helps to restore muscle strength. After surgery, eat plenty of protein to help maintain muscle as you lose weight and to encourage your body to heal.
Carbohydrates have an overall poor reputation, but there are “good” carbs and “bad” carbs. Good carbohydrates are complex, and will have plenty of fiber to aide in digestion. Bad carbs are the simple carbohydrates, which are pure sugar.
Fats also have a poor reputation, but are actually essential for maintaining brain and heart health and protecting the joints. Try to avoid saturated and trans fats, which are found in highly processed and fried foods, and stick with mono- and poly-unsaturated fats instead.
Vitamins and Minerals
These are basic nutrients that are found in a wide variety of foods, and can also be taken in supplement form. Fruits and vegetables are especially great resources for getting vitamins and minerals in your diet.
After weight loss surgery, you can’t just take large gulps to keep up your water intake. Make a point to drink water in small increments throughout the day to prevent your stomach from filling too fast. Most adults need at least 64 ounces of water daily to avoid dehydration.