Is it food that is overtly expensive? Or is it food that is prepared with extra care? In fact, it is neither. High-quality food is defined as food that is minimally processed. High-quality food consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Individuals that have undergone a bariatric procedure like the Lap-Band® Program should follow a healthy eating plan that includes high-quality foods.
Bariatric surgery is a tool that aids in weight loss, but patients must follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly in order to maintain the weight loss long-term. Eating unhealthy, low-quality foods like fast food works against the Lap-Band or other forms of bariatric surgery. Patients will find it difficult to maintain weight loss long-term if they are not consuming high-quality foods.
High-quality foods are nutrient-dense. That means, unlike their salty, fattening, sugary counterparts, they are typically lower in calories and will keep you fuller longer. They are full of important vitamins and nutrients that can fend off illnesses and will keep you not only feeling your best, but looking your best. Following the “a calorie is a calorie” mindset is not helpful. Compare your favorite high-quality food and your favorite-low quality food. If you eat half an avocado versus a candy bar, you may be consuming a comparable number of calories, but the nutrient comparison is way off. The high-quality food will fuel you with the nutrients you need to feel good and satisfied, like healthy fats and protein, while the low-quality food can give you a sugar crash and make you feel tired. Even worse, the candy bar probably won’t fill you up for long, which can make you reach back into the cupboard for more food.
Following a healthy diet is all about awareness and mindfulness. Think about consuming the foods that will make you feel good inside and outside. What foods will give you energy and which foods will leave you feeling sluggish? Which foods will help you reach your goals and which foods will set you back?