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Vegan After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

by Christie

I would like to go vegan, but I had gastric bypass surgery about one year ago. I am very happy with my weight loss, but I both malabsorb protein, and am unable to eat a very large quantity of food at one time. I also can't consume more than 15 grams of sugar at a time, whether natural or added.

My nutritionist says no, but she also doesn't believe that being vegan is healthy for non-ops, so I'm not sure that her opinion is accurate.

I don't know much about going vegan after gastric bypass surgery. However, I also haven't heard about any drawbacks to going vegan after the surgery. We are going to need to ask for other readers to share their opinions/knowledge here so that you have good advice.

My assumption would be that you need to eat good sources of protein, such as beans and whole grains, as well as dark leafy greens. I would add fruits slowly and in limited quantities. I also assume that you will need to eat smaller meals, and eat more frequently. You should not worry that eating these foods will contribute to weight gain as they are simply not the types of foods that increase body weight.

As far as your nutritionist's advice, keep in mind that most medical practitioners know very little about the vegan diet and stick with the old assumptions that they lack important nutrients. Nowadays we know that not only is that not true, but that a vegan diet is actually much healthier and safer than "regular" diets.

That being said, if any of our readers can give more advice, we would love it here. How should one go vegan after gastric bypass surgery?

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Post op
by: John

I've had the rny surgery 5 years ago and at my Max loss was down 180 lbs. Granted I went through a terrible divorce a year into my weight loss.Once I got my weight back to a healthy place I struggled but maintained 140 lbs lost. Even with losing so much I've continued to have issues with edema in my legs and my blood pressure wouldn't regulate to my new weight. I decided to try going vegan about a month ago to see if it would ease some of my issues and some ongoing bowel issues that most post op patients have. I'm happy to say that the edema has gotten better when nothing else worked. My dizzy spells from blood pressure spikes is almost completely gone and bloating and digestive issues are much better. I do take small meals throughout the day and love black beans so veggie fajitas are my go to minus the totilla most days. A spirilizer is really helpful when trying to get past pasta cravings or subbing items. I also have malabsorption and do get blood work every six months or more frequently but take several supplements daily already. I suggest to try it for a day or two and see how you and your new stomach react. Don't force yourself if you feel sick. Take your vitamins and read every label! Substitution of legumes will help you balance your protein intake and volume.

Do it!!
by: Karla

I’ve been vegan almost 3 years and had gastric bypass 8 years ago. I wish I hadn’t ever had the surgery and just gone vegan back then but I didn’t know any better. Anyhow, I think it’s totaly doable! I love being vegan and I hate being a postop patient. But I can’t change it so I can only continue on this path. I have lost 140 pounds and feel like I have only kept it off because I’m vegan. I have known 6 other people to have rny and 4/6 have gained the weight back plus some. Very sad

Post op Vegan
by: Renee

I had Gastric Bypass Surgery in 2009 and went vegan 5 months ago. (lost an additional 32lbs and going). I began the vegan journey because i wanted to get off my blood pressure medication. So, along with working with my doctor and my certified trainer/nutritionist. I can say i am happy with my results. You have to keep an open mind about it, eat the items you may dislike but are good for you. (eggplant was my problem). But, once you learn how to balance meals and get some recipes down. You will see improvement in your health physically and mentally.

Proceed Accordingly
by: MarkA

I had gastric bypass surgery in 2009. I lost 120 lbs. and kept it off to this day. I am 66 years old and diabetic. In 2013 I went on a vegan diet at the advice of my physician. I retired and moved far away, without medical advice for what I was doing. I don't think you should try this if you are not under a doctor's constant care and supervision. You need regular blood work. This is my story and no one in the vegan world is going to like it, but this is what happened.

After two years on a vegan diet, I developed enema in my legs all the way up to my scrotum and had to be hospitalized for 3 days with intravenous feedings of albumin. Albumin is not available as a pill, but is produced in the diet by eating protein. Albumin keeps your hemoglobin from leaking water. Without enough albumin, edema in the lower extremities will occur. During those two years I did not get enough protein, I hate beans. I hardly ate any protein at all. I bought the old story about protein in vegetables. Yeah. While it is true there is more protein in 100 calories of broccoli than in 100 calories of beef, you would have to eat a massive amount of broccoli to get that 100 calories. Gastric bypass patients don’t have a normal stomach, they have a pouch, and you just cannot stuff all that broccoli into it. Meat is dense.

I think anyone can be vegan, unless they’ve had a gastric bypass. It is a restrictive and malabsorptive system and I was literally starving myself on the vegan diet. To each his own I guess, if you like beans, go for it. But I don’t understand all these young female activists who take selfies of themselves laying in the grass hugging a pig. Now it’s suddenly not a nutritional lifestyle, it’s a political statement. I think they are more concerned with animal rights and conservation efforts than nutrition, which are certainly noble causes. But that's not the issue here.

I wish you better luck than I had, but I don't think I'll ever sufficiently recover. I am now on a Paleo diet and have to wear compression socks to optimize the oxygen flow in my legs. I exercise regularly. My blood work after 1 year is almost back to normal; so if you do this, get yourself checked out regularly. If you are young and resilient, I think you will be OK. You can be vegan or you can have this surgery, but I would caution against both. This isn't for everyone. Read page 26 of Neal Barnard's book if you don't believe me. Unfortunately for me, I read the book after the damage was done. Good luck.

It is possible to vegan.
by: Christina

Hi guys I had the bariatric surgery three years ago. I recently plateaued and I was upset that I was losing anymore weight. If you had a WLS or considering it; I would recommend A pound of cure by Dr.Matthew. He has his own channel on youtube and he focuses more on fruits,vegetables, and legumes rather than large quantities on animal products and artificial junk. He has a lot vegan friendly options, and his videos give lots of great insights on what's happening with your body. I already lost weight, and I feel great. Here is the link for more info.


Vegan and the Gastric bypass surgery
by: Getting it rite 67

I'm so greatful. I've been a Vegan for 6 months,I'm planning my surgery,Gastric bypass truly have to find a way to incorporate this becoming a vegan this time in my life was the best thing I could of done, wish I would of started sooner feeling thankful I'm not the only one.

its easy
by: Sassy

i am vegan , have been for over three years now
My gastric bypass surgery was in 2009
still thriving. I tend to choose a lot of green juices and smoothies (sometimes) because drinking is way easier than solid foods
that way i get to benefit from a larger intake of micronutrients
evening meals are always , kind of starch solution proof, no oil added.
best of luck to all you vegan gastric bypassers out there

by: Craig

I have been through this. I was advised to have a special kind of diet. The surgery actually makes your stomach smaller. Hence it was difficult to have food at first. It is important to have 8-10 cups of water every day.

Vegans get plenty of nutrients.
by: Sarah P

You can eat a vegan diet and get all of the nutrition you need. It's misleading, to tell people that they can't. Some take a b12 supplement to help with that. Anyone should take a D supplement when the sun if farther away and you can't get enough from it, or if you don't go outside enough. I would suggest people go outside more often, instead of supplementing. It's always best to get the vitamins naturally. Meat eaters are way more likely to be deficient in a lot of nutrients, than a vegan is.

Gastric Bypass Vegan
by: Reyna Brown

Check out my blog! Thegastricbypassvegan@blogspot.com

Veg blog
by: Andy

What's the vegan blog? I am vegan and having surgery in about a month and would LOVE to find other vegans!

Gastric Vegan
by: Andrea

I am a vegan and I had gastric surgery. It really isn't that much different. You just have to make sure you get all your nutrients in your small meals. The first thing you need is a dietitian that supports you. Mine is excellent! I actually have a blog and I've seen another relating to gastric surgery and vegan or vegetarian. The hardest part is depending on the surgery, you can't have raw fruits or veggies or nuts and seeds for the first 6 months. The stage II liquid diet is harsh as well. They suggest eating yogurts, puddings, and cream soups. I posted a recipe on vegweb.com for a protein soup I created to help get plenty of protein in such a small amounts. Hope this is helpful and that it didn't come years too late!

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