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What to Eat During Your Recovery After Surgery

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Updated March 26, 2014

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Trouble Eating Enough After Surgery?

Sometimes it is difficult to eat after surgery because of a lack of appetite. This typically passes a few days after surgery, but it is important to continue eating nutritious foods during this part of your recovery. Constipation can cause a lack of appetite. If this is the case, speak to your surgeon about ways to relieve constipation before taking over-the-counter remedies.

While most people in America could stand to lose a few pounds, skipping meals after surgery is not the way to do it. Failing to eat enough after surgery can slow healing and delay the closure of your incision.

If you are not constipated and are still having difficulty with your appetite, consider calorie-dense foods, such as a smoothie, which can contain dairy, fruit and even protein powder as necessary. If you are unable to consume enough calories after your surgery, try to eat calorie-dense foods whenever possible. That means eating foods that contain more calories per bite than others. For example, a cup of green salad would be a food low in calories per cup, while avocado would be very high in calories per cup.

If consuming enough calories is an issue, you may want to eliminate low-calorie and calorie-free items from your diet until you are able to eat adequately. For example, use regular salad dressing, replace diet soda with juice or full-calorie soda and (in general) avoid foods that say “lite, sugar-free, calorie-free, diet, low-fat or low-calorie” on the label.

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