Post-surgical diets

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Salad suggestions for LAP-BAND patients

Chew thoroughly

Always chew vegetables thoroughly and eat slowly. Chop ingredients into small pieces to make it easier; you can even put your salad ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times to help break them down.

Choose dressings carefully

Different types of salad dressings that thoroughly coat foods may make raw foods go down easier; however, salad dressings are often loaded with calories and chemicals, so choose carefully. Try balsamic vinaigrettes, or make your own salad dressings with olive oil, lemon juice, and some seasonings. People also often use more salad dressing than they realize, so only use as much as you need and measure if necessary.

Use healthy ingredients

Don't use salads as a "healthy" excuse to load up on foods like cheese, bleu cheese dressing, and bacon bits. Choose healthy ingredients such as fresh veggies, nuts, or even fruit. Broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers are all excellent sources of nutrients.

Iceberg lettuce has the least nutritional value of any type of lettuce, so choose healthier options, like romaine, spinach, green leaf lettuce, arugula, or a baby herb mix.

Get your protein in

Add grilled chicken, tuna, shrimp, salmon, or ground beef or turkey to salads for healthy sources of protein.

Be creative

Experiment with combinations of ingredients you may not have tried before. Spinach and strawberries go together wonderfully. Avocado makes a great addition to any salad and contains nearly 20 essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, folate, and iron.

Top it off

Add healthy nuts and seeds, such as flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and sunflower seeds. For great-tasting toasted almonds, put slivered almonds in the oven at 375 degrees for five to ten minutes until they begin to turn brown. For extra flavor, sprinkle with your favorite seasoning before toasting.

To keep your diet healthy without letting it get boring, try a variety of salad recipes and experiment with different ingredients — you may find some new favorite go-to recipes that keep you feeling full and are easy to make!

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