Anyone who is awake knows that fried food is not a healthy dietary choice. A high fat diet is believed to be a contributing cause of diabetes, heart disease, overweight and obesity. But Americans continue to load their plates with fried food because we have developed a taste for it and because food producers make products that taste good and are affordable.
Overweight people who have undergone bariatric weight loss surgery to control their weight are encouraged to follow a diet high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrate. This has been shown to effectively work with the weight loss surgery to reduce weight and control weight over long periods of time. Living in a world where high fat food is ever present, the surgical weight loss patient is often tempted to indulge in fried food often thinking that small amounts of fried food will not negatively affect their diet or health. However, eating fried food, even in small amounts, can have catastrophic consequences for gastric surgery patients.
In general fried food is bad for us simply by the nature of its nutritional composition. Consider this: A 6-piece serving of fried chicken tenders contains 401 Calories; 16 grams Protein; 8 grams Fat; 57 grams Carbohydrate. The FDA calculates this at 3 1/2 starch/bread servings and 1 lean meat serving. Its easy to figure out how we have become “obese nation” when you consider many children are weaned from the bottle right to the fast food fried chicken pieces.
This nutritional data indicates the fried chicken tenders are a high fat carbohydrate. When a person who has undergone a malabsorptive gastric surgery such as gastric bypass eats high fat carbohydrates they are at imminent risk of dumping syndrome. Gastric Dumping Syndrome, or rapid gastric emptying, is a condition where ingested foods bypass the stomach too rapidly and enter the small intestine largely undigested. The syndrome is most often associated with malabsorptive gastric surgery, specifically gastric bypass surgery. Symptoms of dumping syndrome may manifest immediately after eating or within three hours of eating. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, dizziness and fatigue. Symptoms do subside as insulin levels return to normal. Many patients experiencing dumping find comfort in lying down or sipping on fortified water or energy drinks served at room temperature.
Not only is dumping syndrome physically uncomfortable it can be unpredictable and embarrassing. Many patients experience profuse sweating which can be embarrassing and difficult to explain to those unaware of the condition. At other times a patient may suffer from confusion and become disoriented which may appear to be intoxication or diabetic distress to someone unacquainted with the signs and symptoms of dumping syndrome.
So the consequences of eating fried food after a gastric weight reduction surgery are twofold: immediate risk of dumping syndrome and long term risk of weight gain and the diseases associated with a high-fat diet.
Gastric surgery patients, specifically gastric bypass patients, may successfully avoid dumping syndrome by eating a diet of carefully chosen lean protein combined with low glycemic fresh fruits and vegetables. Patients are instructed to avoid simple sugars, simple carbohydrates and high-fat carbohydrates and to avoid drinking liquids with meals. At the onset weight loss surgery patients are instructed to eat a high protein diet following surgery.