Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN
Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, and owner of Level Up Bariatrics, LLC, a bariatric lifestyle coaching program that provides pre and post-op support for weight loss surgery patients. Learn more on Instagram (@level_up_bariatrics).
Eating a healthy diet is essential, especially for weight loss surgery patients. However, many assume that healthy foods must be bland or tasteless. Fortunately, that couldn't be further from the truth! With a few simple tips and tricks, you can easily add more nutrients and flavor to your meals without sacrificing your health goals. In this blog post, we'll share the top seven ways to increase your meals' flavor and nutritional value.
1) Use spices & herbs. Fresh herbs and spices are an excellent source of antioxidants and add fabulous flavor to your meals. Most of these herbs and spices are available in your local grocery store or farmer's market, and you can add them to almost any dish. Consider using common and versatile options like fresh basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, paprika, cumin, garlic, and ginger for a boost of flavor.
2) Try different cooking methods. Experimenting with different cooking methods can bring out the flavors of your meals. For instance, try grilling, steaming, or roasting your vegetables instead of boiling them. These methods can give your vegetables a smoky or crispy taste. Grilling your proteins and vegetables can also add a great flavor!
3) Experiment with different proteins. Chicken, beef, and fish may be go-to protein options, but try switching things up with tofu, tempeh, or legumes. These options are high in nutrients and can be just as delicious as meat when prepared the right way. Start with a few recipes to get used to cooking with them, then try other ways to incorporate them regularly for versatility.
4) Use healthy fats. Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, and/or nuts can add flavor, texture, and nutrition to your meals. Try drizzling olive oil over your vegetables or salad or adding some diced avocado to your sandwich. Nuts are also a great go-to as they can easily be eaten in many dishes at any time of the day. Try walnuts in your oatmeal or pumpkin seeds in your yogurt!
5) Experiment with textures. Adding different textures is a great way to make your meals taste even better. For example, add nuts, seeds, or crispy vegetables to your salad. Doing this gives you a feeling of satisfaction while eating your meal and adds complexity and fun.
6) Add fruits to your meals. Fruits are a great source of nutrients and can add flavor and texture to your meals. Add fresh berries to your oatmeal or yogurt or sliced apples to your sandwich to give it a sweet crunch. Add melon to your cottage cheese or grapes and apples to your chicken salad. The options are endless! It just takes a little “stepping out of the box.”
7) Pick colorful vegetables. Making sure you get enough vegetables in your diet is a priority after weight loss surgery. Veggies provide a great energy source for your muscles, brain, and body, as well as a great source of fiber, which helps keep you feeling full. Try incorporating a variety of colorful veggies into your meals such as bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Not only will they add flavor, but they'll also provide you with essential vitamins and minerals.
PS - Need to boost your iron levels after surgery? Speak with your healthcare provider and be sure to check out our BariMelts Iron + Vitamin C, which contains Vitamin C to help optimize absorption and tastes great (unlike most iron supplements)!
Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring or tasteless... There are countless ways to add more nutrients and flavor to your meals without sacrificing your health goals. Whether you add more vegetables, experiment with different cooking methods, or incorporate more spices and herbs into your dishes, there's no reason why you can't enjoy delicious and nutritious meals every day. So, spice it up and take your diet to the next level!
BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.