I think it is true to say that many bariatric patients suffer or have suffered to some degree with problematic bowels both pre- and post-surgery. Both ends of the spectrum from constipation to loose bowels are mentioned by many and most teams and GP’s or other health professionals will almost always suggest a diet that controls fibre intake – sometimes boosting it, sometimes controlling it, for comfort, good digestive health and long-term care.
Most of us know fibre is essential for great gut health but do we know why and how to get it? Our guest blog below
from bariatric surgeon Dr Sally Norton gives the facts and here at http://www.bariatriccookery.com we supply some tasty ways of introducing it into the bariatric regime.
Winter – the right time for your high-fibre fix
Comment by Dr Sally Norton. UK Health Expert. NHS Weight Loss Surgeon. Founder of www.vavistalife.com
The winter months bring delicious opportunities for a diet rich in fibre. Why? Dr Sally Norton explains:
A warming bowl of porridge sweetened with grated apple or chopped dates. Hearty stews, tagines or homemade soups, thickened with chunky vegetables, barley or a handful of lentils or beans. All great opportunities to increase our fibre intake. And all the evidence suggests a high-fibre diet is a healthy diet.
So what is the link between dietary fibre and bowel cancer?
Most of us are aware that high fibre foods improve general bowel health by reducing our chances of constipation. Studies also suggest that people who eat natural foods rich in fibre, particularly cereal fibre and wholegrains, have a lower bowel cancer risk. But it’s not clear whether the protective effect is due to the fibre itself, or to high fibre foods such as fruit, vegetables and wholegrains being healthy in other ways. It is also possible that people on a high-fibre diet tend to eat less of the foods that increase the risk, such as red and processed meat.
Nonetheless, there are several theories why fibre itself may have a protective effect. First, that it helps waste travel through the bowel, which keeps us regular and helps stop constipation. And second, that it speeds up the passage of bile (digestive) acids and any other potentially cancer-causing agents, reducing the time they are in contact with the bowel lining.
Whatever the reasons, protection against bowel cancer seems reason alone to eat more fibre. Especially when you consider that bowel cancer is the fourth commonest cancer, and second biggest cancer killer (although 95% of cases are in people over 50). For more on how to reduce your bowel cancer risk read our simple steps to bowel health.
And that’s not to mention numerous other health benefits
Studies show that a high-fibre diet, as well as reducing the chance of certain other cancers, can also protect us against obesity, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
If you want to lose weight, switching to high-fibre foods such as wholegrains leaves you feeling less hungry so you’re less likely to overeat. Which is why at Vavista Life we talk about good carbohydrates, rather than no carbohydrates!
Nuts, dates, clementines, roast potatoes (remember, keep the skins on), and love ‘em or hate ‘em, the humble brussels sprout, are great sources of fibre.
Here are some bariatric-friendly recipes you might like to try: Simply click on the title for the link to the recipe …