Background: Life-long nutrition education and diet evaluation are key to the long-term success of surgical treatment of obesity. Diet guidelines provided for bariatric surgery patients generally focus on a progression through dietary stages, from the immediate post-surgical period to 6 months after surgery. However, long-term dietary guidelines for those surgically treated for obesity are not readily available. Therefore, there is a need for dietary recommendations for meal planning and nutritional supplementation for bariatric surgery patients beyond the short-term, post-operative period. The purpose of this paper is to construct an educational tool to provide long-term nutritional and behavioral advice for the post-bariatric patient.
Methods: The manuscript summarizes the current knowledge on dietary strategies and behaviors associated with beneficial nutritional outcomes in the long term of post-bariatric surgery patients.
Results: Dietary and nutritional recommendations are presented in the form of a "bariatric food pyramid" designed to be easily disseminated to patients.
Conclusions: The development of educational tools that are easy to understand and follow is essential for effective patient management during the surgery follow-up period. The pyramid can be used as a tool to help both therapists and patients to understand nutrition recommendations and thus promote a healthy long-term post-op dietary pattern based on high-quality protein, balanced with nutrient-dense complex carbohydrates and healthy sources of essential fatty acids.