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Grapes, Glycemic Index and the Weight Loss Surgery Diet
Bariatric surgery patients learn that including low-glycemic fruits and vegetables in their high-protein diet is an effective way to introduce nutrients and flavor into meals without the negative consequences associated with other high-protein foods. in carbohydrates. Understanding the GI (glycemic index) is the first step in adding nutrients, variety, and flavor from vegetables and fruits to the sometimes restrictive diet associated with bariatric surgery, including gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding, and the gastric sleeve.
One of the concerns of weight loss patients is that a very small amount of high sugar (high glycemic index) fruit or vegetables eaten without protein or fat can cause people with malabsorption problems to have an immediate response to the glucose sometimes called dumping syndrome or rapid gastric emptying. Grapes are a good example of a supposedly “healthy” fruit that can cause problems for bariatric surgery patients. The grapes have a GI value of 53, which classifies them in a “LOW” GI value. This means they have a low impact on glucose levels. One cup is considered one serving. On the face of it, that would make it an appropriate fruit for gastric surgery patients, but frontline research tells us a different story: Grapes are beautiful fruits of the gods just waiting to slip into our little pockets and to transform from healthy fruit snack to resentful. small slider food and dumping disaster.
Here’s what happens: we rightly believe that grapes are good for us and low in calories, so we don’t measure portion sizes. We enjoy each grape, one at a time, which is mostly water and fructose, in an unmeasured portion as a snack, so there’s no buffer to slow the absorption of fructose through the esophagus or intestinal walls of the pouch. We can eat an abundant amount of grapes because as fast as we enjoy them, they slip through the stoma. Even with surgical gastric pouch by eating grapes, we never reach fullness. Unaware of the dramatic glucose load this places on our bodies, we continue to enjoy our healthy snack when suddenly the slam hits us and we are in distress from glucose overload: the dumping. This can happen in any gastric surgery patient who is on a lean protein diet and has developed a low tolerance to the glucose spike.
So the short answer, although low glycemic, grapes are a fruit to be enjoyed with caution. As a snack, I suggest portion controlled, no more than one cup in a single serving. Make your grape snack a mini-meal and include a one-ounce serving of lean meat and a one-ounce serving of low-fat cheese.
Think of grapes as an “ingredient” food, not just a snack. Here’s a classic Southern-style chicken salad that makes wonderful use of grapes in the main course. The high protein count in the recipe will prevent a glucose overload from the grapes.
Classic Southern Chicken Salad
1/4 cup heavy whipped cream
3/4 cup Miracle Whip Light
1 teaspoon sodium-free seasoning mix
Salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped and chilled
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup green seedless grapes, sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Bibb lettuce, leaves separated into six cups – one per serving
For the dressing: In a medium bowl, using a whisk, whip the whipping cream until frothy. Stir in Miracle Whip Light, seasoning mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Put aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked ground chicken, chopped celery and sliced grapes. Add dressing and fold gently until smooth. Refrigerate until serving, can be prepared at this point a day ahead. When ready to serve, evenly divide chicken mixture among lettuce cups, garnish with toasted sliced almonds and chopped fresh parsley. Serve as fresh.
For 6 persons. Per serving: 363 calories; 27g of protein; 24g fat (5g saturated); 11g of carbohydrates; 2g fiber; Rich in Vitamin B12 & Niacin.
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