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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Q&A: What is so bad about fried food?

This question comes up frequently. Many new weight loss surgery patients are of the impression that they can eat whatever they want -- just less of it. But many of us learn the hard way that some foods just don't work for us after weight loss surgery. Here is the question and my answer about fried food that we originally published in the April 13, 2011 LivingAfterWLS Weekly Digest. You can enjoy the full free ezine newsletter online in our archive: LivingAfterWLS Newsletters.

Fried Fast Food Link to Newsletter

Here's an interesting discussion from the Neighborhood about fried food after Weight Loss surgery - take a look and link to the Neighborhood to add your thoughts and ideas!

Question from deb728: "Now I know fried food is bad for you in general. But is there a specific reason that we as weight loss people can't eat it? I would never eat a cheesteak or anything super greasy again, but sometimes I'm like holy cow I want chicken nuggets. So I was just wondering why can't it be like everything else-a couple french fries or chicken nuggets like once every two months?"

Kaye's Answer: "Hi Deb -- Thanks for asking this question! As you mentioned, in general fried food is bad for us from a general health standpoint. A 6-piece serving of fried chicken tenders contains 401 Calories; 16g Protein; 8g Fat; 57g Carbohydrate. The FDA calculates this at 3 1/2 starch/bread servings and 1 lean meat serving -- clearly not something fitting a "Protein First" meal. Its easy to figure out how we have become "obese nation" when you consider many children are weened from the bottle right to the fast food fried chicken pieces.

Now, since you had RNY you are dealing with not just the nutritional facts above, but a malabsorptive procedure. That means you no longer have an abundant supply of gastric enzymes needed to digest foods high in fat. Because fried chicken pieces are high in fat and carbohydrate you are at risk of dumping syndrome when eating them. In fact, many people are baffled when they experience classic dumping symptoms after eating fried fatty food. So that's the second reason to avoid fried foods, including fried chicken pieces or my personal favorite, fried cheese! Yeah, I've tried that and not had good results.

But there is a rainbow here in this cloud of bad news!!

You can cook at home a reasonable "mock" chicken nugget and be quite happy in your pouch, your mouth, and your brain (no guilt!) Take this recipe for Parmesan Crusted Chicken and make a great meal. Once you get familiar with the method you can experiment with herbs or coatings to keep things fresh. Instead of serving it with the classic fries or onion rings add some salad or fresh fruit and berries. I think you will be quite happy with your effort!"

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