Dietary Tips

Pre-surgery Dietary Tips

Preparing for surgery is like getting ready for a marathon or a big game. Good nutrition prepares your body to deal with the stress of surgery and sets the stage for a successful recovery.
  • Include as many of the nutrients outlined in this guide as possible in your daily diet before surgery day.
  • Eat enough protein starting two weeks prior to surgery. Protein needs are based on the amount of muscle you have, but research has shown that 65 – 100 grams per day are optimal for most people. Protein provides building blocks for our muscles, bones, and our immune system. You want to be as strong as possible going into surgery.
  • Stock up on fruit and vegetables and include them in all meals and snacks. Most important are “greens,” as they assist in the repair of muscles, bones, and cartilage.
  • Reduce or eliminate sugars, caffeine, and alcohol from your diet. These create additional stress on your system and actually remove nutrients from your body as they are metabolized

Post-surgery Dietary Tips

Good post-op nutrition can contribute to a faster recovery that helps you return to doing the things you love as soon as possible.
  • Some people lose their appetite after surgery or when taking pain medications. However, surgery increases the body’s need for calories, and you need more calories to heal. Eat smaller meals more often if your appetite has decreased.
  • Add fiber at each meal and snack on fruits, vegetables, cooked beans, and whole grains. Fiber helps maintain normal bowel movements.
  • Eat enough protein. Have protein at each meal for your muscles and bones. It is found in meat, fish, eggs, poultry, nuts, dairy products, soy products, and cooked dried beans.
  • Calcium is an important component of bone. Drink milk or calcium- fortified juices, and eat yogurt or cheese.
  • Get vitamin C from citrus fruits, green and red peppers, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, and potatoes to help your body heal wounds and form bones.
  • Remember to drink plenty of water. To avoid constipation, drink at least eight to ten cups of fluid a day.