Healthy Eating Tips

Spring 2005

Volume One / Number One

One of the biggest problems Lap-Band patients experience early on in their journey is figuring out what foods “work” best with their band. Usually, after six months patients realize the “good” foods vs. the “bad” foods. Each individual is different and some find they can eat anything, while others are limited.

Red Meat:

Avoid steak, pork chops, lamb chops, veal, ribs, roast beef. Do you need to cut meat with knife and fork? If yes, it probably will get stuck in the band.

Choose instead ground meat like meatballs, meat loaf, meat sauce, chili, ground veal and lamb.Moist dark meat (thighs, drumstick). Take skin off to remove unwanted fat.


Avoid white meat chicken or turkey breast. They are too dry and stringy and get stuck in band.


Avoid overcooked, dry fish (i.e dry salmon), rubbery shellfish like calamari, lobster tail, shrimp.

Choose instead moist flakey fish like sea bass, sole, flounder, scrod, moist salmon, tuna fish with low fat mayo, crab cakes, scallops, muscles, lobster claws.


Avoid doughy, soft bread like rolls, pizza, white bread, muffins, bagels. These items get stuck in the band.

Choose instead crispy, crunchy breads like well toasted wheat bread, wheat crackers, flat breads, bagel chips, toasted pita bread, breadsticks.

Rice/Pasta and Cereal/Potatoes:

Avoid sticky rice, canned pasta.

Choose instead fluffy rice, well cooked pasta, cold and hot cereal, mashed potatoes or baked potatoes.


Avoid asparagus stems, white membranes of citrus fruits.

Beans, tofu, veggie burgers, vegetarian chili, Veggie Slices, peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, nuts. Melons, berries, grapes, bananas, peeled apples, baked apples, plums, cherries, etc., canned fruit, shredded or chopped lettuce, broccoli florets, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, etc.

Other Tips:

  • Limit high fat choices like peanut butter and nuts due to high calorie content.
  • Soups and stews work great.
  • Condiments are helpful to use to lubricate food that is too dry or sticky. Lower calorie condiments, dips or sauces like BBQ sauce, ketchup, fat free gravy, mustard are helpful.

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