What Foods Should I Eat?

The chart below lists foods that are better or less tolerated by people following gastrectomy.  The foods in the “Better Tolerated Foods” list are less likely to cause dumping syndrome than the foods in the “Less Tolerated Foods” list. The “Less Tolerated Foods” are known to cause dumping syndrome in some people.  It takes time and experimentation to figure out what works best for you.  Keeping a food journal to track the time of day, food intake including quantity, and symptoms when they occur may be helpful in identifying problem foods and habits. 

Food Group Better Tolerated Foods Less Tolerated Foods
Breads/Grains Whole grain breads, muffins, bagels, and crackers; unsweetened dry or cooked cereals, rice, pasta, barley, potatoes, pretzels, popcorn, crackers Doughnuts, sweet rolls, muffins, coffee cake, pastries, and sugary cereals.
Fruits   Fresh fruit, frozen or canned fruit without heavy syrup/ added sugar, fresh- frozen fruit  Dried fruits, canned fruits in syrup, sweetened juice, canned pie fillings
Vegetables   All vegetables fresh, frozen or canned Vegetables with added sugar or sweetened sauces
Meats and Protein (with each meal and snack of 1-3 oz. meat, fish, poultry or cheese, 1/2 cup tuna or cottage cheese, 1-2 eggs, 1 cup plain or artificially sweetened yogurt, 1-2 tsp. peanut butter) Meats, poultry, fish, seafood, peanut butter, nuts, dried peas and beans, eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, milk, buttermilk, diet pudding, light or plain yogurt None
Fats and Oils   Butter, margarine, oil, salad dressing, mayonnaise, cream, cream substitutes, sour cream, cream cheese, bacon  Sweetened cream cheese, honey butter, salad dressings made with honey
Sweets and Desserts Sugar-free pudding, sugar-free gelatin, sugar-free jellies, sugar-free syrup, plain cake and cookies (no frosting), no sugar added ice cream, artificial sweetener, sugarless gum, fruit preserves and low sugar jelly  Regular ice cream and popsicles, cakes, pies, frostings, cookies, jellies, jams, syrup, gelatin, high sugar desserts, sherbet, sugar, candy, molasses, sweetened toppings
Beverages (8-12 Cups) Water, milk, coffee, tea, soup, broth, artificially sweetened carbonated beverages and flavored drinks such as Crystal Light® Sugar-sweetened beverages, regular soda, lemonade, Kook-Aid, Gatorade, chocolate milk and milkshakes

Sample Meal Plan

The chart below gives an example of six small meals throughout the day. It is important to remember to drink liquids between meals.

Breakfast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast
  • ½ banana
  • 1 cup 2% milk (drink  30-60 min after eating)
Mid-Morning Snack
  • 1 ounce cheese
  • 4 crackers
Lunch
  • 2 ounces hamburger w/lettuce & tomato
  • 1 small bun
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or ketchup
  • ½ cup unsweetened fruit cocktail
  • ½ cup vegetable juice (drink 30-60 min after eating)
Mid-Afternoon Snack
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 3 graham crackers
  • ½ cup orange juice (drink  30-60 min after eating)
Dinner
  • 2 ounces chicken breast
  • ½ cup mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup green beans
  • 2 teaspoons margarine
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup 2% milk (drink  30-60 min after eating)
Bed-time Snack
  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 ounce turkey
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 cup 2% milk (drink 30-60 min after eating)

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