Bariatric Surgery Success

Bariatric Surgery Success


#63 The Best Way to Juice after Bariatric Surgery

September 01, 2021

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Are you into juicing? Maybe you’ve even considered replacing your coffee with a green drink. Is there a best way to juice if you’ve had bariatric surgery? You bet there is.


Hi, I’m registered dietitian nutritionist Dr. Susan Mitchell. You’re listening to the Bariatric Surgery Success podcast episode number 63. Most of my career I’ve worked in some type of media, particularly radio where I did morning drive nutrition spots for over 18 years. That’s what lead me to start podcasting and ultimately to you. I created Bariatric Surgery Success to provide you with life-changing information based on science along with simple strategies and tools to help you be successful in your transformation and your entire journey. So happy you’ve connected with me. You’re in the right place and I’m glad you’re listening.


If you’re looking for a private facebook group where you can ask questions and talk about what’s on your mind, please join me in Bariatric Surgery Success with dietitian Dr. Susan Mitchell.



Juicing breaks down fruits and vegetables into liquid form generally by separating the juice from the pulp. But it‘s the method of juicing that makes all the difference when you’ve had weight loss surgery.

Juicing can be a good option to increase your nutrient intake meaning vitamins, minerals, fiber and naturally occurring plant nutrients or what’s called phytonutrients. It’s also an easy way to incorporate additional vegetables and fruits into the diet, particularly less popular ones like kale or spinach. Ideally juicing should supplement the vegetables and fruits that you eat in whole form. Instead juicing often replaces these whole fruits and veggies.

There are two methods of juicing. First is traditional juicing, the type most common in juice bars, airports and hotels, where a fruit or vegetable is pressed or shredded. All of the pulp (another name for fiber) is removed using either a cold press or centrifuge juice extractor leaving only the juice.

But for anyone and especially if you’ve had bariatric surgery, you miss out on the benefits of fiber and they’re valuable. A few benefits include helping with digestion, reducing inflammation and increasing satiety or how full you feel. Do you remember in episode #47 on fighting inflammation with food, we talked about fiber. It’s digestible by gut bacteria making short chain fatty acids. What was that fatty acid in the gut called? Butyrate. What we love about butyrate is that it provides valuable health effects such as inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria, reducing inflammation and increasing mineral absorption.

Don’t forget, fiber also helps prevent constipation but sometimes it causes potential gas and bloating. Your juicing tip: start with a small portion, maybe 1/4 of a cup and see how it goes. It may be too bulky and filling to drink very much of it at a time.

So we don’t want to give up fiber easily. Besides, juice with no pulp or fiber packs more calories and carbs, mostly coming from the natural sugar found in fruit in a more concentrated form. For example, a cup of pineapple is about 80 calories, but a cup of pineapple juice is about 120. Juice is the most calorie-dense part of plant foods.

Did you know that the calories in a juice drink can range from 100 to 800, depending on the type of fruits and vegetables you add and the amounts? Remember that fruits tend to have more calories than vegetables so opt for more veggies and less fruit to keep calories reasonable. A good ratio is 75% veggies and 25% fruit or 3/4 veggies and 1/4 fruit. Portion size is always key too.

Here’s where the second method of juicing called whole juicing is superior. Whole juice is the result of blending vegetables and fruits into a drinkable liquid without removing the fiber. Whole juicing requires a high-powered blender instead of a juicer. You may be familiar with brands for home use such as a Blendtec, NutriBullet or Vitamix. When whole juicing, whole fruits and vegetables go in the blender with extra water, and a powerful motor pulverizes them into a smooth juice with the fiber included.

A study in the European Journal of Nutrition compared the effects of whole apples to apple juice in regard to the effects on blood lipids such as cholesterol.The results suggest that the fiber component found in the skin of apples is needed for the cholesterol-lowering effect and that clear apple juice is not a suitable substitute for the whole fruit. When the entire apple is used in whole juicing the benefits of the skin remain in the juice.

Your take aways:

1. Juicing can work for you after bariatric surgery as long as it’s whole juicing which retains the fiber and all of its benefits.

2. Aim for 3/4 veggies and 1/4 fruit to keep calories and carbs lower.

3. Always eat protein-packed foods first as that’s bariatric gold then have the juice.

4. Portion size is always key. Start small with 1/4 cup and see how you tolerate it. Any issues with bloating or gas?

Stay focused on your journey, you’re worth it.