Why is fat important?

on 12/6/17 7:56 pm
DS on 10/25/17

My doctor and nutritionist want me to have little to no fat. From hanging around this forum for the last couple of months, I know that you successful long-timers make eating fat a priority. Why is that? How does it help you? Why is it good/beneficial for us?

on 12/7/17 2:00 am - VA

I've just never avoided fat after my system adjusted post-op. I couldn't eat a lot of fat early out but further out I need it to keep things moving. If I didn't, with all the calcium and iron I take, I would be terribly constipated. Our DS makes us malabsob fats and oils, so why some docs and nuts encourage low fat diets for us is a mystery. In the early days of the DS, doctors would say "fat is your friend".


5'1" -- HW 195/SW 187/GW 115 July 08/CW 121 Dec 2012

Starting BMI between 35 and 40ish? 
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DS on Aug 9, 2007 with Dr. Hazem Elariny

on 12/7/17 5:28 am - Parma, OH
DS on 04/15/13

While there are people that make fat a priority and talk about what the right amount of fat is the only universal opinion I can tell is that you no longer need to go to a low fat diet.

For myself I just stopped eating low fat although I confess to a couple of times during my weight loss of resorting to a high fat "day" to try and break a stall. Mostly while enjoyable that didn't really make a difference for me on stalls. :)

You do have to have some fats in your diet to be healthy and to help absorb the fat soluble vitamins ADEK. Usually regular diets even for malabsorbers are sufficient but some people seem to do well with more. Something to experiment with at some point if you are interested to see if it changes your weight loss one way or another but probably not in the first 6 months where BM's can be a little unpredictable.

Which brings us to the other reason people add extra fat. Making sure your BM's stay regular. While most of us, I think, can get by with things like metamucil or benefiber some people need more help and increasing fats is one way to do that.

You might ask the nutritionist if with the malabsorption you shouldn't have a regular fat diet but I wouldn't fight about it. Just decide what works. A lot of Docs and Nuts are going off gastric bypass experience and our case is just different.

 HW  552    CW  229  SW 464 4/15/13 - Lap DS by Dr. Philip  Schauer - Cleveland Clinic.



on 12/7/17 12:29 pm

Several reasons.

1) It's what we malabsorb the most and fat is necessary for skin/hair/and other body functions.

2) When they created all those fat free products they tasted awful so they added loads of sugar, salt, and chemicals to try and make them palatable. All these frankenfoods are worse for you than fat ever was.

3) Fat is like free food for us because we don't absorb 80% of what we eat! Think back to dieting. Most of us would agree the most miserable diet is low cal, low carb, and low fat. Ugh. Postop we HAVE to avoid carbs. No grains. No sugar. No potatoes. Adding fat makes low carbing easier to stick with and BONUS...we don't absorb it.

4) Bad politics and incorrect information. Back in the 1950's all the low fat baloney came to be because it made sense. The sclerotic 'stuff' clogging up people's arteries and causing heart attacks was fatty. Therefore if people ate no fat, they would be healthy. Right? Now go read about the Harvard study where they were paid by the sugar and grain lobby to dis fats. But they did a great job marketing the idea and almost everyone bought into it. Now the thinking has changed and sugar/grains/carbs are being seen as evil while natural fats are getting a better reputation.

5) Every NUT and doc was brought up and trained on the idea that every fat is bad all the time. It is built in to every lesson and textbook. It's what they were taught. And every diet they advocate for is low fat. It's trained into their DNA. And it's a travesty...why should you avoid what can't hurt you? Next look at a few diabetic diets...loaded with sugar/carbs/fruit. Guaranteed to get you on insulin ASAP. They should be ashamed.

6) The numbers don't lie. They told us it's all about cholesterol. And the first thing they do is give you the low fat diet. Post op our cholesterol goes WAY down and it doesn't matter if we eat fat or not. So why not eat it? What you don't absorb can't hurt you.

Me personally, I don't sit around eating sticks of butter. But I don't avoid fat at all. I do use and cook with butter. I eat tasty high fat meats and bacon. I use real mayo. If I want some sour cream on my chili, I have it. If I want some nuts, great! I use HWC in my coffee because it has no carbs. And if I want ice cream I make it with HWC and splenda...no carbs.

Some new DSers have poop issues when they eat fat. So my advice would be to add it gradually over time or simply don't seek it out OR avoid it.

Lastly, a famous quote from Dr. Hess, one of the pioneers of the DS. "Fat is your friend!"

Janet P.
on 12/7/17 2:42 pm

Also the risk of eating low fat, especially prepared foods foods, will have higher sugar content, which equals carbohydrates, which we absorb 100%. As others have said, eating fat keeps things moving along. I take massive amounts of calcium and I can't imagine my life without the fat I eat.

Unfortunately many doctors who perform the DS aren't necessarily informed about the aftercare, which is different than RNY and other surgeries. Same with nutritionists.

I can only speak from my experience as someone who had the DS almost 15 years ago. I am currently within 8 pounds of my original goal weight. I recently lost about 8 pounds, simply by limiting carbs. I basically eat whatever I want to eat, as long as I get my 125+ grams of protein. I take all my vitamins every day, without fail. I drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day (if I include coffee that's probably closer to 100). Almost everything I learned was from people on websites like this. We also had a good local support group post-op. My local surgeon had a number of DS and VSG patients at the same time I had my surgery. We're still friends :)

Janet in Leesburg
DS 2/25/03
Hazem Elariny

Valerie G.
on 12/8/17 1:05 pm - Northwest Mountains, GA

The body needs fat for brain function and digestion. The DS causes malabsorption of 80% of the fat that is consumed, so basically, everything you eat is low fat. If you eat no fat, then you are missing that fat needed to digest food and your critical thinking starts to fade.

My doc's staff had that recommendation too, and I was constipated faster than I could spell it. I could have spent my life taking milk of magnesia, or I could enjoy butter and marbled meats. Which would you choose?

We put very little faith in what the medical community recommends for our well-being. About 10 years ago, a bunch of DSers started comparing notes about what works for us against what is recommended, or shall I say, bundled into the big ol' pot of wls patients that they don't bother to differentiate.

11 years post op DS 
There is room on this earth for all of God's creatures..next to the mashed potatoes

on 12/8/17 1:24 pm
DS on 10/25/17

Thank you everyone for giving me the facts. I knew from hanging around here that it was important; I just wasn't sure why. I'm also wondering if that's in part to blame for the constipation issues I have.

Any suggestions on how to get more fat into my diet? I know I can eat cuts of meat with a higher fat content...but what else? I do add about a teaspoon of butter to my two eggs in the morning. But I can't figure out how else to get more fat other than changing up the kind of protein I'm eating.

on 12/8/17 2:22 pm

Tuna or chicken salad.

on 12/8/17 3:59 pm
DS on 10/25/17

I am, unfortunately, an extremely picky eater (I believe I deal with some sensory integration issues). I can't eat any kind of seafood (when my husband eats tuna he has to wash out the can and then put it in the outside trash - that's how much I hate the smell) and I sort of hate chicken salad. The only time I really ever have mayo is in deviled eggs or on a hamburger (I hate lettuce, so lettuce wrapped burgers are out).

Given my weirdness I'm guessing that the only thing I'll be able to do is fat bombs. I don't know how else to add it (I don't drink coffee or tea either so I can't add it there). Back in the day I used to drink sugar-free hot chocolate and add a tablespoon of coconut oil and I enjoyed that. I also used to add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the brown rice I'd eat, but now I can't have brown rice.

How much fat should I be shooting for?

on 12/8/17 7:10 pm

How about egg salad? Add a couple pieces of bacon to your egg for breakfast. Or melt cheese over the egg. A great dipping sauce for plain old burgers is ketchup and mayo mixed together. Or ham salad! Deli roll ups...deli meat spread with cream cheese and rolled up. Easy to take to work too. And lots of cheese! Celery stuffed with cream cheese or peanut butter.

Most of us don't add fat to everything. We just don't avoid it!

Look up cloud bread for those burgers you don't want to wrap in lettuce too.

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