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Post-Gastrectomy Diet

This diet is designed for patients to follow after a gastrectomy (stomach surgery).

Important points to keep in mind:

  • Your body needs added calories and protein to help heal itself. Start slowly and gradually eat more as you are able.
  • You will start eating solid food by trying one or two foods per meal.  One of these should be a protein food (meat, cheese, eggs).
  • Add extra protein to foods by adding shredded cheese, dry milk powder, or peanut butter.
  • Eat 6-8 small meals per day.
  • Keep high-calorie snacks handy, such as cheese, peanut butter crackers, and yogurt with no added sugar.
  • Choose grain foods with white or refined flour.  Choices should have less than 2 grams (g) of fiber per serving.
  • Choose soft, well cooked foods.
  • You should not drink beverages with meals. Instead, wait 30-60 minutes after eating solid food before you have a beverage. There is no limit to the volume of fluids that may be consumed between meals.
  • Discuss any need for vitamin/mineral supplementation with your doctor.
  • Report any weight loss to your doctor.

About Dumping Syndrome

When food or fluids move too quickly through your digestive system, it’s called “dumping syndrome.” Symptoms of dumping syndrome are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Rapid pulse
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea

It’s very important to tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

Here are some tips to help avoid dumping syndrome:

  • Everyone tolerates foods differently. Avoid foods that you know cause you problems.
  • Do not drink liquids with your meal. Instead, drink liquids at least a half-hour to an hour after eating solid food.
  • Avoid simple sugars such as sweets, candy, regular soda, cakes, and cookies.
  • Avoid extremely hot or cold foods.

Post-Gastrectomy Diet

Food Categories Foods Recommended Not Recommended

Meat, Fish, Poultry, and Cheese
Serving size: 2 to 3 ounces

Count one egg or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter as 1 serving.

  • Any meat, poultry, or fish (as tolerated)
  • Peanut butter (smooth)
  • Eggs
  • Cheese and cottage cheese
  • Low fat luncheon meats such as turkey, roast beef, or chicken
  • Fried meat, poultry, or poultry
  • High fat luncheon meats such as bologna or salami
  • Hot dogs, sausage, bacon
  • Tough or chewy meats
  • Dried beans or peas
  • Nuts, chunky nut butters

Milk and Dairy
Serving size: 1 cup

Choose lactose free products or soy milk if lactose intolerant.

Do not drink milk or other beverages with meals or snacks. After eating solid foods, wait 30 to 60 minutes before having a beverage.

  • Skim milk or 1% milk
  • Yogurt without added sugar
  • Fortified soy milk without added sugar
  • Low fat, low sugar ice cream
  • Buttermilk
  • Powdered milk
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate milk
  • Other milk foods made with added sugar

Serving size: 1 slice or 1/2 cup

Choose cereals that have no added sugar.

  • White flour
  • Bread, bagels, rolls, crackers, and pasta made from white or refined flour
  • Cold or hot cereals made from white or refined flour
  • High fiber, whole grain products that have 2 grams or more of fiber per serving
Serving size: 1/2 cup cooked vegetables or 1 cup raw vegetables
  • Well cooked vegetables without seeds or skins
  • Potatoes without skins
  • Lettuce
  • Strained vegetable juice
  • All raw vegetables except lettuce
  • Any cooked vegetables served with skins or seeds
  • Beets
  • Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards, mustard, and turnip greens
  • Corn
  • Potato skins
Serving size: 1 medium piece of fresh fruit or 1/2 cup canned fruit
  • Canned fruits packed in its own juice
  • Bananas
  • Melon
  • All raw fruits except banana and melons
  • Dried fruits including prunes and raisins
  • Fruit juices
  • Canned fruit in sugar or syrup
  • Oils, butter, margarine
  • Salad dressing
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cream
  • Cream cheese


    Do not drink beverages with meals or snacks.  After eating solid foods, wait 30 to 60 minutes before having a beverage.

    • Decaffeinated coffee
    • Caffeine-free tea
    • Sugar-free soft drinks without caffeine
    • Other beverages sweetened with sugar substitute
    • Caffeinated coffee or tea
    •  Alcoholic beverages
    • Beverages made with sugar, corn syrup, or honey
    • Fruit juices and fruit drinks
    • Bouillon
    • Diet gelatin
    • Herbs and spices
    • Sugar substitutes​
    • Sugar
    • Honey, syrup
    • Sorbitol, xylitol
    • Foods that list sugar, honey, syrup, xylitol, or sorbitol as one of the first three ingredients on the food label


    Sample menu

    • 1 slice toast
    • 1 egg
    • 2 teaspoons margarine
    30-60 minutes after breakfast​
    • 8 ounces decaffeinated coffee
    • 2 ounces cheese
    • 6 saltine crackers
    • ½ cup canned pears without added sugar
    30-60 minutes after snack​​
    • 1 cup skim or 1% milk​​
    • 2 oz. hamburger
    • 1 small bun
    • ½ cup no added sugar applesauce
    30-60 minutes after Lunch​
    • 12 ounces sugar-free soda​


    • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
    • 3 graham crackers
    • 2 to 4 ounces chicken
    • 1 cup mashed potatoes
    • 1 cup green beans
    • 2 teaspoons margarine
    30-60 minutes after dinner​
    • Caffeine free tea​
    • 1/2 turkey sandwich
    30-60 minutes after snack​
    • 1 cup skim or 1% milk​


    Revised June 10, 2013​

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