Burger King & Bariatric Surgery

Note: Whether you’ve had bariatric surgery or not, you’ll likely visit a fast-food or fast-casual restaurant at some point. With our rushed and busy lives, fast food may cross our minds. Often, we can get something to hold us over without destroying the diet, but it’s important to choose right. Speak to your bariatric practice and dietician for guidance…do not rely on this guide alone.

Is Burger King a good option after weight loss surgery, or should it be avoided? Places like Burger King can be a convenient way to keep up our energy and stay fed – if you choose the right options.

As almost everyone knows, fast food isn’t the healthiest option. However, our busy lives often lead us to the drive-thru window. In fact, the average American eats fast food 1-3 times per week! The most common reason? Convenience! The average wait for a fast-food meal is around 5 minutes, while cooking can take anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours (and that doesn’t include prep time or selecting a recipe). Sounds tempting.

There’s a reason we try not to eat it too often. Eating these foods regularly can contribute to weight gain and chronic disease. Eating a fast-food meal twice a week can double your risk for heart disease and diabetes. This is because fast food is disproportionately high in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar; it also contains a higher overall calorie count compared to a meal cooked at home.

Besides containing too much “bad” stuff, fast food doesn’t contain many “good” nutrients – vitamins, minerals, lean protein, and fiber. Not only are the portions often larger than typically recommended, but most fast-food meals don’t contain fruits or vegetables. Therefore, we shouldn’t rely on fast food as a frequent choice.

So, what if I need to eat fast food? There are better options at Burger King if you want a ‘healthified’ version. The main things to consider—especially after getting bariatric surgery—are protein, sugar, and overall portion sizes.

Below are some of the better choices at Burger King:

  • Whopper Jr (no cheese or mayo) – This option has 290 calories and 15 grams of protein.
  • Chicken nuggets (8 piece) – Contains 340 calories and 16 grams of protein – similar to the Whopper Jr.
  • Applesauce – This side contains only 50 calories and is relatively low in sugar, making it a good option for dessert or a side to either of the above meals for some extra vitamins/minerals.

Unfortunately, Burger King’s healthy options are limited. They don’t offer salads or fruit/vegetable sides. As such, other fast-food restaurants, such as Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, or Subway, may be better options for a healthy fast-food meal.

That said, after bariatric surgery, the goal is to eat more protein and micronutrients at meals; cooking at home is the best way!

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