Importance of a Low Sodium Diet before and after Surgery
Every surgeon is going to recommend that patients lower their sodium intake both before and after a plastic surgery procedure. While this may seem like a difficult rule to follow, it is actually vital in ensuring that the body can heal properly, and that the body’s system is prepared for the trauma of the surgery. Of course, some patients may not know how to cut sodium out of their diets. Here are a few suggestions for cutting down salt intake and preparing for surgery.
Stay Away from Processed Foods
At least a month before the surgery and a month afterwards, when the body is being prepared and then healing from the surgery, try to avoid processed food as much as possible. This can be difficult, as many of the foods that people commonly eat in their everyday lives is processed, from bread, to cheese, to meat. All of these foods are packed with sodium, not only for flavor, but also to preserve them as they sit on the shelves. This may require a significant change in the patient’s diet, but opting for organic, natural foods, over the more common processed alternatives can really cut back on a person’s salt intake.
Stay Away from Anything Pre-Packaged
Like processed foods, anything prepackaged is likely not only to be very high in calories and chemicals, but also in salt. If a patient relies on these prepackaged, microwaveable dinners to save time, opt instead for making a large amount of one healthy meal, and then freezing or refrigerating the leftovers to eat throughout the week. It is also possible to revert to quick and healthy meals like salads or sandwiches, which can be made entirely from scratch, with lower sodium content.
What to Eat Instead
As a patient plans for the new low sodium diet, it can seem very limiting. All junk food will likely be off the table, and many people perceive low salt foods to be less flavorful. This does not have to be true, however. Soup, for example, can be great during recovery, and because it is easy to make in large batches, and can be flavorful without adding salt, it may be just what the doctor ordered.
If the patient is not willing to give up salt and junk food entirely, he or she should opt instead for the low sodium varieties of favorite snacks. Chips, nuts, crackers, and even soups all come in the low sodium variety. Though they are still thoroughly processed, they can help maintain a low salt diet.
Lastly, patients should be sure to get plenty of fruit and vegetables. Swapping a healthy snack like carrots for a salty snack like potato chips can greatly cut salt out of the diet and provide the body with the nutrients it needs to heal after a plastic surgery.
To schedule a plastic surgery consultation, and learn more about how to cut your daily sodium intake, contact Jefferson Plastic Surgery today. The surgeons at the practice will be happy to advise you throughout the surgical process.