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Chicken Breast or Chicken Thighs: Which is Better for Bariatric Patients?

Chicken Breast or Chicken Thighs: Which is Better for Bariatric Patients?

Chicken breast has been the “go to” protein of choice for those trying to cut calories and lose weight. It’s full of protein, and when you buy them skinless they are quite low in fat. This combination of high protein, low fat, and low calories has been the recommendation of doctors and dietitians to promote weight loss.

Chicken breast has been the “go to” protein of choice for those trying to cut calories and lose weight. It’s full of protein, and when you buy them skinless they are quite low in fat. This combination of high protein, low fat, and low calories has been the recommendation of doctors and dietitians to promote weight loss.

After gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band surgery, many patients think that chicken breasts should continue to be their protein of choice to promote weight loss. But, many bariatric patients are surprised to find out that they don’t tolerate chicken breasts easily after their surgery. Bariatric patients often report that chicken breasts are too dry and can make them gag.

Enter the chicken thigh. Chicken thighs are naturally moister than chicken breasts. It’s the moistness of the chicken thigh that makes them more easily tolerated by gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients. The higher fat content is generally what makes chicken thighs moister than chicken breasts.

Unfortunately for weight loss efforts, chicken thighs have more calories and more fat. In a 3 ounce serving, skinless chicken breast has 140 calories and 3 grams of fat. A three ounce portion of chicken thigh has 170 calories and 3 grams of fat. Switching over to chicken thighs will add some extra calories, but can make your protein a lot easier to swallow.

As bariatric patients get farther along in their post bariatric surgery diet and as time goes on, they may be able to tolerate drier food better, including chicken breasts. Each weight loss surgery patients is different, and each person’s body handles the surgery and diet progression differently. Go with what your body is telling you.

The above is offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in laparoscopic, robotic, and weight loss surgery. Dr. Shillingford performs gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band surgery at one of South Florida’s few hospitals designated as a Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Some of his patients come from local areas, such as Miami and Boca Raton, but his reputation and surgical skills also attract patients from as far away as Orlando, Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Naples. His weight loss surgery patients are often looking for tips for making the best of their post bariatric surgery diet.

American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Realize Obesity Help American Medical Association Obesity Medicine UNIVERSITY of MICHIGAN Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin