Can I eat bread, rice, and pasta on my Lap-Band diet plan?

by Janet
(Austin, Texas)

I'm confused as to whether a Lap-Band diet allows bread, rice, and pasta. I keep reading conflicting information. What's the right answer?



I understand why you're confused! Many bariatric surgeons tell their patients to avoid bread, rice, and pasta simply because these starchy foods are notorious for being "fattening."

White flour foods such as these tend to be high in calories and provide little nutritional value. Certainly including too many of these foods in your diet on a regular basis will slow down your weight loss and do little to improve your nutritional well being.

However, their whole grain counterparts...whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta...can be worked into your Lap-Band® diet...in small amounts...if you tolerate them.

Let's examine that last statement a little closer:

Small amounts

The Lap-Band® Food Pyramid allows up to 4 servings per day from the Starch/Grain food group!

Good choices include:

  • Whole wheat bread (1 slice)

  • Brown rice (1/3 cup)

  • Whole wheat couscous (1/3 cup)

  • Quinoa (1/3 cup)

  • Whole hulled barley (1/3 cup)

  • Whole wheat pasta (1/3 cup)

  • Oatmeal (1/2 cup)

  • Whole wheat pita (1/2)

  • Whole wheat tortilla (1 small or 1/2 of 1 large)

  • Whole grain crackers (6-10)

As long as you stick to the recommended serving size, it's ok to include 1 serving at every meal and even 1 serving as part of a snack...

...If you tolerate them.

Unfortunately, there is some trial and error involved in the Lap-Band® diet. You'll have to try small amounts of foods from the Starch/Grain group to know if you're one of the ones who can tolerate them or not.

Starchy foods may feel like they get "stuck" or feel like they have trouble going down, but you don't necessarily have to write them off until you try them.

To Improve Tolerability

  • Try toasted bread

  • Use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas

  • Take small bites

  • Eat slowly

  • Chew thoroughly

Comments for Can I eat bread, rice, and pasta on my Lap-Band diet plan?

Click here to add your own comments

1 Year Post Lap-Band Surgery: Still Can't Eat Bread...
by: Anonymous

I have been banded for 1 year now, I am still unable to eat any bread, pasta, soft tortilla of any kind. I have found that I can eat croutons and some crackers (whole wheat are the best for me). I also have spaghetti squash for my "noodle" with sauce and ground turkey. My family loves it.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Dietitian.