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Eating a Healthy Diet

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Once your appetite has returned and your stoma output is normalising you can gradually reintroduce more foods. Include a range of foods from each of the following food groups to make sure you have a balanced diet:

  • Protein rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, lentils and beans
  • Protein and calcium rich dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • Starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, pasta
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Fat -if you are underweight fat is an important source of energy. Include olive oil in cooking, butter in mashed potatoes and full cream milk in drinks and milk puddings. By including oily fish in the diet at least twice a week you can also ensure an adequate intake of Omega-3 essential fatty acids. If you are overweight you should limit your fat intake

Keep to current recommended limits for alcohol consumption (no more than 1-2 units per day for women and 2-3 units for men) as too much alcohol may make stoma bag changes difficult and can lead to dehydration. Beers and fizzy drinks may also cause problems with diarrhoea and wind.

Watching what you eat

In the early days of managing your stoma you may be embarrassed by certain sounds, smells and the amount or consistency of your stoma output. Over time and as your gut settles down you will learn which foods cause changes in your stool consistency, excessive gas or odour or which pass through the gut completely unaltered. There is no need to eliminate these foods but you may choose to limit their intake or restrict them to times when you will not be socialising. Some foods can also change the colour of your stoma bag contents, in the case of beetroot this can be alarming as it can be mistaken for bleeding if unaware.

Other nutritional advice sections available:-

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