Don't get stuck! Try these swaps

Story Highlights

  • Some foods have more potential than others to cause issues
  • Trouble foods for a Gastric Band usually feature soft, doughy breads that can lodge in your pouch
  • Try the below to help avoid this common issue

Although foods agree (or disagree) with each person differently, some have more potential for causing trouble on the way down. Think - pizza, sandwiches, morning toast, pasta. But you may not need to give up on them.

Trouble foods for a Gastric Band usually feature soft, doughy breads, and slippery noodles that can lodge in your pouch. The good news - you may be able to keep these tricky foods on the menu if you follow a few easy strategies and make some simple switches.

Wrap it up

Instead of bread, try a whole-grain tortilla or a wrap which are smaller in size (6 - 8 inches). Whole-grain, high-fiber types are best - so make sure you read the package carefully. You’ll find wraps at the deli counter and in the bread section of the supermarket. Be sure to check the fiber content on the Nutrition Facts label on the back of the package - look for a type with at least three grams of fiber per wrap.

Roll your sandwich in something green

Skip bread entirely and try wrapping sandwich fillings like deli meats, low-fat cheeses, or chicken or tuna salad made with low-fat mayonnaise in lettuce leaves. Choose a type of lettuce with broad, flexible leaves - iceberg, romaine, and red leaf lettuce all work well. Some restaurants and delis will even serve your sandwich or burger wrapped in lettuce instead of on bread or in a bun if you ask.

Love pizza? Go crispy

Don’t give up the taste or the experience - just be sure the crust is thin and crispy instead of soft and doughy, order thin-crust pizza, or make your own using a tortilla or small wrap that you’ve toasted until it’s very crisp. Then put your toppings on it and heat to melt the cheese.

Ready for bread at breakfast? Make it high-fiber—and toast it

Higher-fiber breads, which are often also lower in carbohydrates, are less likely to get stuck provided you take small bites and chew slowly and thoroughly. Toasting is important too, because it removes moisture from the bread so it’s less likely to form a mushy, soft ball. 

Hungry for pasta? Choose a big, hearty noodle

Instead of spaghetti, fettuccine, or angel hair, go with wider noodles such as ziti or fusilli, as it’s easier to grip and chew a bigger noodle.

Of course, for all of these types of foods, stick with serving sizes recommended by your doctor and nutritionist as calories can add up quickly.

Be sure to consult with your doctor about your nutrition plan.


Professor John B Dixon


Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute

Contents of article are author’s own views and experience. Comments on this article should be made directly to author.

For more information, you can contact Professor John Dixon on