St. Luke's B.E.S.T.

What is B.E.S.T. Eating?

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Good nutrition is vital to you both before and after surgery. Eating a balanced diet and making sure you consume a range of key nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals) will help your body heal and recover after your surgery, regain your strength and energy and lower your risk of complication. Your body burns a lot of energy during and after surgery — so fuel up by increasing your calories from nutrient -packed foods. Your body also has increased protein needs for healing. So increasing the protein in your diet is important.

We recommend following a higher protein, healthy diet at least 2 weeks prior to prepare for your surgery and to help your body heal and recover faster afterwards. We have provided resources to help you plan your meals. These references include: Ideas to Boost Your Daily Protein Intake, a 2 week sample menu, and sample shopping list. You might find that you do best with adding a high protein supplement to reach the daily suggested intake. Options include Ensure® Enlive, Boost®, and Carnation Instant Breakfast®.

To help you stay on track with what you are eating, log your food either through the MyFitnessPal app or print and track using our B.E.S.T. Eating log.

It is also important to follow any dietary restrictions outlined by your physician. If your physician has instructed you to follow a specific diet or not to eat specific things, follow up with him or her before making any changes to what you currently eat.

Special Nutrition Prior to Surgery

You will be given three Ensure® Pre-Surgery drinks unless otherwise directed by your physician. Ensure® Pre-Surgery is a carbohydrate loading beverage which helps with nourishment and recovery following surgery.

Drink two (2) bottles the night before surgery and one (1) bottle two to three (2-3) hours before surgery.

What is Ensure’s pre-surgery drink and what does it do for me?

This drink is a carbohydrate-loading drink. It helps supplement important nutrients in your diet that can help prepare you for your upcoming surgery.

Research shows that carbohydrate-loading drinks can help reduce

  • Hunger, thirst and anxiety before a surgery
  • Nausea, vomiting, pain following surgery
  • Short term insulin resistance that some surgical patients experience who fast prior to surgery


Remember, you need to fuel your body with nutrient rich foods that are also high in protein. Good nutrition helps you speed healing, fight infection and recover faster.

Pre-Surgery Protein Goals:
Female: consume at least 65-82 grams of protein per day
Male: consume 87-109 grams of protein per day