JFK Bariatric
The Bariatric Wellness and Surgical Institute at JFK Medical Center is dedicated to helping patients achieve their weight loss goals.

How Does Obesity Impact Your Heart Health?

Tens of millions of Americans are overweight or obese—conditions that are major risk factors of heart disease. Dietary improvements and physical activity are essential in the fight against both obesity and heart disease, but these lifestyle changes don’t work for everyone. If you’re having trouble losing weight and your BMI indicates obesity, you might consider having weight loss surgery. The bariatric surgeons at The JFK Bariatric & Wellness Institute will consider your weight-related medical conditions, such as heart disease, when determining whether you might be a good candidate for gastric surgery.


People with obesity are at a high risk of having abnormal cholesterol levels. Obesity is linked to undesirably high levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the type that is bad for your cardiovascular health. Obesity is also associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is actually good for your blood vessels, because it helps remove the LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, people with obesity are more likely to have high triglyceride levels, which increase the risk of heart disease.

Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is the force the blood exerts against the walls of the arteries. People who are carrying around some extra pounds are more likely to have high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension is known as a “silent killer” because it can inflict damage on the cardiovascular system for years without causing any symptoms. If left untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attacks and heart failure.


Type 2 diabetes is closely associated with obesity. This chronic disease can have life-threatening complications. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack.

Is gastric band, gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy right for you? If you live near Atlantis, discuss weight loss surgery options with a doctor at The JFK Bariatric & Wellness Institute. Visit our website to read more about our Bariatric Program or call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) for more information or to receive a physician referral.

Heart Healthy Smoothie of the Month: Green Smoothie

As you recover from bariatric surgery, you’ll gradually transition from a liquid diet to soft foods and then solids. Experimenting with different smoothie recipes can help keep you from dietary boredom, while you’re on a liquid diet. They are also a great way to increase your intake of veggies, fruit and protein after bariatric surgery. However, be mindful of the sugar content of your smoothies, since most smoothies are based on fruit. This green smoothie recipe from the American Heart Association keeps the sugar content down by adding two different vegetables.


  • 1 green apple, unpeeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach, washed
  • 1/4 of a large cucumber, peeled and chunked
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chunked
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup low-fat milk or milk substitute
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 cup ice cubes


Add all the prepared ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse on high until the ingredients are well-blended. Once the smoothie reaches your desired consistency, turn off the blender and pour the mixture into six glasses.

Nutrition Information

Each serving of this delicious green smoothie contains a mere 53 calories. There is no trans-fat or saturated fat, and the total fat is 0.5 grams. Each smoothie contains two grams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium and 11 grams of carbohydrates. Each serving also contains nine grams of sugar, two grams of fiber and two grams of protein.

Preparation Tips

You can wash and slice these ingredients ahead of time, and store them in the refrigerator. After a workout, simply add the prepared ingredients to your blender for a quick, healthy snack.

When you become a patient of The JFK Bariatric & Wellness Institute, you’ll have access to all of the support and nutritional counseling you need to achieve your health transformation. If you’re considering having bariatric surgery and you live in the Atlantis area. For more information or to request a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit us online at www.JFKMC.com.

Heart Healthy Recipe: Hot and Sour Soup

If you’re craving Chinese food, you can satisfy your taste buds without resorting to take-out food. Traditional hot and sour soup is relatively low in calories, but it does contain a lot of sodium. After weight loss surgery, it’s important to watch your sodium intake. Eating too much sodium can lead to water retention and it has a negative effect on your heart health. This lightened-up hot and sour soup recipe from the American Heart Association is a healthier alternative.


  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tbsp. water
  • ½ cup sliced bok choy or green cabbage
  • ½ cup mushrooms (shiitake with stems removed or cloud ear)
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 oz. firm, light tofu, sliced into short strips
  • ½ c. vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  • ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil


  • Add the broth to a stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cornstarch to a small cereal bowl and stir in the water. Set aside.
  • To the broth, add the soy sauce, ginger, cabbage or bok choy, mushrooms, and scallions. When the mixture comes back to a boil, add the cornstarch. Cook for one to two minutes.
  • Add the vinegar, pepper, and tofu, and reduce the heat to bring the soup to a simmer.
  • While constantly and gently stirring the soup, slowly add the egg substitute a little at a time. Remove the stockpot from the heat. Add the sesame oil.

Nutritional Information

This recipe makes six servings, and each contain just 47 calories, zero fat and 104 milligrams of sodium—much less sodium than you’d find in traditional hot and sour soup recipes. Each serving also contains three grams of protein, one gram of fiber and six grams of carbohydrates. Serve with a crunchy salad to complete a light meal and increase your fiber intake.

When you’re ready to reclaim your wellness, our Bariatric Surgeons in Atlantis are here to help! The JFK Bariatric & Wellness Institute is a leading provider of Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Resection, Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass), Revisional Bariatric Surgery and Gastric Banding. For more information or to request a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit us online at www.JFKMC.com.

Beginning an Active Routine after Bariatric Surgery

Many people who have bariatric surgery do so because they want to manage weight-related medical conditions like heart disease. However, it should be noted that gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy are not substitutes for smart lifestyle changes like regular physical activity. Your surgeon will counsel you about exercising before and after your procedure.

Consulting Your Doctor

Exercise is a crucial step in managing heart disease and reaching a healthy weight. When you work out your muscles during an aerobic exercise program, you also strengthen your heart muscle. Plus, physical activity is an excellent way to control blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. However, people with heart disease need to take precautions before starting a new exercise program or changing an existing one. Your doctor may ask you to do a stress test. This simple, non-invasive test will help your doctor to customize exercise recommendations that are safe for you.

Starting a Workout Routine

Once you’ve cleared your new workout program with your doctor, it’s best to start slowly. If it’s very hot outside, exercise in an air conditioned building. When you do exercise outdoors, do so in the early morning or evening hours. Many patients with heart disease and those who are recovering from bariatric surgery begin working out with a walking routine. With your doctor’s clearance, gradually increase the intensity and length of your workouts. Drink plenty of water during and after your workout and take brief rests before you overexert yourself.

Staying Alert to Heart Trouble

If you experience any unusual symptoms, stop exercising. Signs of heart trouble may include dizziness, chest pain, nausea, irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath if they do not correspond to your level of exertion. Your doctor can let you know how to handle heart symptoms that develop during exercise. You may need to keep fast-acting medications with you when you are working out, for example. You should also always keep your fully charged cellphone with you during your workouts, just in case you need to call 9-1-1.

At The JFK Bariatric Institute, you’ll find a patient-centered approach to care. Our bariatric surgeons in Atlantis connect patients to the wellness resources and support services they need to take control of their heart health. For more information or to request a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit us online at www.JFKMC.com.

Healthy Smoothie of the Month

After undergoing bariatric surgery, patients can expect to stick to a liquid diet for a period of time. Even after transitioning to solid foods, patients may still use low-calorie smoothies to meet their protein requirements and increase their intake of fresh vegetables. Consider trying this Power Gold Smoothie, which was developed by Fruits & Veggies-More Matters.


  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice, no sugar added
  • 1 cup orange juice, no sugar added
  • 2 1/4 cups grated carrots
  • 3 to 4 ice cubes


  • Add the grated carrots to a blender and pulse on high until the carrots are well-pulverized.
  • With the blender on, drizzle in several tablespoons of pineapple juice. Continue to blend until the mixture is a smooth puree.
  • Slowly add in the rest of the pineapple juice, all of the orange juice, and the honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.
  • Add the ice cubes and pulse on high until smooth. Stop the blender.
  • Spoon in the yogurt, replace the lid, and blend until smooth.
  • Divide into four chilled glasses.

Nutritional Information and Tips

When divided into four portions, each smoothie contains just 143 calories. Each smoothie also has three grams of protein, two grams of dietary fiber, 32 grams of carbohydrate, 75 milligrams of sodium, and negligible amounts of fat. This nutritious blend is a good source of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. To further improve the nutritional profile of this beverage, consider replacing the yogurt with an equal amount of silky smooth tofu. If you try this, consider adding one-half teaspoon of imitation vanilla extract to adjust for the differences in taste.

Undergoing weight loss surgery in Atlantis requires a great deal of preparation. When you become a bariatric surgery patient at The JFK Bariatric Institute, you’ll receive access to all of the resources and information you need to successfully navigate the pre-operative and post-operative periods. You can request a referral to a gastric band surgery specialist by calling our Consult-A-Nurse line at (561) 548-4JFK (4535).

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