Health Care

The Importance of Protein After Bariatric Surgery

A Woman Scoops Protein Powder from a Container in Her Kitchen.

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When it comes to your health, it’s empowering to know you have the option to take control. Change can be a good thing if it means taking a step toward your healthiest, happiest self. And if you’ve taken a step in that direction with bariatric surgery, you’re on the right track.

There are some non-negotiables for life after weight loss surgery in order to stay healthy and keep the weight off. One of the most vital long-term commitments is to eat a nutritious diet with smaller portions. And including enough protein in your diet is going to be important from here on out. We’re here to let you know why a high protein intake is so crucial in a post-bariatric surgery diet and how to incorporate enough protein into your daily life.

Good Protein Sources

Protein is important for healing after surgery, maintaining muscle, preventing hair loss and preventing hunger between meals. Aim for three ounces per meal, or about the size of a deck of cards. Try to choose protein options that are high in protein and low in fat.

Here are some healthy protein sources:

  • Lean meats like ground sirloin, sirloin steak and ground bison
  • Poultry, which includes chicken, turkey, ground turkey and Cornish hen
  • Deli meats like lean roast beef, turkey and chicken
  • Fish such as salmon, tuna, cod, halibut, flounder and tilapia
  • Vegetarian proteins such as eggs, tofu and plant protein

Pro(tein) Tips

Each meal should include three ounces of protein.

  • Meals should be at least 75% high protein foods
  • Eat high protein foods first in order to ensure you have enough room in your pouch
  • Protein drinks or bars may be needed between meals to achieve your protein goal

How to sneak more protein into your dishes:

  • Use skim milk in place of water when cooking or add it to soups
  • Add nonfat dry milk powder or protein powder to skim milk, meatloaf, casseroles, sauces, milk-based soups, sugar-free pudding and low-sugar yogurt
  • Top soups, vegetables and meats with low-fat cheese
  • Mix low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese into casseroles and egg dishes
  • Use no-sugar-added, fat-free yogurt with fruits or gelatin dishes; use plain yogurt to moisten casseroles and pureed meats
  • Add eggs to salads, dressings, vegetables, casseroles and pureed meats and vegetables
  • Add tofu to casseroles, soups and vegetable dishes or blend into a fruit smoothie

World-Class Bariatric Care in Central Florida

If you’re considering weight loss surgery or have already had it, we can answer your questions and help you find the support and expertise you need so you can live your best life.

Learn more about our bariatrics program and world-class multidisciplinary team here.

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