Protein Is Vital After Weight Loss Surgery

Protein Is Vital After Weight Loss SurgeryAfter your bariatric surgery with Gulf Coast Bariatrics in Fort Myers, your dietary needs will change. This is because your stomach holds less food after surgery. Because you are eating less, it becomes extremely important to make sure that your nutritional needs are met, particularly your need for protein.

Why Protein Is Important

Your body needs protein to heal after surgery and to carry on everyday physiological processes. Your body cannot store protein to be used later; it needs to be consumed regularly to ensure health. Without adequate protein intake, your body will resort to breaking down muscles. While some loss of muscle is inevitable for those who have undergone weight loss surgery, you can reduce it by consuming enough high-quality protein.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Patients who do not follow their doctors’ recommendations after surgery are at risk for a protein nutritional deficiency. After gastric band or vertical sleeve surgery, you should aim to consumer 60 to 80 grams of protein each day. If you have duodenal switch surgery, your protein intake should be around 90 grams per day. Your doctor may have additional recommendations for your specific dietary needs.

Getting Enough Protein Every Day

In the first few days after surgery, you will only be able to tolerate liquids and pureed foods. To get enough protein during the two- to four-week period of soft foods, choose high-protein items that blend well. Good options include cottage cheese, yogurt, lean ground meat, refried beans and fish.

Foods like lean beef, fish, egg whites and chicken breasts are all good sources of protein once you are able to eat regular foods. Avoid or limit foods that can cause discomfort, such as tough or gristly meat and fried or breaded foods.

Many people find protein supplements helpful while they are adjusting to their post-surgery diet. There are many protein supplement powders and shakes available in local markets, health food stores and online. Protein isolate powders, such as whey protein drink mixes, have most of the lactose, fat and minerals removed. These powders mix well and have a cleaner taste, making them a more attractive option to those who wish to supplement.

While protein supplements are valuable, especially at the beginning, you will gradually want to increase your protein intake in food.  Pursue a healthy and varied diet to get more pleasure out of the foods you eat while getting complete nutrition.

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