Importance of Protein Post Bariatric Surgery

Importance of Protein Post Bariatric Surgery

Alex Brecher

Protein is an essential nutrient for everyone, and it is even more important after bariatric surgery. Without enough of it, weight loss can stall, infections can rise, and you may not feel as healthy. Though it can be hard to get enough protein after bariatric surgery, the BariatricPal Store has Protein Shakes and Powders that can help you boost your intake without worry.

Why Protein Is Important After Bariatric Surgery

Everyone needs protein from their diets to get enough protein in their bodies. Protein is part of your muscles, heart, bones, blood vessels, and other structures in your body. Your immune system is made up of proteins that fight infections. You need protein for digestion and metabolism. Proteins are part of every reaction in your body.

Protein takes on even more importance for weight loss surgery patients. These are some reasons why protein supports weight loss and health after bariatric surgery.*

  • It is a slow nutrient to digest, so it can help you feel full for longer and help you eat less overall.
  • It is needed for wound healing, which is part of the recovery process after bariatric surgery procedures.
  • It supports the maintenance of lean muscle mass, which is a metabolically active tissue that burns calories at rest, and helps improve your resting metabolism and daily calorie expenditure.

Despite this, protein deficiency is relatively common after bariatric surgery, and many bariatric surgery patients lose muscle mass in the months following their procedures.  

Daily Protein Needs After Bariatric Surgery

Many surgeons and nutritionists recommend that bariatric surgery patients get at least 60 to 65 grams of protein per day after bariatric surgery. For someone on a 1,200-calorie diet, which may be the goal for weight loss surgery patients, that is about 25% of total calories from protein.

In comparison, the average American gets 10 to 25% of calories from protein. On a 2,000-calorie diet, that equates to 50 to 125 grams of protein per day. Where is it coming from?

Everyday Sources of Protein

Protein is in many familiar foods, such as the following.

  • Chicken, turkey, beef, and pork.
  • Fish, such as tuna, salmon, and trout, and shellfish, such as shrimp and oysters.
  • Eggs and egg whites.
  • Cheese, cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt.

You can even get protein from plant-based foods. Some of the best sources are split peas, lentils, and beans of all types, such as black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, and pinto beans. Soybeans and soy products, such as tofu and veggie burgers, have protein. So do nuts, seeds, and peanuts. Whole grains and vegetables have a bit of protein, too.

Some people also use protein supplements, such as Protein Bars and Protein Shakes and Powders. However, these can be high in sugar. Sometimes, they simply taste bad. But BariatricPal Protein Shakes and Powders are designed for bariatric surgery diets.

Challenges to Getting Enough Protein After Bariatric Surgery

If protein is in a lot of common foods, and most Americans get plenty of it, why are many bariatric surgery patients low in protein? Here are some possible explanations.

  • Absorption
  • Getting full
  • High-sugar sources
  • Caught without protein at meal or snack time (potato chips, )

Protein Shakes to Meet Your Goals After Bariatric Surgery

Protein Shakes and Powders can help you meet your protein goals after bariatric surgery. The BariatricPal Store has many low-sugar, low-carb shakes that are high in protein and specifically designed for bariatric surgery patients. 

These shakes are convenient, which allows you to have protein at the ready whenever and wherever you need it. You can choose these types of shakes.

  • Ready-to-Drink, so you just open the container and drink it.
  • Ready-to-Shake, with powder in a bottle. Just add liquid, such as water or milk, close the bottle, shake it, and consume it.
  • Protein Powders, in tubs or single-serve packets. Mix the powder with water or a favorite beverage, and it is ready for you!

The BariatricPal Store has shakes in all flavors and types. You never need to get bored, and you can always find a flavor that matches your mood! These are some examples.

Most Protein Shakes have 12 to 25 grams of protein, and they are low in carbs. Some are even fortified with vitamins and minerals for extra nutrition.

More Strategies for Getting Enough Protein

These are some more tips for getting enough protein.

  • Keep protein with you, such as having a single-serve packet of powder in your purse or pocket, or keeping a tub on your counter.
  • Eat protein first at meals so you consume it before you get full.
  • Include some protein at each meal and snack to make sure you get in enough throughout the day.
  • Make it delicious and vary it so you are always looking forward to your protein. Protein Shakes come in such a wide variety of flavors that there is no need to get bored.
  • Use Shakes and Powders if protein foods make you feel too full before you get enough protein at a single meal or snack.

Protein is a critical nutrient after weight loss surgery for health and weight loss,* but it can be hard to get enough. The BariatricPal Store has a wide variety of Protein Shakes and Powders to help you meet your needs wherever you are and whatever your tastes may be. Give them a try and see how good it can taste and feel to get enough protein!

*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. BariatricPal products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.

Importance of protein post op