Best Sources of Protein for Weight Loss Surgery Patients

NutritionBest Sources of Protein for Weight Loss Surgery Patients

Patients who have gastric sleeve surgery need to emphasize protein intake above any other food sources. Protein needs range from a minimum of 60g/day during the early post-surgical days to about 100g /day at a year from surgery. How can you know you are taking enough?

Immediately post-surgery, patients need to include protein as their primary food source. Of course, under a liquid diet the most important sources are Bariatric protein shakes (we recommend, and dairy. On the other hand, some patients experience lactose intolerance after surgery, so it is best to avoid dairy, yogurt may be ok though. After the post-op the protein intake should be increased slowly up to about 100g, depending on exercise and tolerance.

Here is a list of some of the best protein sources to make your it easier to count your protein intake:

Protein sourceProtein per ServingServing size
Bariatric protein shake. More than 25g of protein per serving may lead to diarrhea, more is not always better. Choose high quality protein shakes designed for bariatric needs.22gScoop / serving
Meat (chicken, fish, turkey). Choose lean!7g1 oz
Seafood (shrimp, lobster, scallops)8g1 oz
Tofu2g1 oz
Cheese. Choose low fat (most cheese are high in sodium and cholesterol)6g1 oz
Yogurt. Best if it is plain, Greek style, with no sugar & no fruit added.1g1 oz
Soy milk. If you must, I´d prefer to avoid soy..87g1 oz
2%, 1% or skim milk. I also avoid milk. For protein purposes milk substitutes (almond, coconut, Hemp) are not the best option, but are healthier.1g1 oz
Green leafy vegetables. A green juice may be a good idea, just make sure to limit the fruit to 1 piece (too much sugar!).5g1 cup
Beans4g¼ cup
Nuts, peanut or other nuts butter, and seeds (Chia, Hemp, Flaxseed, Pumpkin, Sunflower, etc). They have fat too. Do not graze on this, you´ll add up calories very fast!5g1 oz (1 tbsp)


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