bariatric weight loss surgery and the importance of protein

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Diet: The Importance of Protein

Protein is the second most abundant substance in the human body after water. Our body is composed of thousands of proteins, but since amino acids are not stored in the body, we need to consume sufficient protein each day to meet the daily optimum protein requirements. Protein in the diet helps speed healing of wounds, minimize loss of hair, increase body’s metabolism and keep the body fit by repairing and rebuilding the damaged cells.

Weight loss surgery puts severe stress on physical and psychological condition of patients, so it is vital to include enough protein in their diet to accelerate the recovery period and heal the body of wounds and surgery. But, it is not easy to consume sufficient protein alone from foods during the initial months after surgery. Therefore, most bariatric surgery patients incorporate liquid protein supplements in their diet like soups, protein drinks and shakes to fulfill the need of recommended protein diet.

What are the Benefits of Protein to the Bariatric Surgery Patients?
High-protein diet is important for maximum weight loss and recovery after surgery. Here are some of the most important benefits of protein for the overall health of the body:

Protein assists in early wound healing after weight loss surgery. Protein helps in enhanced growth of nails, bone and hair. Hormones, antibodies and enzymes are formed from proteins. Protein promotes healthier weight loss by burning fat instead of muscles. Protein diet help lose weight faster since it boosts body’s natural metabolism, thus burning more fat.

Proteins make you feel fuller for a longer time after meals as compared to foods that are high in fats and carbohydrates. Protein promotes recovery of tissues, helps build your lean muscle tissue, is a powerful source of energy and strengthens body’s immune system. It also regulates enzymes and hormones for the proper functioning of the body. Deficiency in protein may make you prone to infections and might cause muscle or hair loss.

How Protein Helps Bariatric Surgery Patients?
Bariatric surgery helps you lose excess weight by making your stomach pouch smaller. This in turns allows you to have only small portions of food at one time. So, it is important that every morsel you consume should be filled with health and nutrition. You just can’t chew anything that comes your way, as that would deprive you of healthy vitamins, proteins and minerals. You have to choose your food wisely to give the best to your health.

Proteins should be the integral part of bariatric surgery patient’s diet since surgery can be very traumatic for obese people. This is mainly because obese people simultaneously suffer from number of health conditions including diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases along being overweight. Sufficient protein in the diet will help wounds heal quickly and help control cravings between meals.

Do You Know How Much Protein is needed by Bariatric Surgery Patient?
Protein is the major part of all the cells of our body including muscles and bones. As there are myriad benefits of proteins, it is necessary to take the right amount of protein for the proper functioning of the body. Just after surgery, your body will need high doses of proteins for promoting wound healing.

The best way to know your nutritional needs after surgery is to have the consultation of the qualified nutritionist or dietitians. Your nutritionist will be your best source of advice in establishing your diet plan according to the type of your surgery, health conditions and requirements. The nutritionist will also make you aware of the foods that are highest in protein and best for your health.

Your nutritionist may help you calculate how much protein and type of protein would be needed for your overall healthy and daily diet. Protein is mainly obtained from plants and animals. Animal proteins are considered complete since they have all essential amino acids. Plant proteins usually lack one or more types of essential amino acids, except soy proteins. However, animal proteins are high in calories and fat and plant proteins tend to have lower units of calories as well as fats.

Approximately, the requirement of protein after surgery is usually 60 to 100 grams per day, and this number gradually drops as you recover and lose enough weight after surgery. Remember, this also depends on the type of surgery you have undergone. So, it would be better to work in conjunction with your surgeon and nutritionist to help you design a healthy diet plan.

What Studies Indicate
Participants in the study published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that the required high-protein diet after bariatric surgery along with exercise plans help lose weight without causing any deficiency in body and reduce blood fat levels. Intake of a high-protein diet allows better control of appetites and calorie intakes in bariatric surgery patients.

The Best Protein Sources
High protein diets should be the primary diet of bariatric surgery patients and therefore should be taken first before carbohydrates and fats. You may supplement small amounts of fats and carbohydrates in your diet. Some of the healthy carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits and whole grains can be included in the diet. Healthy fats in your diet can be oils, olives, fish nuts, seeds and avocado. Choose proteins that are rich in nutrients and low in calories and fats like soy, meats, beans, seafood and low-fat milk.

Whatever be the source of protein you choose for your meals, ensure that you are getting enough nutrients and you are able to take recommended amount of proteins daily. So, enjoy your high-proteins diet after bariatric surgery and make your recovery period easier and comfortable.

If you are ready to consider your weight loss surgery options, one of our knowledgable care facilitators at Ready4aChange will be happy to answer any questions you may have.