Tips and suggestions for eating protein after a bariatric procedure or surgery

Mar 9, 2020 | Tara Schmidt, RDN, LD | @taraschmidt

Eggs, fish, beans and protein powder

Written by Stephen W. De Boer, RDN, LD, Mayo Clinic Registered Dietitian 

Protein is an important nutrient for everyone. It is needed to maintain and repair your body’s muscle, organs and tissue. This is especially important after surgery. Yet, the reduce stomach capacity and taste changes that happen after bariatric surgery make it challenging for many patients to consume enough protein. If you do not consume enough, you can lose more muscle and less fat during weight loss.


Protein guidelines

After surgery, you should plan to:

  • Consume 60-80 grams of protein each day
  • Have protein-rich food at every meal
  • Eat your protein-rich food before consuming foods in your meal
  • Blend or grind foods until you can tolerate regular diet

Protein sources after surgery

Below are examples of foods and liquids that are rich in protein. You should choose the foods that are allowed for the stage of the diet you are following.

  • Beans, peas, lentils
  • Cheese (low-fat preferred)
  • Cottage cheese (low-fat preferred)
  • Eggs, egg substitutes
  • High-protein, low-carbohydrate drinks
  • Meat, fish, poultry without the skin
  • No-sugar-added “lite” or light yogurt (Greek version contains more protein)
  • No-sugar-added soy milk
  • Skim or 1% milk
  • Soy foods (edamame, soy nuts, tofu, vegetable burger)

Tip for boosting protein consumption

To get more protein, add dry milk powder, low-carbohydrate protein powder or powdered peanut butter to milk products, casseroles, mashed potatoes, meat loaf, cereal, soup or pudding.

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