Protein's Role After Weight Loss Surgery

Updated on February 28, 2017
Michelle Mollohan profile image

Michelle worked in mental health before retiring from nursing. She wants to use her knowledge to help educate and inform others.

The Importance of Protein in the Body and Diet

Protein is a component of every cell within the human body. It is used to build and repair tissues, such as when muscles tear during exercise, or following a surgical procedure. Protein is an important component in body structures including bones, cartilage, blood, and muscles. It plays a necessary role in hormone and enzyme production.

Protein is not stored within the body until a later time when it is needed. Thus, it is imperative to get an adequate oral intake of protein to meet the body's needs. After weight loss surgery, it is more important than ever to consume adequate amounts in order to avoid symptoms related to deficiency.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Our body produces 13 amino acids, yet there are 9 essential amino acids which we do not naturally produce. Protein sources consumed should be varied to ensure that all of the essential amino acids are incorporated into the diet (see the table below for examples of protein sources).

Protein Intake Poll

Do you feel that you consume an adequate amount of protein in your diet?

See results

Protein Sources

Meat Sources
Dairy/Eggs
Nuts/Nut butters
Soy
Powder Supplements
Beef
Milk
Almonds
Soybeans (edamame)
Whey/Whey Isolate
Poultry
Cheese
Brazil Nuts
Soy milk
Casein
Fish
Yogurt
Cashews
Soy flour
Pea
Venison
Cottage Cheese
Hazelnuts
Tempeh (meat substitute)
Egg
Pork
Eggs
 
 
Brown Rice
This is just a small sampling of the many protein sources to choose from.

Soy Poll

Have you ever tried soy based proteins?

See results

Protein Needs After Weight Loss Surgery

After weight loss surgery, the body needs protein to promote wound healing. Weight loss procedures reduce the amount of food intake, making protein the most important nutrient to consume. Without adequate protein intake, unwanted effects can occur. These include:

  • malnutrition/anemia
  • muscle loss
  • decreased sex drive
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • thinning hair and brittle nails

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, most patients who have undergone bariatric surgery need 60-80 grams of protein daily. This amount can vary and is determined by the surgeon/physician. The human body cannot absorb more than 30 grams of protein at a time, so this must be broken up into multiple meals throughout the day. Protein shakes are often used as a supplement to ensure adequate protein with minimal calories is consumed.

Protein Shake

Protein Shake Poll

Have you ever tried a protein shake?

See results

Protein Supplementation with Powders

Protein powders are a popular way to ensure adequate protein intake without incurring excess calorie and fat intake. There are several protein sources that the powders are sourced from, which are described below.

  • Whey Protein comes from milk. It also contains lactose, which can cause issues for those with lactose intolerance (a common development after weight loss surgery).
  • Whey Protein Isolate is processed to remove the lactose for easier digestion. It is one of the most commonly used powder supplements with bariatric patients.
  • Casein is also derived from milk. It forms a gel when interacting with stomach acid, thus slowing digestion to maintain satiety.
  • Egg protein powder is typically made from egg whites only. It contains all 9 essential amino acids. Since the yolks are not used, it may not promote fullness as long as other powders.
  • Pea powder is made from the yellow split pea. It contains 8 of the essential amino acids. While relatively new and needing more research, it may help reduce blood pressure. Since it is plantbased, it is a great options for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Brown rice powder also contains all 9 amino acids, although it is relatively new to the powder market so there is not much research regarding its satiety factor.

Preventing Boredom in Daily Protein Consumption

Focusing largely on getting enough protein in the diet can get pretty boring after a while. This can make it hard to stay on track with weight loss goals. Varying the protein sources one eats is a good start to preventing boredom. Adding spices, sauces or gravies can give new life to some old favorites. Researching new recipes online is another great way to expand your protein options and maintain your interest.

Protein shakes can be made with a variety of ingredients to change their flavor. Adding frozen fruit increases the fiber and water content while providing different flavor options. Fresh spinach adds nutrients without altering the taste. If consuming a shake in place of a meal, yogurt can be added to make it creamier and more filling. Greek yogurt has more protein than traditional yogurt.

© 2017 Michelle Mollohan

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://caloriebee.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)