Non-Meat Protein Sources

Adequate protein intake is essential for everyone, but we focus on this a lot for bariatric surgery patients. The reason we focus so much on this is because protein is found in every cell in your body and it is used to build, repair and maintain bones, muscles, skin, nails and hair. Protein is not stored in the body the same way that fats and carbohydrates are, so we need to consume protein every day in order to get what we need. On average, women need to get 50 grams of protein per day and men need to get 65 grams of protein per day. This can be very challenging with the portion limitations you have after bariatric surgery. To add to this, sometimes patients do not like meats or are vegetarian. While this can make getting enough protein in your diet more of a challenge, it is not impossible.

 

What happens if you don’t like chicken, turkey and fish and it’s too soon after surgery for you to try red meat? This doesn’t leave you with many options in the “meat department,” so how are you going to be able to get your protein? It definitely requires more planning, but you can get enough protein from other sources.  Besides your traditional meat sources, protein can be found in eggs, low-fat and fat-free milk, fat-free yogurt (especially Greek yogurt), low-fat cheese, beans, tofu, and peanut butter, just to name a few.

 

There are also products out there with added proteins to help you meet your needs, such as protein shakes, protein bars and protein waters. While we encourage protein shakes and protein water immediately after surgery to help you meet your needs while you are unable to get your protein from solid foods, these should not be continued long-term. After the first month or two, you should stop drinking protein shakes because they provide you with calories, but typically leave you feeling hungry. Many people end up consuming more calories overall because they are hungry shortly after drinking the shake, leading to slower weight loss. After the first month or two after surgery, you should be able to get enough protein from solid food sources. Protein bars can be used occasionally for a meal replacement but you need to choose your protein bar carefully as some of them contain a lot of fat and sugar. You want to make sure it will be a nutritious meal replacement, rather than similar to a candy bar. Try to stick to a protein bar that contains 200 calories or less and at least 15 grams of protein.

 

So how much of these non-meat protein sources do I have to eat in order to get my protein for the day? To help you out, here are some approximations of how much protein is in certain foods:

 

1 large egg = 6 g protein

1 slice of cheese = 7 g protein

6 oz. yogurt = 5 g protein

6 oz. Greek yogurt = 14 g protein

4 oz. Cottage Cheese = 14 g protein

1 cup skim milk = 8 g protein

½ cup tofu = 8-10 g protein

½ cup beans = 7 g protein

2 Tbsp. peanut butter = 8 g protein

 

By incorporating small amounts of these foods with each meal, you should be able to reach your protein goals. If you’re struggling to get the amount of protein you need, contact your dietitian for some suggestions on how you can reach your protein goals.

Daily Protein Intake Distribution Across Meals

Just as important as consuming high-quality lean protein is the time of day when it’s consumed. The typical American dietary pattern is a consumption of about three times more protein at dinner than at breakfast. Most Americans don’t eat an adequate amount of protein in the morning, which may cause decreased performance, hunger, and poor eating habits throughout the day.

Several studies have suggested that this pattern may not be the most beneficial. Instead, evenly distributing protein intake throughout the day has been found to be optimal. A recent study showed that muscle protein synthesis was 25% higher over a 24-hour period when the same quantity of protein was evenly distributed across breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For most individuals there are several advantages of consuming a moderate amount of high-quality protein three times a day, like better satiety, blood glucose control, muscle growth and repair. Maintaining muscle mass is important for overall health, especially in older individuals. Research shows that proper protein distribution also may help prevent age-related sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass with age.  Research suggests a protein distribution of 25 g to 30 g of protein per meal throughout the day.

Tips for evenly distribute protein throughout your day:

• Add a few high-quality proteins to the breakfast meal. Greek yogurt, eggs, milk and nut butters are all good choices.

• Watch total energy intake. If adding protein to breakfast, consider reducing something else (balance and moderation, right?) such as sources of simple carbohydrates with low nutrient density (sugary cereals, donuts etc.).

• Try to moderate the amount of protein consumed at dinner. A 3-4 oz serving of beef, fish and chicken (about the size of an iPhone or a deck of cards) contains approximately 20-30 g of protein. Plant proteins can be a good source too (quinoa, beans, nuts). Mix it up and try a variety of different protein sources.

Protein-Rich Snacks

Resources:

todaysdietitian.com

Fulgoni VL 3rd. Current protein intake in America: analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2004. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(5):1554S-1557S.

Mammerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL, et al. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-hour muscle protein synthesis in healthy adults. J Nutr. 2014;144(6):876-880.

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Hummus

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14.5-oz) cans canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 Tablespoons tahini

  • 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 5 cloves garlic, roasted

  • 4 Tablespoons cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

  • ¼ cup low-sodium roasted tomatoes, drained

  • 1 Tablespoon plain protein powder

Preparation:

  1. In a food processor fitted with a chopping blade, combine garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, black pepper, Greek yogurt, tomatoes, and protein powder for 2 minutes or until smooth.

  2. Serve with sliced vegetables or chips.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: 96 calories, 12 g carbohydrate, 7 g sugars, 7 g protein, 3 g fat, 2 g fiber

Recipe from “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well after Weight Loss Surgery”

Protein Power!

We talk a lot about how important protein is for bariatric patients, but don’t always discuss the reasons why it is essential. Protein is found in every living cell in your body and it is used to build, repair and maintain bones, muscles, skin, nails and hair. Protein is not stored in the body the same way that fats and carbohydrates are. In order to get enough protein to prevent loss of muscle mass, bone, hair, or overall health deterioration, women need to get 50 at least grams of protein per day and men need to get at least 65 grams of protein per day.

Protein can be found in many foods. Some of the best sources for bariatric patients are chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, tofu, and peanut butter. There are also products out there with added proteins to help you meet your needs, such as protein shakes, protein bars and protein waters. While we encourage protein shakes and protein water immediately after surgery to help you meet your needs while you are unable to get your protein from solid foods, these should not be continued long-term. After the first month or two, you should wean yourself off the shakes because they provide you with calories, but typically leave you feeling hungry. Many people end up consuming more calories overall because they are hungry shortly after drinking the shake, leading to slower weight loss. After the first month or two after surgery, you should be able to get adequate protein from solid food sources. Protein bars can be used occasionally for a meal replacement, but be careful as some of the protein bars contain a lot of fat and sugar, and therefore sometimes are more like a candy bar than a nutritious meal.

To get enough protein takes some planning, but most importantly is that you plan to get protein with each meal every day and always eat your high protein foods first. To help you out, here are some approximations of how much protein is in certain foods:

1 oz. meat, fish, poultry = 7 g protein

1 large egg = 6 g protein

1 slice of cheese = 7 g protein

6 oz. yogurt = 5 g protein

6 oz. Greek yogurt = 14 g protein

1 cup skim milk = 8 g protein

½ cup tofu = 8-10 g protein

½ cup beans = 7 g protein

2 Tbsp. peanut butter = 8 g protein

 

To get at least 50 grams of protein every day, you could eat 2 scrambled eggs (12 g protein) with breakfast, 3 ounces of chicken with lunch (21 grams of protein), and 3 ounces of fish with dinner(21 grams). Another option would be to drink two cups of skim milk throughout the day (16 grams of protein total), ½ cup of beans and one ounce of turkey with lunch (14 grams of protein), and 3 ounces of tilapia with dinner (21 grams of protein).

Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dietaryproteins.html

Hot Protein Drinks

And it is winter time! The snow is falling outside. Warm up around the fireplace with delicious, but nutritious hot drinks sounds like a pretty good idea! Here is a tutorial on how to make hot protein drinks.

First, let’s make something clear. You may be thinking “Once protein powder is heated above 130 degrees it is no good for me”. This is not true! Let me use a protein analogy to explain why this is not true. Protein powder and eggs act a lot alike. A raw egg is a very absorbable form of protein. So then you cook it and the structure of the protein changes, but it’s still a protein that your body can use. The same happens with protein powders. I know it is not just about being able to absorb the protein that is in your drink. But also enjoy a lump-free delicious warm beverage. So check this out …

  1. DO NOT SIMPLY ADD BOILING WATER TO A SCOOP OF PROTEIN POWDER. This will make you have piping hot protein drinks.

  2. Put water in a teapot so it can boil up quickly. Then get your favorite coffee mug and put in a scoop of Protein Supplement and whatever dry flavor additives you like (Splenda, Stevia, unsweetened cocoa, instant coffee, etc.). The important thing to remember here is to stir those ingredients thoroughly.

                                   

  1. Add just enough skim milk to form a thick paste that resembles pudding before it is totally set. Then spend about a minute stirring it to remove ALL the lumps. This is important. If there are lumps in your paste, they will form rubbery floaties in your hot drink. You don’t want that. So stir! When done, it looks something like this.

                                              

  1. By this time, your water is boiling. With on hand pour the hot water into the cup SLOWLY. With your other hand continuously stir the mixture. Do this until your mug is full. It should look something like this.

Source: bariatricfoodie.com

Healthy Summer BBQs

Grilling FoodsSummer is in full swing and backyard barbecues are a popular activity this time of year. Unfortunately, these gatherings are often full of high-fat, high-sugar and high-calorie options, like hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, alcohol and desserts. Consuming these types of foods and beverages can really put a halt on your weight loss progress. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make healthier barbeques that you can fully participate in and enjoy with the rest of your family and friends without falling off the wagon, so to speak.

Greasy hamburgers, brats or hot dogs are not only high in fat and calories, but they also may not agree with your stomach after having bariatric surgery.  Instead, try grilling a leaner protein source, such as fish or chicken. Salmon, tuna, and grouper are all great grilling options and provide you with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Veggie burgers, turkey burgers or Portobello mushroom burgers are also wonderful options. To make these high protein items extra delicious and ensure that they are nice and tender when they come off the grill, try marinating them ahead of time.

For sides, a fruit or vegetable kabob on the grill is a delicious and nutritious option. Try onions, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms for a vegetable kabob. Peaches, nectarines, pineapples, strawberries and melons are all great options for a fruit kabob. You can experiment with any fruits or vegetables that you enjoy eating. You may even make the kabobs your entire meal if you put some lean protein on the skewer along with your fruits and vegetables.

If you prefer to not grill your fruits, pick several of your favorite fruits, chop them up and mix them together in a simple fruit salad – no dressing or sweeteners needed. In moderation, tortilla chips with fresh guacamole and salsa can be a good option. For a different flavor, try a homemade fruit salsa or raw vegetables with hummus. If you’re having a salad, aim to use low-fat or fat-free dressings and use them sparingly. Leave off the croutons, bacon bits, cheese and other high calorie toppings. Prepare beans without bacon or brown sugar and instead season them with tomatoes, jalapenos and other spices.

For a sweet treat, wash some berries and top them with a light whipped cream or make a sugar-free low-fat ice cream. Other options are fat-free, no-sugar-added frozen yogurt, a sugar-free Popsicle or sugar-free snow cone.

Go light on drinks by offering ice water with lemon, orange, mint or cucumber slices in it. This makes the water even more refreshing on a hot summer day. Make fresh squeezed lemonade, sweetened with Splenda (or other artificial sweetener) or some refreshing unsweetened iced tea. Avoid alcoholic beverages as these contain empty calories that can quickly ruin your weight loss efforts. Alcohol can sometimes wreak the most havoc on weight loss efforts at these barbeques, so your best bet is to “just say no.”

Barbeques can be a fun gathering of friends and family, but don’t forget about the dietary “rules” that go along with bariatric surgery. Get your lean protein in first, be mindful of your portions, chew your foods thoroughly, stop drinking 30 minutes before your meal and don’t drink until at least 30 minutes after your meal. Follow these rules during your BBQ and you’ll have a healthy meal while enjoying your company and the warm weather!

Tilapia Veracruz

tilapia-veracruz-ck-xIngredients:

  • 4 (4-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups pre-chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ounces pimiento-stuffed green olives, halved (about 20)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced

Directions:

1. Sprinkle fish evenly with pepper and salt. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned on one side. Remove fish from pan.

2. Add onion, oregano, garlic, and bell pepper to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in tomato and remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer.

3. Arrange fish on top of tomato mixture, browned sides up. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 211 Calories, 7.2 g Total Fat, 1.2 g Saturated Fat, 4.1 g Monounsaturated Fat, 1.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat, 57 mg Cholesterol, 532 mg Sodium, 14 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Fiber, 25 g Protein.

Recipe from www.myrecipes.com.

Herb & Onion Frittata

Herb & Onion FrittataIngredients:

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons farmer’s cheese, or reduced-fat ricotta

Directions:

  1. Bring onion and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the onion is slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the water has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle in oil and stir until coated. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  2. Pour in egg substitute, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the egg is starting to set, about 20 seconds. Continue cooking, lifting the edges so the uncooked egg will flow underneath, until mostly set, about 30 seconds more.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper over the frittata. Spoon cheese on top. Lift up an edge of the frittata and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon water under it. Cover and cook until the egg is completely set and the cheese is hot, about 2 minutes. Slide the frittata out of the pan using the spatula and serve.

Recipe makes 1 serving.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 264 Calories, 12 g Fat, 3 g Saturated Fat, 5 g Monounsaturated Fat, 11 mg Cholesterol, 642 mg Sodium, 16 g Carbohydrates, 0 g Added Sugars, 3 g Fiber, 22 g Protein.

Recipe from www.eatingwell.com.

Shrimp Kebabs with Curry-Coconut Glaze

Shrimp Kebabs with Curry-Coconut Glaze from EatingWellIngredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Thai red, green or yellow curry paste
  • 1 cup “lite” coconut milk (see Tip, below)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 raw shrimp (16-20 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 8 cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Directions:

  1. Position oven rack 3 to 4 inches from the broiler; preheat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Heat curry paste in a small saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, honey and fish sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer 1/4 cup of the sauce to a large bowl (reserve remaining sauce for dipping). Stir in oil, lime juice, pepper and salt. Add shrimp, mushrooms and scallions; stir to combine. Thread shrimp, mushrooms and scallions onto eight 10- to 12-inch skewers and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Broil until the shrimp are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with the reserved sauce.

Recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 216 Calories, 8 g Total Fat, 4 g Saturated Fat, 2 g Monounsaturated Fat, 183 mg Cholesterol, 566 mg Sodium, 12 g Carbohydrates, 4 g Added Sugars, 1 g Fiber, 26 g Protein.

Recipe from www.eatingwell.com.

Black Bean, Corn and Shrimp Salad

Black Bean, corn and shrimp salad from MyrecipsIngredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
  • 3/4 cup bottled salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add shrimp; toss to coat.
  3. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp; sauté 3 minutes or until done. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice. Remove shrimp from pan. Add corn to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in salsa, cilantro, and beans; cook 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated. Stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice.
  4. Serve shrimp over bean mixture.

Recipe makes 8 weight loss surgery-friendly servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 177 Calories, 2.4 g Fat, 0.3 g Saturated Fat, 0.3 g Monounsaturated Fat, 1.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat, 130 mg Cholesterol, 414 mg Sodium, 17.5 g Carbohydrates, 4.5 g Fiber, 21.7 g Protein.

Recipe from http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/black-bean-corn-shrimp-salad.

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