Protein is like a mantra for most patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. “Eat protein first. Eat more protein. Use a protein powder. Take protein with every meal.”
As much as it is emphasized and discussed, we realize that many of you still have questions. Questions about protein digestion, quantity, and quality, as well as ways to optimize protein intake, are all very common and are important for you to understand in relation to your long-term nutritional status. My role as a member of the Bariatric Eating team is to address those questions and support each of you in achieving your nutritional goals every day.
Why You Need Protein
Protein is one of the three major macronutrients that make up your diet (the other two being fat and carbohydrates) and is considered the building block of life. Protein is found in every cell of the body.
Protein is made up of amino acids that are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids, and the sequence in which they are arranged helps determine the role of any particular protein.
Here are 10 reasons why we all need more protein:
- Reduces appetite and hunger levels
- Increases muscle mass and strength
- Supports bone health
- Reduces cravings and desire for snacks
- Supports your metabolism and fat burning capacity
- Promotes healthy blood pressure
- Helps maintain healthy weight
- Helps keep your skin, hair, bones and nails healthy
- Helps form hormones and enzymes that help your body function
- Supports healthy immune function
Suffice to say, protein is a really important component of your daily nutrient intake. In future blog posts we’ll delve into each of these topics more deeply.