By Alicia Olsen, RD CDN
Protein plays an important role in our bodies, especially for bariatric patients. It is essential for muscle building, cell repair, and an important part of weight loss. You should include protein at every meal to keep yourself feeling full and satisfied until the next meal.
Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, milk, yogurt, nuts, and seeds. Choose leaner and lower fat protein items, including reduced fat or fat free dairy products, beans and peas, poultry, fish, and leaner cuts of meat. Read on for some tips to add more protein to your meals:
- Stock up on easy to prepare or ready-to-go protein items including fat free yogurt, reduced fat string cheese, nuts, seeds, and hard-boiled eggs. They can be easily incorporated into the diet when there is no time to prepare a meal.
- When you have extra time, try cooking protein foods in bulk to prepare for the week ahead.
- Add beans or peas to soups, salads, and stews for added protein.
- Try a new recipe at supper time. Look for recipes that include leaner, high protein items.
- Swap out rice and pasta for quinoa, its higher in protein and fiber.
- Try using reduced-fat cottage cheese or fat free Greek yogurt in place of mayo and sour cream in dips and other dishes. Not only is it lower in fat but will add some protein as well.
- Silken tofu (a softer, not firm tofu) can be added to sauces, soups, dips, and even desserts to add extra protein without affecting much of the taste.
- Spread some hummus on your sandwiches, vegetables, and meats for a tasty, protein-packed addition.