Jacqui Lewis - BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine
What’s All the Fuss About Protein?
There’s a huge range of protein supplementation available in Australia;
however, it is essential to recognize that some supplements are of higher
quality than others.
For weight-loss surgery (WLS) patients, it can be very confusing if you are not sure what you’re looking for when it comes to protein supplementation
Why is protein so important?
When protein intake is not on target, the body will
break down your muscle mass to compensate.
Loss of lean body mass is inevitable for WLS patients following a very low-calorie diet. To minimize that loss, you need to meet your protein requirements with good quality proteins every day.
Carrying more muscle on your body is like putting a bigger motor in your car – it burns more fuel – and keeps your metabolism healthy.
Is there a risk of developing protein deficiency?
WLS patients, who have undergone
the bypass surgery, are often at a
higher risk of developing protein
However, all WLS patients, despite the procedure, who do not comply with the recommended dietary guidelines are at risk.
- Trouble Losing Weight
- Low Energy Level
- Mood Problem
- Wounds that are slow to heal
So which protein supps are the best?
During rapid weight-loss, when protein
supplements are the main source of
dietary protein intake, it is essential to
choose products that contain all the
essential amino acids (so that the
body can use them and make healthy
It’s also important your protein has a high digestibility score – that is - your body can use it!!
Scores of as close to 100 as possible are desired to indicate that it contains the appropriate amount of amino acids that the body needs.
Protein supplements that are made from whey, casein, soy and egg whites have a digestibility score of 100. It is important to recognize that many of these protein sources are sold as either concentrates or isolates.
Isolates tend to have a
higher concentration of
protein than concentrate
These products may be beneficial to those patients who have lactose intolerance, and have a smoother feel to them.
concentrates have a
lower concentration of
protein and higher
Vegan Protein Source
- Spinach 3g/100g
- Almonds 21g/100g
- Tahini 22g/100g
- Hazelnut 15g/100g
- Cashews 19g/100g
- Peas 5g/100g
- Tofu 15g/100g
What protein supplements should be used with consideration?
As convenient as they might be to use -
Collagen-based protein supplements are
NOT a good source of high-quality protein
and should not be used as the sole
source of protein intake in WLS
Collagen-based protein supplements do not contain all of the amino acids that the body needs.
Collagen offers a range of benefits as far as convenience, gut health, wound healing and supporting healthy skin goes; so don’t throw it out completely, just make sure you are using it as a side line, not a major part of your protein quota
After liquid and puree phase, use your collagen as a boost, but don’t rely on it as a major source of your daily protein.
Try to get your protein from food – it comes with many other nutrients as well.
Use protein supplements / meal replacements when you’ve not been able to meet your needs with food.
Protein Supplement vs Meal Replacement
A protein supplement such as our protein waters, collagen
based powders and whey protein powders are a supplement only
and are good to support you between meals – but
Meal Replacement shakes should be used if that is all you are having for a meal.
A protein supplement won’t keep you healthy if you’re not eating enough of a range of foods as well. A meal replacement has extra nutrients added that will meet your needs in the place of a meal.
BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine