Understanding the Role of Protein in Weight Loss
Protein is an important part of every diet. Proteins are considered to be "building blocks" as they are responsible for the growth and repair of tissue in the body. For people who have had the lap band surgery for weight loss, protein becomes more important and should be included daily. Because you will only be able to eat a small quantity of food (~1/2 cup) then you must be sure to consume adequate protein in your diet.
Proteins are complex organic compounds and broken down in either essential or nonessential amino acids. Our bodies require about 20 amino acids for the synthesis of its proteins. Our bodies make some amino acids, but there are 9 amino acids we must obtain through food sources.
Meat and other animal products, like eggs and milk, are sources of complete proteins. Other foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables have either incomplete, low protein or lack one of the essential amino acids. These foods are considered incomplete proteins. Incomplete proteins can be combined to make a complete protein. Combinations include rice and beans, milk and wheat cereal, and corn and beans.
It is recommended that people with lap bands consume adequate protein every day to prevent side effects associated with low protein intake - which include, but are not limited to, hair loss and poor wound healing. The amount of protein people need to consume varies with age, sex, current weight, and medical conditions. For people with lap bands, the recommendation is to consume at least 40 grams of protein per day. The Recommend Daily Allowance (RDA) is 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women.
Here are some examples of appropriate food choices:
Plant-Based Sources and Protein Content (g)
Tofu, firm (A� cup) 10
Soymilk, plain (8 oz.) 10
Kidney beans, cooked (A� cup) 8
Pinto beans, cooked (A� cup) 7
Lima beans, cooked (A� cup) 5
Rice, brown (1 cup) 4.5
Pasta, cooked (1 cup) 6.5
Animal-Based Sources Protein Content (g)
Chicken, boneless, cooked (3 oz.) 27
Turkey, roasted (3 oz.) 25
Ground Turkey, cooked (3 oz.) 23
Ground Beef, lean, cooked (3 oz.) 24
Beef Sirloin, cooked (3 oz.) 24
It is strongly encouraged that an individual monitors and records their daily protein intake to ensure proper nutrition and that they are meeting their dietary needs.