The Gastric Band & Protein
When you have had a gastric band placed there is no need to increase your protein intake however the recommended daily amounts still apply. This is 55g per day for an adult woman but the requirements are higher for those who engage in a lot of exercise. Often band patients neglect to eat protein as it requires more chewing and is more difficult to eat.
Once you resume eating normally after having your gastric band it is a good idea to eat your source of protein first. It may be more challenging to eat and will require more chewing than other food types. It is important that you really do chew your food well before swallowing, as this helps the digestive process. As you chew saliva is produced and saliva contains digestive enzymes that start to break down the food into smaller components that the body can absorb and use.
You do not need to drink a protein shake routinely just because you have a gastric band. These may be useful if you are on the go a lot and find it difficult to eat healthily. However a word of caution, some contain large amounts of sugar and these should be avoided. It is far better to eat real protein foods, focussing on the low fat plant proteins with some lean cuts of meat and fish. Avoid creamy or buttery sauces while trying to lose weight post-surgery as they are very high in calories.
The PVC Rule!
Eat the PROTEIN on your plate first.
Next eat the VITAMINS and minerals found in your vegetables or salad.
Lastly eat the CARBOHYDRATE content of your meal.
Why Protein Is Important
Protein is essential for the growth and repair of all the body’s cells, we cannot survive without it. It’s a good idea to eat a little bit of protein with every meal every day. Protein helps us to feel full for longer and stabilises blood sugars. Keeping blood sugars stable throughout the day is key to weight control, because if blood sugars are fluctuating all over the place we are more likely to crave sugary high calorie foods and therefore make poor food choices.
More About Protein
There are two types of protein- complete and incomplete. This classification refers to how many amino acids the protein contains. Amino acids are the building blocks of life. To keep it simple: animal products like milk, eggs, cheese, meat and fish are all complete proteins. They contain all eight essential amino acids. The only exception to this rule is food made from soy protein (such as tofu), this is also a complete protein.
Plant foods like grains (wheat, oats, barley and rye), lentils, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds are called incomplete proteins because on their own they do not contain all the essential amino acids. However, in combination they do. Therefore if you are vegetarian, or eating very little meat or fish, it is important to understand how to combine your proteins to make sure you are getting all the amino acids your body needs.
For example: peanut butter on toast =a complete protein; lentils and rice = a complete protein.
Animal proteins like meat and dairy products are much higher in saturated fat than plant based proteins. These should be eaten in small amounts and not every day Also think about portion size, a portion of cheese need be no bigger than a small box of matches. A portion of meat needs to be no bigger than a pack of playing cards. Butter is fine to eat but should be spread thinly.
To summarise after having a gastric band be aware of your protein intake and stick to the Eight Golden Rules!