Kidney beans, 1 cup…13
Veggie burger (varies somewhat by brand)…13
Tofu, 4 oz…11
Peanut butter, 2 tbsp…8
Almonds, ¼ cup…8
Soy milk, 1 cup…7
Soy yogurt, 6 oz…6
Spinach, cooked, 1 cup…5
Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup…4
- Substitute veggie broth for chicken broth. You can even add unflavored protein powder to your broth (if your plan allows it) to boost the protein. See below for guidance on protein powders.
- Skip the Jell-O – it’s made from the hooves of horses and cows!
- Use soy milk instead of skim milk in protein shakes.
- Use a soy protein powder instead of one made with whey, which is a milk product.
- Substitute soy yogurt for regular yogurt.
- Puree things like beans, tofu and vegetarian chili.
- Whey isolate and whey concentrate are both types of milk protein. Whey isolate is what is most often recommended for weight loss surgery patients, but there are other good choices, too.
- Soy isolate is not found in as many protein supplements, but it’s a good choice for vegetarians and vegans. Make sure you read all the ingredients because even if a supplement contains soy isolate, it might also contain some animal ingredients.
- Rice protein, pea protein and hemp protein powders are likely to be labeled as vegetarian or vegan protein supplements. These are not as good a choice as whey or soy isolate because they don’t have all the amino acids we need. If you use one of these, I suggest mixing it with soy milk instead of water because then you get more amino acids.
- Collagen is a form of protein found in those little “protein shots” or “bullets” that promise large amounts of protein in just a few ounces of liquid. The collagen comes from boiling the skin and hooves of horses, cows and pigs, so it’s not a vegetarian form of protein. It’s also missing some important amino acids so it’s not absorbed well at all.
- You can get enough protein as a post-op without eating meat.
- Because non-meat food sources have less protein per ounce than meat food sources, you have to be careful to put protein first in every meal. There isn’t a lot of room for non-protein foods, especially at first.
- Many foods including beans, tofu and even vegetables like broccoli contain protein.
- You might have to educate your surgeon or dietician about a vegetarian or vegan diet.
- There are many vegetarian alternatives to suit each post-op eating stage (clear liquids, full liquids, purees, etc.)
- All post-ops should take vitamins. Vegans need to take a B12 supplement, even if they have not had weight loss surgery.