Our Health Nut and Registered Dietitian, Molly Morgan, answers our customers’ most pressing health and nutrition questions and recommends her favorite products!
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Q: Later this year I’m going for a gastric bypass, and as much as I’ve learned, I still have a mountain of questions. One that I’ve been scratching my head over is this: Can I use nuts or other items to boost my protein intake? Should I avoid or focus on some rather than others? – Betsey
Answer: If you have had or are planning to have gastric bypass surgery, it is important to fully understand your food guidelines, as they can vary from person to person and from procedure to procedure. Following surgery, it is likely that it will take time to return to eating solid foods, and you will advance gradually from a pure liquid diet to pureed foods to soft foods and then to solid foods. Once you arrive at eating solid foods, there will be foods that you cannot tolerate and/or are advised to avoid all together.
Even once you are back to eating regular foods, it is often still recommended to avoid nuts and seeds. However, there are still plenty of ways that you can get protein from plant-based foods, and here are a few ideas to try!
Amaranth: Amaranth is a sweet grain that provides protein, iron, and fiber. This is a great alternative to oatmeal and works well in soups!
Spirulina: This blue-green algae is considered a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids, plus the protein is highly digestible! Spirulina contains other key vitamins and minerals, too, like calcium and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. For a protein boost, try mixing it in guacamole, or into your juice or smoothie!
Lentils: This member of the beans family provides protein. Lentils make an excellent addition to soups, or you can enjoy them on their own! The best part is that there are so many different varieties (such as red, green, or toor dal) to choose from. Try red lentils as a side dish mixed with fresh chopped vegetables and light balsamic vinaigrette dressing.