Protein for Good Health
Proteins have a number of important actions. They are vehicles for the bodily functions of metabolism, digestion, and replication of DNA. They provide amino acids, which are a nutritional requirement of the body to produce its own proteins and a variety of nitrogen-based molecules. They frame the structure for cells such as hair, skin, and nails. They help the body to combat infection by strengthening the immune system.
Protein and Weight Loss
Protein is vital in the bariatric diet. A bariatric diet high in protein will help you lose more weight and burn fat instead of muscle. One of the common short-term post-operative complications of bariatric surgery is protein malnutrition caused by inadequate protein intake.
Daily protein requirements for bariatric patients range from 80-120mg. The best sources of protein will be from real foods like red meat, fish, fowl, nuts, and dairy products. Often times, bariatric patients will turn to protein shakes and protein bars to supplement their high nutritional requirement for protein.
Protein Bars: Good and Bad
Most protein bars are candy bars disguised in a compelling wrapper and a premium price point. Many are laden with sugar and artificial ingredients, are high in carbohydrates, and don’t provide the best nutritional bang for your buck. Let’s cut through the marketing hype and get down to nutritional facts. Which protein bars are best for the bariatric diet?
Choosing a Protein Bar
While it is always best to make your own protein bar recipe and control the ingredients, doing so is not always feasible. When buying a protein bar off the shelf, look for a short list of ingredients to ensure your bar is minimally-processed and as close to real food as possible. Also look for bars with 14-20g of protein and low carbohydrates and sugar.
Making Protein Bars Recipe
Here’s my recipe for OMG Almond Joy Protein Bar that’s “to-die-for.” They’re really, really GOOD - much better tasting and so much cheaper than the protein bars you buy off-the-shelf. Plus, they’re packed with protein and low in carbs by a 2:1 ratio. Go easy on these as they are high in fat.
Buying Protein Bars
The Pure Protein Bar has a high protein to carbohydrate ratio with 32g protein and 17g carbs, 4g of sugar, and a balanced ratio of macronutrients. They’re also soy, dairy, and gluten-free. Unless you are an athlete, your body won’t be able to absorb more than 25g of protein. So, cut the bar in half. It makes a great metabolic snack fueling your metabolism with 16g protein and less than 100 calories. This is the best protein bar for bariatric diets that I have found on the market - even better than protein bars that are specially-formulated for bariatric patients.
Have you found a commercially available protein bar or a recipe to make your own protein bar that you would add to this list?
If you enjoyed this sharepost, you might also like my recipes for "Fruity Protein Shakes, Orange Creamsicle and Pina Colada" and "Coffee Protein Shake Recipes."
Pure Protein Bars http://www.pureprotein.net/category/BARS accessed 10-24-12
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Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.