Diet and Lifestyle Gastric Sleeve Post-op

Alternatives to Sweet Protein Drinks After Gastric Sleeve

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Question by a post-op gastric sleeve patient –  I am tired of sweet protein drinks. What can I have instead?

Our bariatric nutritionist answers:

It is common for individuals to either have an aversion to sweets after surgery or get tired of the same protein drink flavors. Reading labels and avoiding artificial sweeteners may help in alleviating some of those sweet aversions. Some examples of artificial sweeteners are Saccharin, Sucralose, Acesulfame potassium, Aspartame, Neotame, and Stevia. Other sweeteners like sugar alcohols can cause physical intolerances such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Examples of artificial sweeteners are Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol, and Erythritol. One product that I really like is called UNJURY®. Along with traditional protein powder flavors like chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, they also have a chicken soup and an unflavored version, both of which are generally well-tolerated by patients.

Instead of trying to use a scoop of protein powder in a drink, try adding a small amount to different foods that you consume through out the day. This typically works best with vanilla and unflavored protein powders. Add a couple teaspoons or a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder to hot cereal, yogurt, pudding, or smoothies. Unflavored protein powders are great additives to stir into cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, soup/stews, and casseroles.

If you are looking to avoid commercial protein drinks and powders, here are some other suggestions.

Making your own protein drink or smoothie with plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. Use fruit as a great natural sweetener or creamy peanut butter for a less sweet and more savory flavor. Fruit gives you additional vitamins, minerals and fiber, while the peanut or nut butter can have additional protein, fiber, vitamins/minerals and heart healthy fats as well.

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