Many patients on soft food diets complain about weight loss and low energy. These symptoms are usually attributed to a diet high in carbohydrates and empty-calorie foods like potatoes, pasta, and surgery smoothies. The solution? Protein!
Here are some tips to help you find high-protein, easy-to-eat foods.
Protein will power you
Protein-rich soft foods like tuna, salmon, eggs, beans, and low-fat yogurt are nutrient-dense options. Compared to carbohydrates, these foods will energize you and keep your healing and regenerative cells in high gear during recovery from tooth extractions, dental implant surgery, gum grafts, or other dental trauma.
To estimate how much protein you eat, try keeping a food record for a couple of days. Record what you eat and drink, assign the amount of protein for each item, then add up the numbers.
The amount of protein you need will vary depending on your age, weight, and activity level. Talk to your doctor to discuss an appropriate amount for you to consume daily.
For more information on the benefits of protein, and a handy chart of protein-rich foods, visit HealthLink BC’s Quick Nutrition Check for Protein.
Energize your soft foods diet
Here are some easy and delicious ways to incorporate high-protein foods into your soft foods diet.
- Mix in some dessert or silken tofu with your yogurt or smoothie – it will blend in completely
- If you tolerate dairy products, a glass of milk provides protein plus plenty of calcium, potassium, and B12, and makes a great between-meal snack
- Snack on low-fat, plain, Greek yogurt. (Steer clear of fruit-flavoured or sweetened yogurts which can contain 16 g of sugar or more per serving. Instead, add in some puréed fruit if you prefer the sweetness.)
- Add a tin of drained, rinsed, and well-mashed beans to soups for extra texture
- Keep full between meals with cottage cheese and canned peaches
- Try tuna or salmon salad with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise
- Eggs are many people’s “go to” soft food – try them poached soft, soft boiled, or lightly scrambled