High Protein Bariatric Foods:
A World of Options


If you've had weight loss surgery and you're on the hunt for some high protein bariatric foods, you've come to the right place to learn the best whole food based options.

Sure, you might think that the only way to get your protein fix is by chomping on a big ol' hunk of beef or eating "high protein" processed, packaged snack foods...

but let me tell ya, there's a whole world of options out there.

While most foods have a little bit of protein here and there, the foods on this list are the real MVPs of the protein game.

They're not only real, food based sources of protein, they pack the most punch, so you can get the most nutrition with the least amount of chew. Which is important because...

Every bite matters more when you can't eat very much.You need to pack in the most nutrition in the smallest volume. 

So, without further adieu, here's a list of the best high protein grub:

High Protein Bariatric Foods: 

Protein Shakes (because sometimes you can't, or don't want to chew anyway!)

Greek Yogurt (it's like a protein smoothie, but thicker!)

Cottage Cheese (the curd-ier, the better)

Bean Soups (they're good for your heart...and only food on this list with fiber)

Whole Beans 

Tuna, Canned chicken, Canned salmon (when you don't feel like turning on the oven)

Eggs (they're not just for breakfast)

Fish/Seafood (sometimes you gotta get your Omega-3s)

Vegetarian Proteins (for when you're feeling guilty about eating all that fish)

Ground turkey, Ground chicken (when you're tired of looking at cows)

Chicken (because sometimes you just want a classic)


Beef (for when you're feeling nostalgic)

High Protein Bariatric Foods
Leanest Choices:


Now, I know dairy can be a little tricky, what with all the different types of fat content. So be sure to select either nonfat, low-fat, lite, reduced fat, or 2%  varieties. (Easier said: simply avoid full fat dairy):  

  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • String cheese
  • Sliced cheese
  • Shredded cheese

Beans and Lentils

Now, I know beans can get a bad rap for being high in carbs, but don't let that scare you. They're a great source of protein and quality carbs, plus they're packed with fiber.

And let's be real, who doesn't love a good bowl of black bean soup or lentil soup? 

And speaking of fiber, it's important to remember that it's only found in plant foods, so all the other high protein foods (which are animal sources of protein) don't provide any fiber at all.

And a high protein diet with no/low fiber is a quick path to constipation. You probably don't want to go there. Sooooo, make sure you're getting beans and lentils in!

  • Black
  • Black eyed peas
  • Cannellini
  • Edamame (soybeans)
  • Garbanzo


  • Great Northern
  • Kidney
  • Lentils
  • Navy
  • Pinto
  • White Beans


  • Black bean soup
  • Lentil soup
  • Split pea soup


Use "pasture raised" when possible:

  • Whole eggs
  • Egg whites (separate whole eggs or use cartons of liquid egg whites)
  • Egg substitute


Start with canned tuna or canned salmon if you don't know how to cook fish:

  • Cod
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Red snapper


  • Tilapia
  • Trout
  • Tuna, water packed
  • Salmon
  • Sardines


  • Crabs, Lobster, Scallops, Shrimp

Vegetarian Proteins

  • Tofu (organic when possible)
  • Tempeh (organic when possible)
  • Seitan


Buy Organic when possible:

  • Chicken beast, no skin
  • Turkey breast, no skin
  • Ground chicken (93/7%, 90/10%)
  • Ground turkey (93/7%, 90/10%)


  • Canadian bacon
  • Lean ham
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Center loin chop


Buy grass fed, grass finished, organic meat when possible:

  • Ground beef (93/7%, 90/10%)
  • Tenderloin
  • Roast  (rib, chuck, rump)
  • Steak (t-bone, cubed, flank, porterhouse, sirloin, round)

Deli Meats/Processed Meats (Use less often)

  • Low sodium Turkey, Ham, Roast beef
  • Jerky: Beef, Turkey, Salmon

A Bariatric Diet is High in Protein:

60-80 grams per day 

See why

High Protein Bariatric Foods:
Add in Liquid--> Mushy-->Solid

Now, when it comes to introducing high protein foods, it's best to start with protein shakes, then move on to plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, bean soup, and beans.

Then, you can start introducing tuna, canned chicken, canned salmon, eggs, fish, and vegetarian proteins. Finally, you can move on to chicken, pork, and beef.

Basically: Liquid/Mushy --> Soft --> Solid


  • Protein shakes
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Bean Soup 
  • Beans 


  • Tuna
  • Canned chicken
  • Canned salmon
  • Eggs
  • Fish 
  • Vegetarian Proteins (tofu, tempeh, seitan)


  • Chicken
  • ground turkey, ground chicken, lean ground beef
  • Pork
  • Beef

High Protein Bariatric Foods:
Stage by Stage

Here's how to progressively start adding high protein foods as you advance through the post op diet stages early on after surgery:

Clear Liquid Diet Stage

  • Bone Broth
  • Clear Protein Drinks/Protein Waters like Premier Clear, Atkins Lift, Isopure
  • Liquacel 

Full Liquid Diet Stage

Any food from previous stage plus:

  • Protein Shakes (Ready made or homemade)
  • Fairlife milk (use nonfat/skim or 2%)
  • Skim/fat free milk, low fat milk

Puree Diet Stage

Any food from previous stages plus:

  • Plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Nonfat/low-fat cottage cheese
  • Blended fat free refried beans
  • Crushed lentil soup
  • Split pea soup- blended
  • Pureed poultry or fish

High Protein Soft Food

Any food from previous stages plus:

  • Eggs: poached, scrambled, egg salad
  • Canned tuna, salmon, sardines
  • Canned chicken
  • Tofu
  • Whole beans 
  • Black bean soup
  • Lentil soup

Solid Diet

Any food from previous stages plus…

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Bison
  • Venison
  • Beef
  • Lean Ground Meats: Ground Chicken, Ground Turkey or Ground Beef  

There you have it! Over and out ;)

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