Dense protein

on 4/6/11 6:39 pm

I was just thinking about the term "dense protein". I've seen it referred to many times and it occurred to me that I can' think of a protein I wouldn't consider dense which makes me wonder if I really understood the term. I decided to look it up and share what I learned because I may not be alone.

Here's what I found:

"When you think of protein-rich foods, you probably think first of meats, fish and poultry. Other foods are rich in protein as well, however. Many plant-based foods have lots of protein, as well as dairy products and eggs. Understanding the different types of protein-dense foods and how you can effectively incorporate them into your diet are essential to healthy eating.

Protein-dense foods come in two forms--complete proteins and incomplete proteins, says the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC. Complete proteins contain all the amino acids, while incomplete proteins contain fewer than the nine amino acids the body can't manufacture. Complete proteins are most commonly found in animal-derived foods, while incomplete proteins come from plant sources. Both types of protein are essential to your body's tissue repair and formation, as well as oxygen delivery via the bloodstream, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

All red meat, poultry, fish, beans and peas are protein-rich foods, according to Eggs, nuts and seeds are also good sources of protein. You can get complete proteins from eating meat, fish, eggs and dairy products such as milk, cheeses or yogurt, notes UMMC. Incomplete proteins come from beans, nuts, peas, grains, seeds and certain other vegetables, as these foods aren't as protein-dense as meats. In fact, soybeans are the only plant-based food that is ri*****omplete protein."

Read more: /#ixzz1Ip7nn4L8

I always thought of meats, fish, and eggs as primary sources of dense protein and milk products, beans, nuts, and seeds as secondary sources of protein. Milk products it seems are primary. I was surprised that grains, soybeans, and peas are considered sources of protein. As I head toward surgery and start having to track my protein intake this is good information to know.

on 4/6/11 8:07 pm, edited 4/6/11 8:14 pm

Interesting catch !

Here is my interpretation....... And I could be wrong.....It has happened several times before (cough cough)

- Protein Dense....... would mean a food that has a certain amount of protein in it's contents.

- Dense Protein ......would mean a food that is dense in texture that contains protein.

Dense Protein as commonly refereed to here and in regards to VSG eating is most times connected with digestion of said food.

An example is Chicken is a dense protein cause it is harder to digest than a soft protein such as an egg yet both are protein dense. Same with Steak vs. a soft fish.

A harder to digest dense protein for most people tends to stay in your sleeve longer and you feel satisfied longer. The opposite would be a food that would be termed a "Slider" food. A food.....protein or carb that has the ability to not stay in your sleeve very long.
A protein shake for instance is protein dense, but will go right through your sleeve..... same with yogurt and other like foods. 

The way I understand it works is as follows.......
It it recommended to eat protein first.... a dense protein preferably. A hard to digest food such as chicken will cause the pyloric valve to close down to the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen. When the pyloric valve is open it is the diameter of a dime to a nickel.
So once your pyloric valve closes for pre digestion that food is stopped in your sleeve and you can only ingest the amount of food your sleeve is capable of holding.

Now there are other non protein foods that can do a similar thing..... Hard to digest foods like Broccoli stalk, celery, cucumber skin are just a few examples. I'm sure there are sleevers out there that have found other foods that can do the same thing.

I hope this helps..... I think it answers your question.


SW 338lbs. GW 175lbs. Goal in 11 months. CW 148lbs. WL 190lbs.

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on 4/6/11 11:43 pm
frisco - thank you SO much for all of that I am just starting to eat these foods, this helps to really explain what's happening in my sleeve!
My journey: w/ March 2011 Sleevers List
"Sleeve Santa Sleeve!"
HW: 309 ~ PreOpW: 306 ~ SW: 293 ~ CW: 184  
George B.
on 4/6/11 11:52 pm - Miami, FL

I could not have explained it better.

There is a difference between protein dense foods and dense protein. When my weight loss slowed at 6 months post-op I realized most of my protein was from soft sources like dairy, yogurt, beans. I changed to dense protein, mainly tender beef, and saw my weight loss resume. All the reasons you listed allpied to me, the dense protein kept me full longer and with less food.

Though beans and nuts have a fair amount of protein they can act like a slider food for the sleeve. Also, the high carb count may put you over the recommended carb intake, for my programs this is less than 40 grams of carbs per day.


karen K.
on 4/7/11 12:00 am - NY
VSG on 11/05/07 with
Thank you for the explanation Frisco.  I am so greatful for this website.  I strayed for sometime and got back to bad habits but now I feel like I am back on track again and still able to learn something from you guys everyday :)
starting weight  225/  lowest weight 129/ goal weight 135

on 4/6/11 9:40 pm - Durango, CO
VSG on 06/08/10 with
Frisco provided the perfect response. It's true that we must consider protein-dense foods but we also lose best when we eat dense protein (ie: hard to digest protein) as it stays with us longer which makes it easier to lose weight because we don't get as hungry as often. Dairy products tend to go right through me - I find I'm hungry soon after eating dairy so its not the best option for me. Aside from greek yogurt, dairy does not have a lot of protein unless of course you eat alot of it which can defeat your weight loss.

Bichon Mom2 Oval Sticker

on 4/6/11 10:59 pm
Thank you frisco. Thank you snowbaby. What you are saying makes sense and clears up my confusion.
on 4/7/11 1:10 am - TX
I can absolutely confirm that dense protein works best! I have been losing very slowly for a couple of months. I was getting PLENTY of protein, liquids, and a proper number of calories. I was, however, eating a lot of less dense proteins (chicken taco soup, chili, etc.). Switched my eating habits last week (to dense proteins - grilled chicken breast instead of deli turkey, for example) - and lost 4 pounds last week - 1.8 already this week (I weigh on Mondays). I'm a convert!!
on 4/7/11 2:18 am - CA
 Wow! Thanks for that! It puts words to exactly what I have experienced. Dairy does not stay with me, ever. Eggs are better, but meat works the best. I did make a one egg omelet last night with a little sausage in it and that stuck with me for a very. long. time.