Predigested liquid diets have a number of benefits over conventional solid-food plans. First of all, liquid diets are easier to prepare, as cooking time is removed from the equation. Secondly, they are easy to follow, as much of the element of choice is removed from the dieter's control. However, despite their positives, predigested liquid protein diets do have some drawbacks of which you should be aware before embarking on one of these plans.
Generally speaking, predigested protein simply refers to specific types of protein that are more easily assimilated by the body. These proteins are referred to as "hydrolyzed," which simply means that the protein itself has already been broken down into its respective amino acids during the production process. Thus, hydrolyzed proteins are some of the fastest-absorbing compounds available.
Predigested Protein Uses
The primary use for a predigested liquid protein diet is for an individual who is suffering from impaired digestive processes, thus requiring a more efficient method of obtaining nutrients. One example of this would be individuals with Crohn's disease or any other inflammatory bowel disorder. As the disease impairs their ability to properly absorb and assimilate regular solid food, consumption of a predigested liquid protein diet can help them obtain their required daily nutrients.
Sample Predigested Protein Diet
A sample diet for individuals requiring a predigested protein approach could consist of three or four daily protein shakes made with hydrolyzed protein, blended with other ingredients that would not irritate further the digestive tract, such as fruits or berries. To increase caloric intake further, the patient's intake of shakes could be "spiked" with higher calorie substances such as olive oil or natural peanut butters.
Although a novel approach to dealing with digestive impairment, consumption of predigested protein might not afford any real benefits over a comparable solid-food diet. A study conducted at the Children's Memorial Health Institute in Poland, published in the Jan 2004 edition of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, found no measurable difference in digestibility or acquired energy when comparing hydrolyzed versus non-hydrolyzed proteins in individuals with short bowel syndrome.
Keeping this in mind, adhering to a predigested liquid protein diet might not be the ideal solution for coping with your digestive dilemma. Knowing that predigested protein is relatively equal to other proteins absorption-wise, you might be better off sticking to the dietary approach that least aggravates your existing symptoms, regardless of whether that approach involves predigested protein.