The basics of healthy eating centred on ample brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, lean meats and avoidance of processed, garbage foods should be a constant throughout our lives. A fantastic article in the April 2011 edition of Nutrition Action called ‘staying strong’ has made me realize that how and what we eat needs to change as our bodies change.
The article explains that as we age we need more protein- especially certain types of protein that are high in an amino acid called leucine. Without getting into a full biology lesson, amino acids are the building blocks of protein which stimulate new protein development. People over 60 need to eat more protein than younger people to stimulate protein development (American Journal Clinical Nutrition 82). If seniors don’t eat enough protein, they will lose muscle faster than someone that has the right amount of protein in their diet. Aim for 20 grams of protein at each meal which would be chicken or turkey break (31 g protein), canned tuna (14g protein), soy nuts 1/3 cup (20g protein), Greek yogurt (19 g protein).
In conversations with our Vintage Fitness clients here in Toronto, I understand how difficult trying new foods and eating habits can be. I believe that if people had better balanced breakfasts it would make a huge difference to their health.
Here are a few easy ideas to add more protein to your breakfast:
1. Buy Greek Yogurt 0% plain (Presidents Choice or Liberte) and add fresh fruit. Make sure that it is Greek yogurt as normal plain yogurt only has 8 g of protein.
2. Change your cereal: Many cereals are too carbohydrate rich—try Kashi GOLEAN cereal (13g protein) or oatmeal (6 g protein). You may need to soak the GOLEAN cereal first especially if you get the ‘crunch’ version.
3. Switch to whole wheat bread—a slice of whole wheat bread has 3 g of protein but white bread only has 3
4. Try an omelette: One egg has 6g protein—mix in egg whites with your one egg and make an omelette for breakfast tomorrow
Toronto, Ontario, Canada