Adults 50+ need high quality protein at every meal, but don’t know it


This is according to research by Dr. Stuart Phillips, the new director for The McMaster Physical Activity Centre of Excellence. In a video series called Protein Builds, Dr. Philips advocates that adults 50 and over consume a greater than recommended amount of high quality protein throughout the day. In combination with regular exercise, this will help prevent the loss of muscle tissue as we age and help us continue a healthy and active lifestyle.

As he explains, high quality proteins are nutrient rich. This means they contain tightly packed amounts of nutrients like calcium, heme-iron, zinc, and B vitamins such as B6 and B12. Lean meats, milk and dairy, eggs, beans and legumes are all great sources of high quality protein.

These high quality proteins also contain essential amino acids our bodies do not make naturally. Amino acids are he building blocks of protein. They help with muscle repair and prevent muscle loss.

Dr. Phillips sets a target per meal at 25-30 grams. This is one full serving at breakfast, lunch and dinner. While people typically meet this goal at the dinner table, they are very low at breakfast and lunch.

Here are four easy suggestions to ensure you consume the recommended levels of protein throughout the day:

  • 2 eggs, 2 slices toast, whole apple and 1 cup 1% milk
  • A roast beef sandwich (3 slices on whole wheat bread) with 1 cup 1% milk
  • 75 g baked chicken breast on quinoa (1/2 cup) with broccoli (1 cup)
  • 75 g baked salmon on brown rice (1cup) with spears of asparagus

Dr. Phillips studies the interaction of physical activity and high quality protein consumption in people in their 40s and 50s. His research is focused on the impact of nutrition and exercise on human protein turnover, specifically in skeletal muscle.

The Protein Builds video series aims to inform Canadians about the important role of high-quality protein, including meat and alternative proteins, and eating a well-balanced diet in maintaining good health. The series is made possible through a Canadian Meat Council grant.

To view and share the full Protein Builds video series, please visit: