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Nutrition for Seniors : Protein and fiber

Nutrition chez les aînés épisode 2
Catégorie : Diet and Nutrition  

In the second episode on nutrition for seniors, we talk about the content of the plate. We will discuss two important elements to always have on your plate: protein and fibre!

Still with Louis Sirois, CEO of Visavie and Josée Thibodeau, co-author of the book “Au menu des 65 ans et plus”, we will see the importance of eating a balanced diet and the role that protein and fibre play in this video dedicated to nutrition for seniors.

What is the role of protein and fiber in the meals of seniors ?

To stay healthy and age well, seniors need to pay special attention to their diet. Eating more fruits and vegetables is recommended to increase the intake of essential vitamins and minerals. But protein and fiber also play an important role in the diet. What are the recommendations for protein and fiber intake in the elderly?


Protein is essential in the diet because it provides the amino acids needed to maintain body structure. In other words, protein is essential in our diet to replenish what we lose.


The reason fruits and vegetables are so recommended is for their vitamins, minerals and fiber. The latter benefits have been demonstrated in the prevention of obesity, diabetes, cholesterol and related diseases, but also in the prevention of colon cancer. For seniors, fiber intake should be provided through a varied diet.

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In this second episode, we will discover in which foods we can find proteins and fibers as well as the recommended intake for seniors. You can also watch the first episode on nutrition for seniors if you haven’t seen it yet!

Transcript :

Hello everyone, Louis Sirois, with Josée Thibodeau. We’re talking about the menu for people 65 and over. You saw the first episode with Josée. Now we’re going to go into a little more detail, into the content of what we should have on our plate.

Josée tell us, because it’s not obvious for everyone. In fact, I would say to focus on two elements. You can balance your plate and get all the nutrients you need.

So, we’re going to talk about two things. We’re going to talk about protein. We’re going to talk about fiber. So let’s start with protein. Why? Because proteins are used to repair our tissues, to maintain them. As we age, the repair process is a little bit less efficient.

So our need for protein is increased. This will influence our muscle strength, our muscle mass and also our bone mass. Proteins have a role to play in bone health as well. So it’s important to get enough protein on our plate.

What does that mean? It means between 20 and 30 grams of protein. Since we don’t eat proteins, but we eat healthy foods, let’s see how that translates, so I say 20 for a woman of small stature, 30 for a man of large stature.

Large like me!

Yeah, that’s who’s working out, moving around. Lots of protein. When you think of meat, poultry and fish, they say 20 grams is about 3oz. That’s 100 grams of meat, poultry, fish.

That’s about the size of the palm of your hand. That’s a good indicator. In my plate, if I eat fish, poultry, I must have at least the equivalent of the palm of my hand.

If we think about legumes beans, chickpeas, lentils, but the amount is a big cup and even a cup and a third that to have note 20 grams of protein, so when you make a minestrone soup, for example, when you see four five red beans floating.

It’s not quite past that you have to take more than that to be able to get our 20 grams. If you say to yourself, “But I eat legumes, yes, but not that much”. Sometimes, it can be a mix of a little bit of meat, for example, like the Chili that we often see

there is a little bit of minced meat with red beans. And there, we are able to get our quantity of proteins. There are other ways to get them too. It is obviously the eggs. Excellent source of protein.

But an egg is about 6 grams of protein to get 20 grams, two in the morning, I can not quite. We put, either cheese from an omelet, for example, where we can also add skim milk powder that will also bring us protein in three tablespoons of skim milk.

We beat our eyes, we make ourselves an omelet or scrambled eggs and we went and got our 20 grams of protein, OK. The benefit of having that protein there because we know it’s important, but for the older child, what’s it going to do for them?

The protein? It’s mostly for tissue repair. It also brings a certain level of satiety. It helps balance our energy. It’s really important to have it at every meal. Not to have a large amount at every meal.

They work best when they’re spread out over the day. So really think about it at every meal. And then after that, we have…


Fiber is found in many foods.

They say that you need about 8 to 10 grams of fiber per meal. So if I translate that into portions, fiber is found mainly in vegetables and fruits. So half of the plate has a good
two servings of vegetables should be present at each meal. That means one serving. Again, that’s half a cup, the contents of my hands half my plate should be vegetables. Fruit for dessert?

I’m going to go get again, snack on some protein by eating a whole fruit and a whole grain, so not a brown bread, brown rice, a whole grain source on the plate. And there, the amount is not that big we’re talking about about half a cup of brown rice.

So, again, a handful. A quarter of my plate and a slice of bread equals one serving. Two vegetables, one fruit, one whole grain. If I make up my plate every time I look at it, do I have my protein?

A quarter of the plate should be protein. Do I have my fiber? Half by vegetables, the other quarter by a whole grain? a piece of fruit on the side? That’s it. That’s it. And then what I was able to find in the book is these recipes that always combine that.

Then we eat with our eyes. I look at this, I wanted to eat it because it looks so good! It is already calculated that you don’t need to break your head because it is already there. We wanted to make a few recipes that were easier to prepare than to go and find

to show what a balanced plate looks like. We also put together some menus. How to improve a menu then. We make a little comparable between the menu that is less rich in fiber. What does it take to make it more interesting in terms of fiber.

Just to see the parallels and the ways to get the elements you need. So, in conclusion, Josée, this is what I understand, two main elements in nutrition, we have our protein 20 to 30 grams. We have our fiber 8 to 10 grams. We want to have…

When we’re in grains, we want to have everything whole. We don’t want to have white flour, white bread slices, white rice. We don’t want that, there’s not much in it.

And when you combine that with vegetables and fruits, you really have a balanced plate. You also mentioned variety. We’re going to have a variety throughout our meals, throughout the day and throughout the week to get all the nutrients we can for our food.

Yes, because it’s on the plates actually brings us the variety of nutrients that we need. We focused on fiber and protein, just as a way to remember what to put on the plate. But we know very well that the foods we discuss come with antioxidants, vitamins, etc.

Absolutely. So thank you so much for this great episode two. And then we’re going to see you again in episode three shortly. So thank you all very much.

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