Cancer and treatments can increase the need for protein in your day. Ask your healthcare team or a registered dietitian how many protein grams and calories you need daily. If you need more protein grams, add more meat, fish, eggs, milk products, cheese, and vegetable proteins to your meals.

If you struggle to get enough protein through food alone, a protein supplement may be useful. Protein supplements are found both in powder and liquid form. Protein powder can be mixed into a milkshake, milk, smoothies, juices, other beverages, foods, desserts, and side dishes. Also, liquid protein can be purchased in ready-to-drink liquid nutrition supplements or protein drinks.

Ask your healthcare team for a referral to a registered dietitian (RD) who can help you plan meals and snacks within your lifestyle and who can suggest which protein supplement is appropriate for you.

Below are three sample meal plans that each provides about 150 grams of protein a day.

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High-Protein Sample Menu: Day 1

Meal

Suggested Items

Notes

Breakfast

Protein 23 grams

2 eggs, scrambled
1 slice toast
1/2 cup fruit cup
2 tsp. canola oil or margarine
8 oz. milk
To add extra protein, stir a scoop of protein powder (about 6 grams) into scrambled eggs.
Morning Snack

Protein 20 grams

1 protein bar
8 oz. beverage
Look for protein bars at the grocery, drug store, or health food store.Stir a scoop of protein powder into your beverage.
Lunch

Protein 33 grams

3 oz. Lemony Honey Glazed Roasted Chicken*
1 dinner roll
1/2 cup green beans
2 tsp. canola oil or margarine
1/2 cup mandarin orange sections
6 oz. pudding or custard
8 oz. tea
Vegetables have 3 grams protein per serving.Stir a scoop of protein powder, if needed, into creamy items like yogurt and pudding.

Try yogurt with live and active cultures.

Afternoon Snack 

Protein 15 grams

8 oz. creamy Greek yogurt
8-10 animal crackers
8 oz. lemonade
Add a scoop of protein powder to yogurt or your beverage for extra protein.
Dinner

Protein 45 grams

3 oz. lean beef roast
1/2 cup Braised Kale with Black Beans and Tomatoes*
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1 dinner roll
1 Tbsp. canola oil or margarine
8 oz. milk
Choose lean beef. Try sweet or red potatoes, peeled.

Add a protein powder to potatoes or to milk if needed.

Bedtime Snack

Protein 18 grams

smoothie with 8 oz high-protein liquid nutrition supplement, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, and 1/2 banana Freeze the beverage in a cup for a treat that tastes like ice cream. Blend the supplement with sliced fruit, peanut butter, and 2-3 ice cubes for a bedtime smoothie.

High-Protein Sample Menu: Day 2

Meal

Suggested Items

Notes

Breakfast

Protein 22 grams

grilled cheese on English muffin
1 orange
2 tsp. canola oil or margarine
8 oz. milk
To add extra protein, stir a scoop of protein powder (about 6 grams) into milk.
Morning Snack

Protein 20 grams

1 cup trail mix: nuts, high protein dry cereal, dried fruit, and sunflower seeds
8 oz. beverage
Make your own trail mix with favorite nuts, cereals, and dried fruit; or buy mix at the grocery, drug store, or health food store.
Lunch

Protein 35 grams

club sandwich: 3 oz. meat (1 oz each of sliced chicken, beef, and turkey), 2 oz. Swiss cheese, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, 2 tsp. salad dressing or mayonnaise on a hoagie roll
2 pear halves
8 oz. tea
Afternoon Snack

Protein 17 grams

½ cup cottage cheese
3 graham crackers
½ cup berries
Dinner

Protein 35 grams

3 oz. pork chop
1/2 cup slaw
1/2  cup cooked pasta with sauce
1 dinner roll
1 Tbsp. oil or margarine
8 oz. milk
Choose a lean pork loin chop for a heart-healthy menu. Add a protein powder to milk if needed.
Bedtime Snack

Protein 21 grams

frozen treat: 8 oz. high-protein liquid nutrition supplement with 1/4 cup almonds sliced and 2 Tbsp. chocolate or strawberry syrup Freeze the beverage in a cup for a treat that tastes like ice cream. Sprinkle almonds on top of the frozen supplement. Drizzle syrup on top.

High-Protein Sample Menu: Day 3

Meal

Suggested Items

Notes

Breakfast

Protein 33 grams

1 pkg. oatmeal with scoop protein powder
2 oz. lean ham
1 slice toast
½ cup sliced apples
2 tsp. canola oil or margarine
8 oz. milk
To add extra protein, stir extra scoop of protein powder (about 6 grams) into oats.
Morning Snack

Protein 12 grams

2 oz. cheddar cheese
6 crackers
8 oz. juice or beverage
Stir a scoop of protein powder into juice if extra protein is needed.
Lunch

Protein 38 grams

Chicken and Cantaloupe Strawberry Salad* with dressing
3-4 breadsticks
1/2 cup sherbet
fig cookie
8 oz. tea
Afternoon Snack

Protein 18 grams

1/2 cup lemon pudding with scoop of protein powder
3 gingersnap cookies
8 oz. beverage with scoop of protein powder
Make pudding with milk fortified with a scoop of protein powder for extra protein.
Dinner

Protein 33 grams

Turkey Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust* tossed salad with dressing
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
baked sweet potato with pecans
1 Tbsp. oil or margarine
8 oz. milk
Use light-meat turkey for heart health. Add a protein powder to cranberry sauce or to milk if needed.
Bedtime Snack

Protein 18 grams

8 oz high-protein liquid nutrition supplement
1 Tbsp. cream cheese
1 Tbsp. jelly
1/2 bagel
Spread cream cheese and jelly on toasted bagel. Enjoy a chilled glass of high protein liquid nutrition supplement.

*Denotes a recipe you can find on the PearlPoint website.

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