We’ve always heard that protein is what makes us strong, and what gives us energy. New studies are showing that older adults need more dietary protein than younger adults in order to preserve age-related declines in health and functioning. During our thirties at some point, our muscle starts to decline, unless we make an active choice to halt that decline and start boosting it with protein rich foods.
It is recommended that an older adult, who weighs around 150 pounds, may need 68-82 grams of protein a day. That number varies with weight. The more weight there is, the more protein necessary to keep your body strong. It isn’t just the amount of protein we are eating either, it is also around the timing. The body is constantly making and breaking down muscle, so it is thought that eating enough protein at every meal, as opposed to just dinner, for example, has it’s own vary of health benefits. Aiming to eat 25-30 grams of protein per meal maximizes your body’s muscle repair and building machinery. Studies show that an uneven distribution of protein at meals (too low at some meals and too high at others) is associated with frailty, slower walking speed, and fatigue.
Important sources of protein such as eggs, animals proteins, and low fat dairy products are good to fit into every meal. Other plant proteins, such as soy, are good for protein intake as well. Let’s pump up our meals with protein!
-Information provided by Environmental Medicine, Issue 6.16