Lean muscle loss is preventable if you eat enough protein so… “Feed it or Lose it!”
By Lee Labrada, Founder of Labrada Nutrition
We’ve all been told how important protein is to our health, but it seems that older adults are still not getting enough of this essential macronutrient. Low protein intake is often associated with a lower quality diet and lower physical activity.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, one in three adults aged over 50 are not consuming enough protein.
“Despite the protein craze in the US, the data shows there’s still a big gap in adults’ protein intake,” says Christopher A. Taylor, Ph.D., R.D., Associate Professor at The Ohio State University and study author. “Not only were they significantly lacking, but this research was looking at intake against current dietary recommendations, which don’t take into consideration activity, age and illness, when adults may need even more protein.”
The researchers relied on data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to evaluate the protein intake of 11,680 adults aged 51 and older.
Adults who weren’t getting enough protein, also had lower quality diets with less healthy vegetables, seafood and dairy products. Over 40% of these adults ate less than three meals per day. Up to a third of these adults fell up to 30 grams of protein short of their daily recommended protein requirement.
That’s a real problem, because as you age, your protein requirements can increase to as much as 200% that of a younger adult. Why? For starters, because your digestion is not as efficient as you get older. Digestive enzymes taken with a meal that contains protein is a good idea. So is using a high quality protein shake to get extra protein.
Extra protein can help keep your muscles stronger and functional longer. We all want to stay strong as we age. Low protein intake is a contributing factor to sarcopenia, which is age related muscle loss, so “feed it or lose it!”
If you are an older adult or someone you love is an older adult, you can put the following recommendations to good use…
- Eat at least 3 whole food meals per day. Eat a variety of whole foods that include unprocessed foods including lean meats, low fat dairy products, beans, vegetables and fruits. Skipping meals is one of the biggest culprits in falling short of your minimum protein requirement.
- Include a protein source at each meal. lean protein sources include chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, egg whites, lowfat cottage cheese, beans and protein supplements. A good rule to follow: your protein portion should be at least the size of the palm of your hand. This will work out to approximately a 4-6 oz serving.
- Shoot for at least 100 grams or more of protein each day. One gram of protein per pound of of lean body weight is preferable, especially if you are active and exercising.
- Use a ready to drink protein shake such as Lean Body RTD as a daily protein supplement to help you reach your minimum protein requirement. Lean Body ready to drink protein shakes are easy to use, convenient and taste delicious. They contain zero sugar, and are perfect for busy adults. You can find out more about Lean Body shakes by visiting www.leanbody.com
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.