It’s a question that becomes more relevant later in life. That’s partly because older adults often lose their appetite and good eating habits, but also because of an inescapable truth about aging.
People lose muscle mass as we age – unless we engage in strength training to prevent it. We also have to make sure we’re ingesting enough protein, the building block of muscle, to maintain our strength.
What difference does this make to someone who is not a bodybuilder?
Without strength, we are more prone to lose balance, fall, and lose functional ability.
Plus experts say that younger people typically need 0.8 grams of protein per body weight to keep what they have.
But older people need 1.2g.
The best protein has all the essential amino acids and is largely animal based, like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, soy, beans and legumes. Make sure you’re getting plenty of these regularly as part of your balanced diet.
And here are a few handy snacks to keep around. Nibble on these instead of candy or high-carb junk food to keep your protein intake up where it belongs.
- Peanuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds
- Cottage cheese
- Broccoli, peas, chickpeas, asparagus
- Greek yogurt
- String cheese
- Hard-boiled eggs
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.