For example, after age 50 or so, people need to eat a little more protein than before. Yet this is also the time of life when many are less likely than ever to get enough.
Sometimes, older adults lose their appetite, and established eating habits wither away with changes in lifestyle and living situations. It’s just a part of life.
But everybody loses muscle mass as we age unless we practice strength training to prevent it – and unless we ingest enough protein. It’s the building block of muscle, necessary to maintain our strength.
Without strength, we are more prone to lose balance, fall, and lose functional ability – like rising off the couch or putting away groceries. Yep – all those things require muscle.
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 in your balanced diet.
Nibble on snacks like these instead of candy or high-carb junk food to keep your protein intake up where it belongs.
- Nuts and seeds
- Cottage cheese
- Broccoli, peas, chickpeas, asparagus
- Greek yogurt
- String cheese
- Hard-boiled eggs
Stay strong! You’ve got a lot of life left to enjoy.
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.