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(130,724 posts)
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 05:09 PM Feb 21

for our info: How Your Protein Needs Change as You Age [View all]

*Older adulthood
Protein recommendations for older adults are currently the same as those for younger adults, but some evidence suggests that those 65 and older may benefit from consuming more — at least 0.45 to 0.54 grams per pound, said Denise K. Houston, a professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

For a 185-pound adult, this higher recommendation translates to 84 to 101 grams of protein per day. You can get about that much if you eat one cup of cottage cheese, a cup of tuna salad on whole wheat bread, and a six-ounce chicken breast in one day. As with younger adults, regularly lifting weights, running or doing other vigorous activities will further increase the protein needs for older adults. You’ll also require more if you’re recovering from an infection, hospitalization, surgery or a period of bed rest, Dr. Phillips said.

Once you reach your 50s and beyond, you start to lose muscle mass, Dr. Phillips said, which can increase your risk of falling, bone fractures, hospitalization and earlier death.

A lack of physical activity is the biggest cause of muscle loss, but studies have also shown that aging muscles are less efficient at using protein to make new muscle fibers, Dr. Phillips said. And among those aged 71 and older, about 50 percent of women and 30 percent of men aren’t meeting even the lower federal recommendations for protein.

Such a shortfall can occur because older adults usually consume less than they did when they were younger, and may have difficulty chewing or a decreased ability to cook, or afford, protein-rich foods, Dr. Houston said.

Foods like yogurt and eggs are good options, Dr. Houston said, because they’re rich in protein and simple to prepare and eat.

And because people often skimp on protein at breakfast, it’s worth paying extra attention to this meal, especially for older adults, said Samaneh Farsijani, an epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health.

Instead of having a piece of toast and orange juice (which supplies five grams of protein), you can consider a cup of Greek yogurt with berries (22 grams); a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with a glass of milk (23 grams); or a breakfast burrito with eggs, beans and cheese (39 grams).

One caution, Dr. Houston said: Those with chronic kidney disease or otherwise impaired kidney function are often advised to watch how much protein they eat because consuming protein makes your kidneys work harder. Such people should work with their health providers to plan a balanced diet, she said.


While not specifically mentioned, hope we get credit for all the good stuff - - protein in ICE CREAM!!!

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