Midlifers Should Eat More Protein
THE 50+ BODY processes protein less efficiently and needs more to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone health and other essential physiological functions. Yet, upto a third of 50+ adults don't eat an adequate amount.
Our bodies experience changes as we age, which we must proactively address with food. Protein will help you retain lean tissue as you age, which is crucial given that we lose approximately 5% of our muscle mass per decade after age 35. Everyone should prioritise it, including those who have never set foot in a gym.
In a 2018 study that followed over 2,900 seniors for 23 years, researchers discovered that those who consumed the most protein were 30% less likely to have functional impairment than those who consumed the least.
While adequate protein intake cannot prevent age-related muscle loss, insufficient protein intake can aggravate muscle loss in older persons.
Proteins supply the building blocks for enzymes, neurotransmitters, hormones, and tissues such as muscles, tendons, internal organs, and skin. Proteins make up around 15% of the human body.
How much protein do you need?
Nutritionists recommend that healthy older persons consume between 1 and 1.2 grammes of protein per kilogramme of body weight daily. That's 69 to 81 grammes for a lady weighing 68kg and 81 to 98 for a man weighing 82kg.
In comparison, a 170g portion of Greek yoghurt contains 18 grammes of protein, a 85g meal of skinless chicken contains 28 grammes, a half-cup of lentils contains 9 grammes, and a cup of milk contains 8 grammes.
Does protein quality matter?
Different types and quantities of amino acids are found in various protein sources. Ideally, your diet will provide a complete spectrum of amino acids.
Consuming a wide variety of natural food sources, including meat, chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, and protein powder is the best method to accomplish this. The protein quality is essential, but this is only common sense.
Try to eat as diversely as possible, avoid food ruts, and combine actual food with protein shakes for convenience. You will be healthy if you consume various meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, grains, legumes, pulses, and beans (as your diet permits).
How to meet your protein requirements
The best approach to obtain a complete spectrum of amino acids is to consume actual food (and most animal products). However, this is not always possible, and some individuals prefer not to consume any animal protein. No matter what type of diet you follow or how busy you are, there are various tasty and enjoyable ways to maintain a healthy protein consumption.
Dietitians advise considering a protein powdered smoothie when not reached through meals alone. But most protein powders are hard on the gut because they include protein sources that are hard to absorb that disrupt the delicate ecosystem that is your microbiome.
For three years, I have used 'Touchstone' Organic Super Protein powder and openly promote them. It's a plant protein with vital omegas and digestive enzymes derived from whole foods and containing a high protein concentration.
Remember that practically all foods include protein, so consider this when determining your protein intake. The little amounts of protein in oats, potatoes, grains, and fruits and vegetables all add up. Sport, fitness, health, and nutrition are for everyone, regardless of who they are, what they do, or how they do it.