Protein And The Elderly
Recently, a research team focused their attention on learning whether eating more protein could contribute to helping people maintain independence. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Protein is known to slow the loss of muscle mass. Having enough muscle mass can help preserve the ability to perform daily activities and prevent disability. Older adults tend to have a lower protein intake than younger adults due to poorer health, reduced physical activity, and changes in the mouth and teeth.
To learn more about the health benefits of adequate protein intake in older adults, the researchers examined the impact of protein intake on the increase of disability over five years.
Participants who ate more protein at the beginning of the study were less likely to become disabled when compared to people who ate less protein.
Dr. Nuno Mendonca, the principal author of the study, said: “Our findings support current thinking about increasing the recommended daily intake of protein to maintain active and healthy aging.”
Older adults should aim to eat about 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. For example, for a person who weighs 160lbs should consume around 73.6 grams of protein per day. A chicken breast of average size is usually between 25 to 35 grams of protein to give a frame of reference.