Our bodies keep changing as we age, and we need to pay attention to what we eat in new ways. Especially if we want to remain strong enough to live independently in our later years.
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.
Eat Enough Protein To Keep Muscle Strength
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 most older people need at least 1.2g.
What’s the Best Source of Protein
The best protein has all the essential amino acids and is largely animal based, like meat, fish, poultry, and eggs. Plant based proteins include 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
- Grass-fed beef or bison jerky
Stay strong! You’ve got a lot of life left to enjoy.
If you’d like some help learning more about how to plan balanced meals that include enough protein, check out this complimentary 5-day email course: