While humans maintain the ability to build muscle at any age, the effects of insufficient protein increase substantially in older adults, often leading to muscle and bone conditions such as sarcopenia (the degenerative loss of muscle mass) and osteoporosis, said Douglas Paddon-Jones, Ph.D., associate professor, physical therapy and internal medicine, the University of Texas Medical Branch.
Protein makes up about 50 percent of bone volume and 33 percent of our body mass, said dietician and sports nutritionist Marie Spano. “Higher protein diets (optimally, between 25 and 30 grams of protein per meal) are associated with greater bone mass and fewer fractures when calcium intake is adequate.” In addition, replacing carbohydrates with protein can prevent obesity and obesity-related conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes.
The move toward a more protein rich diet could lower health costs and improve mobility and independence in older adults, said Spano.
Quality, high-protein foods include: eggs (12.5 grams of protein per egg), milk (3.3 grams per 4 ounces), and meats and fish (7 grams of protein per serving), said Craig Julius of Pierre Foods, Inc. Whey is also high in protein; soy and rice are “incomplete” sources of protein.Presenters include:
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Mindy Weinstein | Newswise Science News
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