Adequate intake of protein is beneficial to the health of the elderly

Studies have confirmed that older people, especially those who are losing weight, coping with slow / acute illnesses and staying in hospital, need to eat more protein-rich foods.

In fact, not only is in a special physical condition of the elderly, even healthy elderly, protein supplements also have a role can not be ignored.

In a 2018 study of more than 2900 people over the age of 23, scientists found that those who consumed the most protein were 30 percent less likely to suffer from dysfunction than those who ate the least.

This also means that older adults who consume more protein are less likely to lose their normal physical abilities (such as getting dressed, climbing stairs, getting out of bed).

People who consume the most protein are 30 percent less likely to suffer from dysfunction than those who consume the least protein

In a separate study published in 2018, scientists followed nearly 2000 older people for six years and found that after adjusting for health behavior, chronic disease and other factors, Those who ate the least protein were almost twice as likely to walk or climb the stairs as those who consumed the most.

Those who ate the least protein were almost twice as likely to walk or climb the stairs as those who consumed the most.

Optimal protein intake varies from person to person

Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition at Purdue University, said: “while adequate intake of protein does not completely prevent age-related muscle loss, a lack of protein increases the rate of muscle loss in older people. ” 

So, how much protein should the elderly eat? According to the most frequently cited standard, dietary allowance (Recommended Dietary Allowance, RDA): requires 0.8g protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This means that a woman with a heavy 70kg needs to eat 56 grams of protein a day; for a person with a heavy 80kg, she needs to eat 64 grams. 

However, older people are rarely included in studies used to establish RDA, and experts warn that this standard may not be sufficient to meet the health needs of older people. 

So, after examining the evidence, a team of international doctors and a panel of nutrition experts recommended in 2013 that healthy older people should consume 1g~1.2g protein per kilogram of body weight per day, a 25-50% increase over RDA. That is, 70g / day for women with 70kg and 80g / day for men with 80kg. The recommendation was subsequently adopted by the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. 

For older people with acute or chronic diseases, the team recommended protein intake of 1.2 g / kg body weight, noting that the exact intake “depends on the type of disease and its severity” and other factors. At 1.5g / kg, women with 70kg consumed 105g of protein a day, compared with 120g for men with 80kg. 

For older people who are seriously ill or malnourished, higher levels of protein-2 grams per kilogram of body weight-may be needed, the report said.

It is best to ingest protein through food. 

Protein is rich in a variety of foods and protein supplements, for many people, how to supplement protein is also a problem. 

According to a study by Professor Elena Volpi of the University of Texas at Galveston, he recommends that older people eat 25-30 grams of protein per meal. Match each meal evenly according to the level of protein contained in grains, meats, dairy products, etc. 

Second, both animal and plant forms of protein are good for the body. But animal proteins contain all nine essential amino acids our bodies need; vegetable proteins don’t, says Professor Denise Houston of the Wyck Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina. Just take care to balance all the amino acids in your diet. 

Many people may wonder, since food supplements are too cumbersome, can you take protein supplements directly? 

“most people don’t need supplements unless they are malnourished, sick or hospitalized,” Volpi said. 

Finally, “feeding is always a top priority,” said Samantha Gallo, clinical assistant director of nutrition at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “unless you’re someone who can’t eat certain protein foods, you can think about supplements’as a last resort.'”

Protein-rich foods include: 

Milk: such as milk, goat’s milk, horse’s milk, animal meat, such as cattle, sheep, pigs, dog meat, etc. 

Poultry: such as chicken, duck, goose, quail, ostrich, etc. 

Eggs: such as eggs, duck eggs, quail eggs and fish, shrimp, crab and so on; 

Soybeans: soybeans, green beans and black beans, in which the highest nutritional value of soybeans, it is a high-quality protein source of infant food; 

Dried fruits: such as sesame seeds, melon seeds, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts and other dry fruit protein content is higher.

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