Did you know that as we age, we have higher protein needs? Research has shown that more protein benefits bone health. They say its just as important now as getting in the right amounts of calcium and vitamin D! Starting at age 50, we lose between 05.-2.0% muscle mass each year. Good news is that getting in the right amounts of protein coupled with exercise can prevent lose from happening, or at least decrease it. And the older we get the more resistance and body weight exercises we need, so its more important to get in those weights than ever.
Now higher protein needs does not equal higher calorie needs. Its just means that the calories consumed should be a higher percentage of protein.
Animal protein is going to be your highest quality including chicken, beef, fish, eggs, low fat milk and greek yogurt. (people tend to shy away from dairy but its extremely good for you). If vegetarian, than aim for sources from soy milk, tofu, soy yogurt, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds.
Spread your protein through out the day, aim for each meal and snack. Each meal should be around 30 g of protein and snack around 10 g. Breakfast is the most important meal and is the one that lacks protein the most, so pay close attention. Here are some sources, are you getting enough each meal?
30 g protein:
4 oz chicken
5 oz lean beef
6 oz fish
Egg (6 g each included egg whites)
Greek Yogurt ( 15 g protein each)
Peanut butter (2 tbsp 8 g)
Nuts (1/4 cup 6 g)
Bean and Lentils (1 cup 13 g)
Estelle L. Benoit, RD, LDN
source: todays dietitian