Experts say adults over 50 fall short of their protein requirements; Here’s how you can tell if you need to eat more protein:
Our adult society seems to have become obsessed with protein. Protein diet plans like The Paleo Diet and Atkins are popular right now. Turns out, an emphasis to eat more protein may be just the thing for older adults. Therefore for older adults who likely need to increase their intake? Starting around age 50, adults progressively lose muscle, a natural condition of aging known as sarcopenia. A lack of protein in your diet will make it worse, even a nutrition supplement can help.
How much protein should You Eat?
The recommended daily allowance of protein for adults is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight per day. In turn translates to 54 grams for a 150-pound adult. Helpful charts detailing the protein content of various foods are available. Research suggests that protein requirements increase with age, and adults would be wise to eat more.
Protein is important not just for building muscle but for maintaining muscle, which is a concern for older adults. Maintaining muscle helps older adults function better and helps to prevent falls and serious injuries. A good nutrition supplement full of protein can help.
Depending on your activity level the exact amount of protein you should consume is still up for debate. This is beyond the recommended daily allowance and may depend on your activity level. Experts suggest aiming for at least the recommended amount. For older adults the amount of protein falls short. How do you know if you need to eat more protein? Here are six signs to watch for:
You’re always getting sick:
Protein helps boost our immunity and drives the daily function of our body. Furthermore protein regulates hormones and maintains the white blood cells that are fighting off disease and infections. So if you tend to get sick more than everyone you know and are constantly fighting something do the math. A Lack of protein for older adults could be the problem and a nutrition supplement could help too.
Swelling in your feet and ankles:
Protein helps regulate the amount of fluid in your tissues. Muscles contract while enabling you to move fluid out of your lower legs and ankles. Edema, temporary swelling due to fluid retention, can also be a sign of other medical problems. Always check with your doctor if you notice any unusual swelling.
Often feeling tired and lethargic?
Being tired and lethargic can signal a lack of protein, and a lot of times, it can be an iron issue too. Older adults need to eat more protein and iron to produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. This lack of oxygen to the cells in the body results in fatigue. Protein bar or a shake can be a good nutrition supplement for extra protein.
Your skin makes you look much older:
Often when adults don’t get enough protein, wounds don’t heal as fast, and skin looks paler and drier. Protein is necessary for tissue repair, so a lack of protein in the diet can result in skin issues. Pale skin may also be a sign of an iron deficiency for older adults.
Finger nails and toe nails are brittle with more hangnails:
Brittle, flaking nails, nails with ridges and white lines, and an increased propensity for hangnails is a sign. You need to eat more protein. Nails are made of a protein called keratin. Lack of keratin in the diet often affects nail health.
You’re losing weight:
We older adults often think of weight loss as good, but sometimes it can be a sign of muscle loss. Muscle weighs more than fat. Changing body composition can result in weight loss as we get older. This in turn translates to a loss of strength and agility. Often older adults aren’t eating as much, and that can be dangerous. It can result in fragility and problems with balance so eat more as you get older.
How to Eat More Protein:
Looking for healthy ways to increase your protein intake? Meat is a good source, but don’t go crazy on red meat, which can be high in saturated fat. Eat pork and poultry as well as fish, eggs, nuts, beans, tofu, and cheese. Try not to get it all at dinner. If you have a tight schedual use a nutrition supplement. So eat eggs for breakfast, sprinkle nuts on your salad at lunch and eat string cheese in the afternoon. It comes down to what you like, and what you’ll eat. Often, older adults don’t have the appetite or drive to cook that younger people do. For older adults I would recommend to eat more cottage cheese.
If you eat more protein, it will go a long way toward improving your overall health and wellbeing. Try to exercise to convert that protein to muscle. Protein is important because it allows us to maintain our strength and independence. Adults who eat more are likely to live longer and live better. You can use a nutrition supplement for more protein intake.
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