As we age, our bodies may not be as efficient at digesting protein as they once were. Increasing the amount of protein in our diet can help make up for this decrease in efficiency, and it can be especially beneficial when recovering from surgery, illness, or if we have been told by our doctor that our body isn't processing protein well.
Unfortunately, there is little information available about the dietary requirements of the elderly. Debate continues to rage about this subject, but we do know that a lack of protein in the diets of elderly people can lead to sarcopenia, which is a decrease in both muscle mass and lean muscle tissue.
Either way, if you're looking to ensure your senior's health is as good as it can be, ensuring they get access to lots of good quality protein is vital. But, with so many protein sources available, it can be difficult to know which ones are best for older adults.
So, to help you choose the right proteins for your seniors, here are some tips that you can follow:
1. Choose Lean Proteins
Lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, and beans, are good sources of protein that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. These proteins can help seniors maintain a healthy weight while still getting the protein they need.
2. Add Dairy
Dairy products, such as yogurt and milk, are good sources of protein that are also high in calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients are especially important for seniors, as they help to maintain bone health and reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Plus, they're easy to implement in any diet, so it is a quick and effective way to meet daily protein needs.
3. Incorporate Plant-Based Proteins
Plant-based proteins, such as nuts, seeds, and tofu, are also good sources of protein. They are also high in fiber and other essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Look For Fortified Foods
Plant-based foods, like nuts, seeds, and tofu, are good sources of protein and contain lots of other essential nutrients like fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They are a great way to get protein if a senior doesn't want to take animal products for any reason.
5. Speak with a Doctor or Nutritionist
It's always a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional about the best protein sources for seniors. They can provide personalized advice, such as which proteins are best for a particular health condition or dietary restriction. They can also create a plan that your seniors can follow to ensure they meet all their dietary needs, including protein.
Protein is an important nutrient for seniors, as it helps to maintain muscle mass, support immune system function, and provide energy. It can be found in both animal and plant-based foods, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, and tofu. Regardless, adding protein-rich foods to a senior's diet is an important part of maintaining their overall health. So, if you find your senior not taking enough protein, take charge today and ensure they eat what their body needs to stay healthy.
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