Lean Protein for Seniors

By Tami Charbonnet

Lean protein is essential for building and maintaining both muscle and bone.  Without enough protein, your body struggles to maintain its immune system and muscles. It is also important for strength and function.  A deficiency in protein increases risk of infections, pressure sores, falls, broken bones and weakness.  How much protein is enough?  According to a recent study by Harvard Health Publications, “Current guidelines for adults of any age recommend 0.8 grams of lean protein per kilogram of body weight.  Multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36.”

Eat lean protein at each meal.  For example, senior women need 45grams of protein daily and senior men need 60 grams.

Registered Dietitian Heather Schwartz recommends these breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack tips to help consume enough lean protein:

Breakfast: Cook hot breakfast cereal with low fat milk or soy milk instead of water
(+8 grams of protein)

Lunch: Add ½ cup beans to your soup or salad
(+6 grams)

Dinner:  Finish the protein on your plate before starting on the fruits, vegetables, starches and dessert.

Snack: Add ¼ cup of nonfat dry milk powder to your pudding or smoothie
(+8 grams)

*Too much of anything is not a good thing.  Seek advice from your doctor about your protein needs.