NEW YORK: Protein is called the building block of life; turns out the macronutrient may also do wonders for older adults to preserve the ability to perform daily activities as well as prevent their risks of disability. According to a latest study, increasing the daily amount of protein intake could slow the loss of muscle mass, which is very essential for the elderly population. Disabilities refers to any hindrance that can obstruct them in performing basic daily and housekeeping activities independently including self feeding, bathing, dressing and participating in social activities
The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, revealed that eating more protein may delay the risk of disability.
“Our findings support current thinking about increasing the recommended daily intake of protein to maintain active and healthy ageing,” said Nuno Mendonca, lead researcher from Newcastle University in the UK.
For the study, researchers examined 722 participants in North-East England, of whom 60 per cent were women. Information about participant’s daily diet, body weight, height measurements, overall health assessment (including any level of disability), and medical records were studied in detail.
Older adults tend to have a lower protein intake than younger adults due to poorer health, reduced physical activity, and changes in the mouth and teeth .The findings revealed that those who ate more protein were less likely to become disabled when compared to people who ate less protein.
Older adults should aim to eat about 1-1.2 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight, the researchers noted.
High Protein Foods:
Proteins are essential for muscle recovery, and since they keep you satiated for long- they also aid weight loss. Here are some high protein foods you must add to your diet today.
- Eggs:Eggs are said to be the best source of bio-available protein. By keeping you satiated, proteins increase levels of appetite-reducing hormones like GLP-1, PYY and CCK. It also reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, making you crave less, thereby aiding weight loss.
- Oats:In addition to protein, oats are also packed with healthy fibres. Fibre helps you stay fuller for longer and increase the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Fibre takes time to digest, which results in slow rise of blood sugar levels.
- Chicken: Chicken is said to be one of the best sources of lean protein unlike the fatty ones that you find in red meat. “Try to have local farm raised chicken or organically raised chicken. Grill, stir-fry or add them in stews for maximum benefits. Avoid fried chicken or the chilli chicken from restaurants, it is laden with toxic calories”, says Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health coach, Shilpa Arora.
- Fatty fish:Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are some of the good sources of lean proteins too. You can include them in sandwiches, broths or have them grilled with veggies.
- Lentils and legumes: India is blessed with a rich wealth of lentils and legumes. Dals like moong, urad and masoor are packed with good protein. Legumes like rajma also makes for a good source.