Boomers Protein Needs Are So Much More Than We Know For Optimum Muscle Mass and Longevity

Selection of pulses on porcelain spoons on checkered tablecloth with copy space

Selection of pulses on porcelain spoons on checkered tablecloth with copy space

This Grandma has found that we Boomers are beyond the average age of most standard medical studies.  It is about time that age 50 was not the upper limit of the population studies, and studies did not just lump us into a category of 50+.

One of the major issues facing us is maintaining our strength and muscle mass, and now the media is getting into the act of letting us Boomers know that we are not consuming enough protein on a daily basis, that strength training is not enough.  Protein acts with exercise to increase muscle mass as we get longer in life (we never say older).

We could be scared by articles that tell us about a condition called sarcopenia, a decline in skeletal muscle with age, that begins at age 40 and can cause loss of half of muscle mass by age 70.  But for those who are already 70 or close to it, that is too late.  If we Boomers are lucky enough to have our parents in their 80’s and 90’s, they are also not getting enough protein.

Why is this important to us?  One study reported in the AARP article below informs us that those of us who maintained their muscle mass at age 70 lived an average of six years longer than those who lost a significant amount of muscle mass!

Here is what we Boomers need to know:

*If we follow “guidelines” we, at or around age 70, are having about half of the daily allowance of protein we need.  It is okay to eat more protein than the amounts listed below, upward of 100 grams a day of protein.

We need about 81 grams of protein daily if we weight about 150 pounds! If you are good in math, calculate .54 grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight (as if any of us are at our ideal weight or have any idea of what that is).

*Our bodies can process only about 30 grams of protein at a time, so eat 20-30 grams at each meal or snack.

*We should not just be eating red meat (what a surprise), but include fish, lean poultry, dairy, eggs, and legumes, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

*We eat less amounts of food so we should intentionally eat foods high in protein.

*Protein in common foods are:

2 tablespoons of peanut butter = 8 grams of protein

1 cup non fat milk = 8.8 grams of protein

2 medium eggs (which are now good for us) = 11.4 grams of protein

½ cup cottage cheese = 15 grams of protein

1 chicken drumstick = 12.2 grams of protein

3 ounces of flounder = 25.5 grams of protein

3 ounces of turkey = 26.8 grams of protein

2 packets instant oatmeal, 1 T. almond butter, 2/3 cup of skim milk = 19 grams of protein

1 cup nonfat greek yogurt = 22 grams of protein

tuna salad on whole wheat bread = 23 grams of protein

spaghetti with meat sauce = 26 grams of protein

1/4 cup swiss cheese = 9 grams of protein

 

The following articles are worth reading so you too can be informed about protein needs:

“Muscle Loss in Aging Can Be Reversed,” by Dr. John E. Morley, New York Times, September 4, 2018.

“How Much Protein Should I Eat Each Day?” by Korin Miller, Silver Sneakers, August 21, 2018.

How Much Protein Should I Eat Each Day?

 

“How Much Protein Do You Need After 50? Eating more may help older people prevent muscle loss,” by Kim Hayes, AARP Bulletin, February 12, 2018

“What To Eat When You’re 70+, by Clint Carter. AARP Bulletin, September 2018. (Not yet on line, but you should join AARP at age 50, and give membership as gifts, and receive this newsletter)

So, what can you do if you cannot eat so much protein?

Drink it!  Keep protein shakes in your refrigerator.  Mix them with fruit and ice cream. Two favorites:

Orgain Organic 26g Grass Fed Whey Protein Shake, Vanilla Bean, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, 14 Ounce.  Buy at Amazon:

Premier Protein 30 grams of protein shake which comes in lots of flavors such as Bananas and Cream or Strawberries and Cream.  Buy at Amazon:

Or snack it!

Get protein bars.  Two favorites:

Think Thin High Protein Bar 20 grams 0 grams sugar.  Many flavors.  Buy at Amazon:

Quest Protein Bar 20 grams of protein.  Many flavors.  Buy at Amazon:

Try out many protein shakes (or make your own with whey protein) and bars until you find your favorites.  Keep one protein bar on you at all times.

Here’s to longevity!  More time for joy as we watch our grandchildren’s lives unfold and we share their milestones.

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

 

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