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Ezra Home Care Advises Elders to Eat More Protein

Increasing protein intake helps prevent muscle decline which helps prevent falls but many elderly people do not eat enough protein.

Reducing the decline in muscle mass among the elderly is crucial to maintaining their health and independence, according to researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Consuming adequate protein is essential for making and maintaining muscles. Unfortunately nutritional studies indicate that many elderly individuals do not eat enough protein. According to the Journal of American College of Nutrition "because older adults do not metabolize protein as efficiently as young cohorts do; older adults need at least 15% more protein."   Researchers have reasoned that if the elderly increase their protein intake, they have a strong chance of slowing down muscle loss. Slowing down muscle loss helps with preventing falls from happening.

elderly exercise, picture from Boston.com

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Older adults need to consume at least five ounces of protein a day. However, for some elderly people, protein-rich foods such as meat or poultry may be hard to chew. And for many, meat, poultry and fish can be too expensive.

Here are some ideas to help older adults meet their protein needs (while they enjoy their food).

  • Choose tender cuts of meat; chicken, turkey or ground meat.
  • Visit the dairy aisle. Milk, eggs, cheese and yogurt are excellent sources of protein.
  • Cook beans; white beans are fairly easy to digest and are delicious.
  • Create Protein shakes and protein smoothies
  • Cook with Quinoa
  • Bake Protein cookies; see recipe below
Chocolate Whey Protein Cookie Recipe

6 egg whites
7 scoops oatmeal (1 3/4 cups)
2 tsp brown healthy sugar substitute (like Truvia)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup un-sweetened apple sauce
4 scoops chocolate (or vanilla) whey powder
2 dashes cinnamon
1 tsp virgin olive oil
1 tsp maple extract

Pre-heat oven to 325, bake for 20 minutes, Makes 1 dozen cookies…each cookie has 14g of protein

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