DHAKA: Older adults should eat more protein than what is recommended for the general adult population, in order to preserve muscle mass and strength despite ageing.
Yet up to one-third of older adults don’t eat an adequate amount due to reduced appetite, dental issues, impaired taste, swallowing problems and limited financial resources.
Protein is known to slow the loss of muscle mass. Having enough muscle mass can help preserve the ability to perform daily activities and prevent disability.
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.
To live successfully and independently, older adults need to be able to manage two different levels of life skills: basic daily care and basic housekeeping activities.
Basic daily care includes feeding yourself, bathing, dressing, and going to the toilet on your own.
For older adults, a protein-rich diet is important for health. During these stressful periods, aging bodies process protein less efficiently and need more of it to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone health, and other essential physiological functions.
Combined with a tendency to become more sedentary, this puts them at risk of deteriorating muscles, compromised mobility, slower recovery from bouts of illness and the loss of independence.
Older adults often lose bone density and muscle mass when they concentrate on shedding weight.
This unwanted bone and muscle loss can result in mobility issues and can even increase a person's risk of injury.
A recent study, which Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, is the lead on, has shown that a high-protein, low-calorie diet can help adults avoid these problems.
Eating more protein would be associated with slower disability development in very old adults, depending on their muscle mass and muscle strength.
The most commonly cited standard is the recommended dietary allowance (RDA): 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight per day.
Another study said Older adults should aim to eat about 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight.
Beneficial foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, seafood, poultry, eggs, legumes, and low-fat dairy.
Portion control may also be necessary — for older adults especially — as people may eat more food than they need.
Targeting nutrient-dense foods is essential for older adults, and avoidance of high-calorie foods that lack vital nutrients is crucial.
BDST: 1552 HRS, AUG 26, 2019