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What Nutrient Did Studies Find Aging Adults Aren’t Eating Enough Of?

By Dr. Uchechi Wosu Isirimah – Owner | February 20, 2019

Elderly Care in Vienna VA: Seniors Aren't Eating Enough

Protein is a key component when it comes to the body repairing and building tissue. It is also important when it comes to regulating hormones, making chemicals your body needs to function properly, and helping to create everything from your bones and cartilage to blood and skin. Without enough protein, your health suffers.

Without enough protein, you can lose muscle mass. It takes longer for your body to heal after an injury. A lack of protein can also make you hungrier and fill up foods that aren’t as nutritionally sound. That, in turn, can lead to you carrying too much weight, which increases your risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.

What Studies Find About Seniors and Protein Intake

In the early 2000s, the RDA for protein was set at 0.80 grams per 2.2 pounds. This meant a person weighing 150 pounds should eat 54.5 grams (0.12 pounds) of protein each day. A study in Frontiers in Nutrition questioned if that amount is right for seniors. Senior citizens need to ingest higher levels of a specific amino acid to help with muscle strength.

In 2018, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition released the results of their elderly nutrition study. They looked at the diets of 11,728 men and women over the age of 51. That study found that 46 percent of seniors over the age of 70 was not getting enough protein.

How Do You Make Sure Your Parent Gets Enough Protein?

One of the most important steps to getting enough protein is to eat three daily meals. If your parents skip meals, they’re less likely to eat enough protein. They should aim to have a full breakfast with a good source of protein. Eggs or yogurt parfaits are good options. Lunch and dinner are equally important and need to have a source of protein.

Your parent may not like to eat a lot of meat, and that’s fine. They may worry about increased fat intake when boosting protein. There are ways around that. They can focus on dried beans and legumes. A pot of vegetarian chili is packed with protein and fiber.

Tofu is a good source of protein that also keeps fat intake down. If your parents don’t like the taste, marinate it first. As an example, marinate tofu in a homemade teriyaki sauce. Cut it into large cubes and saute in a pan until each side is a little crispy. Toss those in a mix of honey, soy sauce, and toasted sesame seeds for a quick version of sesame tofu.

Elder care aides can cook protein-rich meals for your mom and dad. They can also remind your parent to eat each meal. Call an elder care agency to learn more.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Vienna, VA, please contact the caring staff at BrightHope Home Care and Senior Care today. Call us at 703-595-2878 ~ We serve all of Northern VA.


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