I just read my newsletter that came in the mail today from Consumer Reports onHealth. One article was very informative on the importance of getting enough protein in one’s diet, especially as we get older. They refer to a simple formula where younger adults up to age 65 need less protein than an older adult. Younger adults should multiply their body weight in pounds by 0.4 to get the number of grams of protein per day, but older adults should multiply by 0.6. Quite a difference! For instance, a 180lb male at age 55 needs 72 grams of protein per day, whereas the same man at age 70 needs 108 grams. You’ll have to find charts of what foods are high in protein, and take special consideration if you are vegetarian since not all foods in a vegan diet that are high in protein have eight essential amino acids, building blocks of protein, in them. But combining several vegan sources can get you there.
Why do we need more protein as we age?
- When we are properly nourished with protein we are more likely to recover from illness
- It can offset aches and pains from age-related inflammatory conditi0ns
- We are more likely to have energy and muscle strength
- Reduces the chance of gaining weight by storing less fat
Are there concerns with getting too much protein?
Absolutely! Many older adults have kidney disease of reduced kidney function which excess protein can worsen kidney function. It is best to discuss with your doctor your kidney function and if it is alright to increase your protein intake if it is low.