As we age, we learn how our bodies handle and digest certain foods, and old eating habits are replaced with new ones. For instance, you might naturally react better to a homemade meal than late-night takeout.
For older adults, one beneficial change is to increase the intake of proteins. If you are trying to lose weight, manage an illness or simply want to improve your health, incorporating more protein into the diet can be a good place to start.
Protein, often referred to as “the building block of life,” is an organic compound that forms and repairs tissues. It contributes to the construction of nearly every bone, muscle, organ and drop of blood in your body. This powerhouse also creates enzymes and hormones.
The body does not store protein the way it does fats and carbohydrates. With such a hefty job, having enough protein, roughly 25 to 30 grams per meal, is necessary to properly function. However, there may be issues that prevent your intake of the substance. Reduced appetite, digestive problems or simply not including enough proteins in daily meals can affect adequate consumption. The resulting protein deficiency can put a strain on mobility, muscle repair and natural recovery from illness.
Occupational function relies on the ability to move. If you are unable to exercise, such as after a hip or knee replacement surgery, proteins can be vital to the recuperation process.
Nutritional needs change as we age, but finding what works best for you does not have to be a challenge. Incorporating more grains, fruits, vegetables and fish can aid in the journey to healthy living. You might think you know enough about proteins, but check out our infographic to learn more about the benefits, sources and myths surrounding them.
Dr. Myur S. Srikanth is a board-certified bariatric and cosmetic surgeon at the Center for Weight Loss Surgery. He has been performing bariatric surgery exclusively since 2000 and has performed over 3,500 weight loss surgeries. Dr. Srikanth performs nearly every operation that is currently available to treat obesity.
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