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Protein for Baby-Boomers
Although protein is considered a necessary building block in nutrition for health benefits, there is a disparity about what the best form of protein is and how much one should eat for optimal health.
Protein is needed for your muscles, bones, and the rest of your body.
WebMD reports amounts of protein vary from 10 grams for babies up to 56 grams for men. Women and girls need about 46 grams per day. They also recommend, from a report by the Institute of Medicine that you should get at least 10% of your daily calories, but not more than 35%, from protein.
Another study WebMD sites says that one’s weight determines how much protein they need rather than their age. This means that the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight should be adequate for virtually every older person. According to that suggestion, I should be eating about 70 grams of protein per day. I’ve been tracking ALL the food and drinks I ingest for the past six months using MyFitnessPal and my protein consumption varies from 51 grams 85 grams per day in a given month, with my average being 63 grams – just a bit under the RDA.
Whether you eat meat or not, you can get enough protein from your diet.
If you’re trying to get more omega-3s, you might choose salmon, tuna, or eggs fortified with omega-3s.
If you need to get more fiber, look to beans, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
I eat a high plant-based diet, but have been adding more meat this year than I have eaten in many years. I am still experimenting with what works best for my body and optimal health. I know my body doesn’t much like beef – I feel very heavy and sluggish afterwards. I eat a higher percentage of chicken, eggs, and shrimp as my non-plant-based sources of protein. My main plant-based source of protein is spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower, although I do eat most of the plant-based sources of protein in the picture above.
WebMD suggests if one is trying to lose weight they should include a protein source at each meal. I find that it is more important for me to include a fat source (butter, coconut oil, avocado, etc.) at each meal rather than protein. It keeps me feeling full longer and I experience less of a feeling of heaviness. That’s not to say that I don’t have protein at each meal, that’s just not my focus.
I am NOT an expert in health and nutrition. I am barely an ‘expert’ in my own health and nutrition needs. Certain ideas about healthy eating really resonate with me, but yet, when I tried them I didn’t get the results that others were getting, therefore I cannot and will not say that any one program of nutrition is the end-all, be-all. (Please consult your own health care provider to find out what is best for you.)
I only explain my understanding and my practices, but I know from trial and error that what works for me may or may not work for you… Listen to YOUR body.
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