There Is Power in Protein for Older Adults

by Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Study finds the formula to keep muscle while losing body fat

Many older adults could benefit from dropping a few pounds of body fat. With weight loss, though, there are often reductions in bone strength and lean body mass, thereby raising the risk of mobility issues and injury from falls. New research shows that a diet tweak might help older people retain their muscle while simultaneously scaling down their body fat.

A Wake Forest University study published in the February issue of the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism reported that among 96 obese participants with an average age of 70, a reduced-calorie meal plan that provided 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight resulted in significant weight loss and worked to preserve muscle and bone mass. So, fitness and nutrition professionals who are working with older adults should educate them to be calorie-conscious and to consume enough high-protein foods.


165 pounds = 75 kilograms = 75 grams protein/day. 

Here are some samples (in 25g increments); choose 3 that suit your eating style.

Fitness JournalVolume 16, Issue 7

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