A Nutrition Plan from AARP for Seniors to Keep Them Leaner, Stronger and Healthier
By Stephen Perrine
At your annual physical your doctor may ask about avoiding saturated fats and/or weight control, but odds are he says nothing about muscles.
After age 30, humans begin to lose 5% of their muscle every decade. Science shows that individuals that retain muscles while aging, lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and inflammation, all risk factors for heart disease.
The main cause of age-related muscle loss is “anabolic resistance”, which means, as the body ages it loses its ability to turn protein into muscle as efficiently as it did in younger years. The only way to overcome anabolic resistance is to eat more protein. It is recommended that senior men eat 30 grams of protein per meal and women consume 25 grams each meal, anything less than that, the body will remain in muscle loss mode. Fat starts to win out over the muscle tissue, resulting in heart health risks.
Protein is not the sole diet for optimum senior health, a diet must contain a mix of high-fiber grains, high-nutrient fruits, and vegetables, and healthy fats to keep heart-harming fat and inflammation in check.
SUGEGESTED DIET PLAN
- Protein – eat 25-30 grams at each meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Cheese, Peanut Butter, Fish, Nuts, etc.
Seafood, Nuts Seeds, Olives and Avocados, Salmon, Tsp. of Peanut Butter, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil with Bread, etc.
- High-Fiber Foods – Cereals, Grains, and Beans
Research shows that for every additional 10 grams of fiber eaten, the risk of stroke is lowered 12%
Whole Milk Not 2%, Whole Cheese Not Lite – a study found that those who ate 3 servings of whole fat dairy, daily, lowered the risk of heart disease and stroke, as compared to those who only ate 1 serving daily.
- Colorful Fruits and Vegetables – 10 Small Servings Daily
Fruits and vegetables provide fiber, vitamins, minerals and thousands of phytochemicals
(helps to prevent inflammation problems).
- Don’t Drink Your Calories
Avoid Diet Sodas – they have been linked to heart disease, stroke, and dementia.
Water, Sparkling Water, Tea, and Coffee are the best.