Monday, November 17, 2014

How much protein does an elderly man or woman need?

OMG every website I look up there is a different answer. In fact if I do a search on protein for the elderly, I actually find there are academic studies and these seem to point in the direction of more protein for the elderly than was previously thought optimal.

I have read a good one by Dr Mercola. So just assuming this website has the correct formula, you can work it out that if my husband weighs 57 kg then that is 125.7 pounds. And since for every pound of bodyweight you need 0.6 gm of protein daily that means he needs 63gms of protein per day. Seems a lot.

So looking up the lists we see that the best source of protein is animal flesh, in particular good quality beef. On the other hand you can't go overboard. Have we been doing this with three fish meals a day? Maybe. Here is what one website says about fish

"Most fish are good sources of dietary protein while also supplying essential minerals and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. However, it's important to limit intake of larger, predatory fish like shark and swordfish, as they may contain high levels of mercury. In addition to fish, other foods that represent excellent sources of dietary protein include cheese, beans, lean red meats, seeds, poultry, yeast extract and legumes."

3oz is 85 gm and this is a good serving of fish. In fact today I bought 300 gm of filleted turbot and we expect that would be three to four servings. 100 gm of it would give somewhere between 25 and 30 gm of protein and he needs 63 gm for the day.

Here is what Dr Mercola says in an article The Very Real Risks of Consuming too Much Protein an excellent article on protein

"This comes down to a protein serving that is about the size of a deck of cards. To estimate your protein requirements, first determine your lean body mass. Subtract your percent body fat from 100. For example, if you have 20 percent body fat, then you have 80 percent lean body mass. Just multiply that percentage (in this case, 0.8) by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos. So, in the above example, if you weighed 160 pounds, 0.8 multiplied by 160 equals 128 pounds of lean body mass. Using the "one-half gram of protein" rule, you would need about 64 grams of protein per day."

If my husband weighs 57 kg and it is 100% lean body mass then he has 57kg lean body weight. Multiply by 0.6 an then he needs half gm of protein rule, he needs 34 gm of protein a day. Say the one serving of fish was 25, he has only 9gm to make up in other foods.

Well let's throw in a couple of eggs. That would give 12-14gms of protein and that would be enough for the day.

But it should be more varied that that. One egg should do. The rest can come from yoghurt, tofu, other pulses, broccoli and a variety of other foods. Oh I forgot. The doctor when we visited, gave us a chart that said for a man over 70 the RDI (I think this stands for Required Daily Intake) is 81 gm

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