The dilemma of promoting healthy ageing is complex, but research tells us that optimising protein intake at all meals is an important part of the process.
What type of protein?
Research shows that age doesn’t affect how we digest and absorb protein foods. As such, protein choices for the elderly should focus on high quality protein foods where ever possible.
How much protein?
While age makes no difference to how we digest and absorb protein, the body’s ability to use it to build or repair body tissues like muscle is reduced. Research suggests the optimal amount of protein for the over 65’s at any particular eating occasion is around 25-30g, or the equivalent of a 100g piece of cooked lean steak.
The best time for protein?
Because the optimal amount of protein at any eating occasion is around 25-30g, meeting daily needs, which may be more than 100g protein/day, means including quality protein foods at every main meal and when needs are particularly high at mid-meal snacks as well.
Did you know?
International recommendations for daily protein in the over 65’s are greater than those currently recommended in Australia and New Zealand.
- 1.0-1.2g protein per kg body weight in healthy older adults OR 76-91g protein/day*
- 1.2-1.5g/kg protein per kg body weight in older adults who are unwell or suffering a chronic disease OR 91-114g protein/day*
*Based on weight of 76kg
- Taylor & Luscombe-Marsh. Protein: An aged challenge. Food Australia 2015;67 (3): 18-21
- Bauer J et al. Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE Study Group. Am J Med Dir Assoc. 2013;14(8):542-59