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The importance of eating enough protein

12th Feb 2021

The risk of being poorly nourished increases with age. Not eating enough of the right foods can lead to poor nutrition, undesirable weight loss and loss of muscle.

Decreased muscle mass means loss of strength and increased frailty. Muscle loss has been linked to diets low in protein. As muscles are continuously being broken down and rebuilt, a poor intake of protein (especially in old age) will mean gradual loss of muscle.

Protein requirements are higher for older people than for younger people.

Foods rich in protein include meat, chicken (and other poultry), eggs, fish (and other seafood), milk cheese, custard, yoghurt, peanut butter, legumes (chick peas, butter beans, baked beans etc.) soy products.

Try to include a protein rich food every main meal time. If you have a small appetite it may be wise to eat the protein part of your meal first. You will need some energy giving food at the same time so  that the protein can do the job it is supposed to do. Creamy mashed potato is easy to eat. Desserts also provide energy. Milk based desserts such as creamed rice or fruit and custard are a good choice.