Malnutrition is a big problem among seniors. Some estimates by medical researchers are that more than 60% of seniors are malnourished. Even if seniors are eating they are often not eating enough or not eating the right types of foods. Protein is something that most seniors aren’t eating enough of. There are a lot of reasons why seniors aren’t getting enough protein, including that meat is a primary source of protein and it can be difficult for seniors to cook meat. But dairy products like cottage cheese and milk are also good sources of protein for seniors. Elder care providers could assist with managing a senior’s diet.
Seniors that aren’t getting enough to eat because they find it difficult to cook should have elder care. Elder care helps seniors with tasks at home like household chores, cooking, and shopping. Elder care can help ensure that seniors are getting the food that they need to be healthy, like protein.
Some of the many reasons why seniors need to eat more protein include:
Seniors who eat the recommended amount of protein may have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. That’s because protein is one of the things that can make seniors feel full. Sometimes seniors don’t realize that they’re feeling hungry, especially if they have a condition like Alzheimer’s, but if seniors are hungry they can have a hard time sleeping at night. A protein-rich snack about an hour before bed can dramatically improve sleep for seniors.
Keep Muscle Tone
Keeping muscle is something that a lot of seniors need to be concerned about. As seniors get older and they aren’t able to work out as much as they used to they may start to lose muscle. But losing muscle can impact their overall health and their mobility. Eating protein can help keep muscles strong because when the protein is broken down by the body the muscles use that broken-down protein to stay healthy. That’s one of the reasons why bodybuilders focus so much on eating protein to stay strong.
Burn Fat and Lower Blood Pressure
Protein can also help seniors burn fat and maintain a healthy weight. If your senior parent needs to lose weight eating a diet that is mostly vegetables but also includes lean protein is a great way for seniors to lose weight. Even seniors who have been struggling to lose weight can lose weight by adding more protein to their diet. And because protein helps keep seniors full, seniors will also eat less if they are eating protein-rich snacks and foods.
A diet that contains a lot of healthy protein like the protein from lean meats like chicken and fish or dairy foods like eggs, cottage cheese, and milk can help seniors lower their blood pressure or maintain healthy blood pressure. Because high blood pressure also leads to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke it’s recommended that seniors make sure their diet includes some healthy proteins every day.