Did you know that protein requirements are higher for older adults than for younger adults? The reason for this is that muscles in our body are always being broken down and rebuilt. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles. So, without enough dietary protein, the body will break down more muscle than it rebuilds. This will lead to reduced strength and being unable to carry out day-to-day activities of living independently. Reduced muscle strength will add to weakness and frailty, which compounds the risk for falls. Therefore, keeping muscle in the body is very important.
As you get older, a protein intake of 1.0-1.2g per kilogram of body weight per day is recommended. So, if a person weighs 65kg, their protein requirements are at least 65g per day. Or about 20-25g of protein at each main meal. To put this in perspective, 100g or cooked red meat, chicken or fish contains 25-30g of protein.
Have a look at the resource “How to eat more protein” to see if you’re getting enough.