Archive for Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Many older adults don’t get enough protein; Lawrence nutritionist gives facts on how much is enough

January 6, 2010


As part of our new health section, we will be featuring readers' health-related questions. If you have a question, contact Karrey Britt, health reporter.

One reader wanted to know how much protein he or she should be consuming. Here was the question that was submitted anonymously:

Q: I need to add protein to my diet. How many grams do I need per day?

Related document

Vary Your Protein ( .PDF )

A: According to information provided by Susan Krumm, a nutrition educator for K-State Research and Extension in Douglas County, the protein requirement for adults is fairly small. It’s between 36 grams and 72 grams per day for adults of all ages weighing from 100 to 200 pounds. Specifically, the amount needed is 0.36 grams protein per pound of body weight. That’s 54 grams for someone who weighs 150 pounds.

Half of a small boneless skinless chicken breast provides about 27 grams of protein. One egg or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contain about seven grams of protein.

Many older adults do not eat the amount recommended.

According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, some older people lose significant amounts of muscle mass, are more likely to fall and then suffer injuries, and have trouble doing basic muscular activities needed for independent living.

People with health conditions, such a diabetes or kidney disease, should consult with their health care provider regarding how much protein to eat.


zettapixel 8 years ago

0.8 to 1.0 grams per pound of bodyweight if you're serious about gaining lean muscle mass. Anything less and your body will be in negative nitrogen balance and go catabolic.

feetup 8 years ago

so how many grams to gain muscle mass? 130lbs so 130 grams of protein to gain or maintain?

feetup 8 years ago

sorry zetta, i didn't read closely. I get it now. thanks!

gsxr600 8 years ago

I'm shooting at about 1.2 grams per pound right now with pretty intense workouts. But I'm also trying to clean bulk, so inevitably I'm gaining extra fat too.

Too much protein in your system goes to waste and I believe gets converted to fat? Too little protein is a no no too so by general rule, 1 gram per pound is an easy number to remember, and not terribly difficult to obtain.

For older people, vegetarians, and bodybuilders looking for a quick fix of protein, go buy a couple pounds of protein powder. Whey protein concentrate/isolate is the most popular (it comes from cheese). A lot of it tastes great with milk and and has 20-30grams of fast absorbing pure protein and amino acids per scoop.

commonsense 8 years ago

Read this online (journal):

I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that fitness Urban Legend! Let’s explode this old myth right away. The idea that “the human body can only digest – at most – 30 grams at a time” is ludicrous: it makes no allowances for size differences. So a 300 pound professional football player and a 100 pound female figure skater would have the identical protein assimilation capacities? Bull S—! The big man’s internal digestive plumbing will be 2-3 times larger in diameter than an athletic woman 1/3rdhis size. This 30 grams per feeding myth ignores bodyweight: it also ignores differences in the metabolism. An athletic individual with a raging Basal Metabolic Rate (an elite Parrillo bodybuilder) will have a much higher food assimilation capacity than another individual (the same height and weight) with a sluggish metabolism. Parrillo-style bodybuilders have trained the body to be able to process massive amounts of food, quickly, efficiently and effectively. A person on a multiple-meal eating plan consumes upwards of 50 meals in a single seven day stretch: that’s a lot of digestive practice! A pro bodybuilder living on 5,000 calories per day, eating clean food, taking potent Parrillo supplements, will have a hell-of-a-lot more assimilation ability than a sedentary individual. Obese people have snail-like metabolisms and often live on less than 1,000 calories per day; starvation dieting destroys muscle. These obvious differences between the elite and the obese are ignored by the ‘one-size-fits-all’ crowd of experts. These guys pontificate with the greatest of ease, saying with great authority that “no one” can assimilate more than 30 grams of protein at any one time.” Politely I say – Poppycock!

commonsense 8 years ago

Based on the comment I posted above, it seems that it all depends on one's metabolism. We are all unique and some of us or more efficient that others. We must take into consideration exercise intensity and duration, genetics, and vices such as smoking and drinking. One has to really know their body and experiment with detailed record keeping in order to find the perfect amout of protein for one sitting. Consider five meals a day at 30 grams of protein. That's alot of protein for a 170lbs. man who sits around all day. But for the 170lbs. man who is an endurance athlete, he may need more, he may need less. He has to train patiently and diligently to see you his body responds to the sequencing of protein in his meals.

K_Verses_The_World 8 years ago

I like to do just like the rest, I like my sugar sweet, But guarding fumes and making haste, It ain't my cup of meat.

ldvander 8 years ago

Don't forget about the importance of Fat! Fat is good! People who cut Fat (from their diet) will lose important bodily and brain functions. I'm not talking Wendy's everyday fat. But protein is absorbed more readily with a healthy amount of fat too. So throw in some butter, drink that whole milk, and top with sour cream as long as you have a healthy diet and lifestyle you will be great. Plus a little fat on top of muscle looks good.

lounger 8 years ago

More importantly is the amount of Taurine that is in meat. To keep a healthy heart going we need some Taurine in our diets. YOu could take a supplement for Taurine but dont drink the dreaded red bull-its loaded with not only Taurine but copious amounts of caffine!!

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