As you age, your body muscle mass tends to decrease. Hence, the protein requirements increase. Meals are not able to meet these increased demands.
This is where the role of high-protein snacks comes in for those above the age of 50 years. Which are the best high-protein snacks for this age group?
Aging, muscle mass, and protein requirements
Proteins are essential for building muscles as well as for the bones and other bodily functions. Normally, an adult requires around 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight.
Athletes and those in competitive sports and bodybuilders require more. They need at least 2 grams of protein per kg body weight. When a person starts aging, muscle mass starts shrinking.
Gym visits might help to build up these lost muscles. But along with that, diet is equally important. But the requirement of protein after the age of 50 is more per kg body weight.
The three meals in a day can provide the aging body with proteins but it might fall short of the rising demands.
In such cases, how to have enough proteins for the body? High-protein snacks can fill this protein gap. Having them in between the main meals would assist in keeping the muscles fit and healthy.
Expert dietitian, Julie Upton offers some suggestions of which snacks have high proteins and can be eaten to increase the protein intake per day.
Eggs: High-protein snacks
Eggs are a rich source of protein. Each egg has around 6 grams of proteins and provides 60 calories. This protein is also highly bioavailable. As per Julie,
“If you’re looking for a nutritional powerhouse, crack open an egg,”
Eggs also have other micronutrients such as vitamin D, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, iron, and choline. Julie explains:
“Eggs are great for adults because the protein provides all essential amino acids so that the body can utilize them more readily than other sources of protein,”
These are tender, young soybeans. They are highly delicious and 1 cup of edamame has 190 calories and 18 grams of proteins. Further, Julie adds:
“It boasts a one-two punch of filling protein and fiber—not to mention a host of beneficial anti-cancer and cardiovascular benefits,”
“Look for edamame in the fresh produce or freezer section of your local supermarket. They are a great plant-based source of protein and nutrients for adults.”
Milk has a good amount of proteins. But for the older age group, skimmed or 1% milk would be better. Julie elaborates:
“Milk is another nutrient-rich option for adults that provides 8 grams of high-quality protein per cup,”
“What’s more, milk provides an ideal ratio of quick-release whey and slower-release casein protein.”
Whey proteins have a lot of the essential amino acids for the body. Casein is a bit hard to digest but also is loaded with essential amino acids. Julie adds:
“Numerous studies confirm that whey and casein can help adults build and retain muscle mass,”
Greek yogurt is strained to remove the water and hence it is thicker and more nutritious than regular yogurt. Therefore, it has double the amount of protein and less sugar compared to the normal unstrained yogurt. She states:
“Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is a healthy, must-have in your diet,”
1 cup of this yogurt has 24 grams of proteins.