Don’t Save Up for a Big Steak Dinner
But, here’s where the real specific advice kicks in- you should be including sources of high quality protein such as eggs, milk and meats and balancing your protein intake throughout the day. “Typically people eat less protein at breakfast, a little more at lunch and then eat a lot at dinner. To optimize protein synthesis and prevent sarcopenia it needs to be more evenly distributed.” There goes that diet plan to starve all day and splurge on a big steak for dinner. Your muscles are hungry for amino acids found in protein foods all day long. In fact, Robert Wolfe, Ph D Professor of Geriatrics at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas warns that “When there are periods of the day when no amino acids are being absorbed from the gut, muscle serves as the only significant reservoir of protein.” That means your body starts robbing the muscles of stored protein to keep organs and other tissues humming along. So, make sure you’re eating protein containing foods every day and including protein in each meal. And that includes snacks. Something as simple as fresh apple slices topped with peanut butter is a good choice.
Hewlings emphasized that protein alone can’t do the job of preserving and building muscles as we age, “I call exercise the ‘poor man’s plastic surgery.’ And note that physical activity boosts lean body mass only if you’ve got enough protein in your diet.”
Protein On The Menu
Since foods are often a combination of the three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) chooses protein containing foods wisely with other health concerns in mind. For instance, a 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak is a great source of complete protein—38 grams worth but contains 44 grams of fat. The same amount of salmon gives you 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat- and it’s the kind of fat that’s good for you. For a complete list of protein foods to include in a healthy diet go to http://www.mypyramid.gov/.