I want to tell you about some newly released medical studies containing health facts and advice that everyone needs to know! Eating protein in 3 meals per day might help seniors preserve strength! Unfortunately, seniors lose muscle mass with age, but the decline really starts in adulthood. A Canadian study found that including protein in meals throughout the day helps to reduce muscle loss. As I age, I tend to only eat protein at dinner. This is truely a wake-up call! Stephanie Chevelier, one of the study's authors, says:
"The important point is to create three meal occasions with sufficient protein to stimulate muscle building and greater strength instead of just oneThe study recommends 3 oz of protein spread into 3 meals for men. For women, the recommendation is just under 3 oz. The size of a bar of soap or the palm of the average adult hand is the size of 3 oz of meat. Some examples of 1 oz protein options include one egg, one tablespoon of peanut butter, and one quarter cup of cooked beans. This is quite simple. You just have to be intentional.
Mediterranean Diet vs. Western DietAnother study from Italy reiterated the benefits of eating a real Mediterranean diet (not the pizza and pasta interpretation). Italy knows a thing or two about food and here are the details: eating more fruits and vegetables, and foods cooked in healthier ways are vital to good health. This is a special topic for me because I believe we are what we eat. This includes our skin health. I can't advocate for good skin care without advocating for good overall health and wellness. Aim to eat a small amount of fish and lean meats, olive oil, produce, and some whole grain foods. Your diet needs to be heavy on the fruit and veggies and less of the protein (3 oz per day), olive oil, and whole grains. This is an expensive flip on the Western diet of inexpensive carbs and sugar. The Italians advise how to make this diet work on a budget:
- Look for sales to stretch your budget.
- Buy in-season produce because it’s cheaper (and tastier).
- Don’t overcook your foods because you'll lose nutrition and antioxidants.
- Consider frozen and canned foods which are often more affordable.
- Eat legumes (an affordable and tasty food group).
- Substitute olive oil for other inexpensive plant-based oils.
The bottom line: eat it (Mediterranean style), do it (exercise), and claim it (because you rock!) – it’s the perfect trifectaSpecifically, as you age:
- Get moving!
- Eat a real Mediterranean diet including 3 oz of protein throughout the day.
- Exercise to maintain your functionality and mobility.
- Claim it all as your identity. You are a person who makes smart lifestyle choices!