A recent study conducted by the Imperial College in London consisting of over four hundred thousand adults found that, even when the same number of total calories consumed was the same, that adults who consumed more meat gained more weight. Though this may come as a shock to some, what didn’t come as much of a surprise was that processed meats like hot dogs, sausages and deli meats where the biggest contributors to weight gain.
Now this study doesn’t necessarily mean that all people should convert to vegetarianism at a certain age, but it does mean that some elderly people would certainly benefit from getting protein from some alternative sources if they wanted to keep their weight in control. Maintaining a healthy weight can go a long way toward keeping you independent and living at home with periodic visits from a home care nurse rather than moving into a nursing home or facility.
For seniors who are trying to get enough protein to maintain or even build some lean muscle, the meat sources they consume should be lean. White meat chicken and several different varieties of fish are excellent sources of protein and many fish are also an excellent source of healthy fats.
Some excellent alternative sources of protein that are low in fat and high in essential nutrients are quinoa, almonds, Greek yogurt, egg whites, beans, nuts and seeds. These sources taste great and are easy to incorporate into any diet with little effort – if you want to try to incorporate some alternative protein sources into your diet; your physician, home health aide or nutritionist should be able to help you make the switch as seamlessly as possible.