Re­newed push for pro­tein in mid­dle aged men and women

An ab­sence of pro­tein in daily meal con­sump­tion is re­spon­si­ble for sev­eral health prob­lems show­ing up ear­lier in life, which can be ob­vi­ated by mak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate changes in the diet and al­low­ing for an in­crease in our pro­tein up­take.

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Editor’s Note - By Dr. Sid­dhant Bhar­gava

One goes through a lot of phases with grow­ing age, which fur­ther de­mands enough heed to be given to phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes and de­gen­er­a­tive pro­cesses. It has been com­monly seen that hor­monal changes are quite nor­mal in an in­di­vid­ual’s body with pass­ing age, and it holds a lot of sig­nif­i­cance for our health and well be­ing.

Gen­er­ally, in a male body, af­ter the age of 35, the testos­terone amount in the blood be­gins to fall. Whereas it has been found that in fe­males, af­ter menopause, the es­tro­gen and pro­ges­terone lev­els start go­ing down.

This re­duc­tion in hor­mones fur­ther leads to sev­eral prob­lems such as dry skin, hair loss, brit­tle nails, fa­tigue, lethargy, low­er­ing of mood, de­creased li­bido, low­ered mus­cle mass, slower me­tab­o­lism, weaker bones and lig­a­ments and sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to frac­tures. Nev­er­the­less, ef­fec­tive mea­sures can be taken to cope with these symp­toms and man­age them well.

Es­sen­tially, an ab­sence of pro­tein in daily con­sump­tion is re­spon­si­ble for some of these prob­lems. The two fac­tors such as the abil­ity to burn calo­ries and pro­duce en­ergy hold a lot of rel­e­vance for con­trol­ling the meta­bolic rate of the body. Some of the most com­mon symp­toms aris­ing out of a lack of suf­fi­cient pro­tein con­sump­tion are a de­crease in hor­mones such as thy­roid hor­mone cor­ti­sol and ep­i­neph­rine and the early on­set of thin mus­cle mass or fat-free mus­cle.

In or­der to re­verse the symp­toms men­tioned above, it is cru­cial that we make some of the changes in our diet. These could be in the form of:

• In­take of to­tal pro­tein

• Up­surge mus­cle ac­ti­va­tion

• Ini­ti­ate the re­lease of hu­man growth

• Pre­vent early cell de­gen­er­a­tion through an­tiox­i­dants It is es­sen­tial to track the stages and symp­toms men­tioned ear­lier, which will help in the preven­tion of mus­cle loss, meta­bolic drop and early ag­ing. The com­plete pro­tein in­take for a mid­dle-aged man or woman should be 1-1.2 gm of pro­tein/kg of body weight. For ex­am­ple, fe­males with a weight of 60 kg should have at least 60 gm pro­tein. How­ever, a man lift­ing weights four times a week should con­sume 90 gm of pro­tein daily.

The usual pro­tein sources are meat, eggs and fish for non-veg­e­tar­i­ans and soya & oil seeds, nuts, cot­tage cheese and pulses for veg­e­tar­i­ans. When it comes to the ques­tion of the cor­rect time to con­sume, it is an es­tab­lished fact that each meal of the day should com­prise a good amount of pro­tein. How­ever, early morn­ing con­sump­tion of pro­tein is good for health due to the pres­ence of the amino

acid pool in the gut. Post work­out, in or­der to keep the en­ergy flow go­ing, in­take of pro­tein is im­por­tant. It strength­ens the bio-avail­abil­ity and ab­sorp­tion of pro­tein from the gut and helps in the de­vel­op­ment of hor­mones in the body.

Pro­tein in ev­ery meal

In or­der to re­duce blood su­gar lev­els, con­sum­ing pro­tein in each meal is vi­tal as it leads to an up­surge in sati­ety and in­duces a per­sis­tent flow of amino acid. One thing to be no­ticed is that a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in ap­petite has a very strong re­la­tion­ship with ad­vanc­ing age. Peo­ple in mid­dle age years are gen­er­ally more prone to nu­tri­tional in­suf­fi­cien­cies due to lesser in­take of food, which fur­ther re­sults in slow­ing down the me­tab­o­lism. They should ideally in­crease their ex­er­cise ac­tiv­i­ties along with an in­crease in the amount of food in­take.

An­other op­tion is to go for pow­der-based pro­tein, prefer­ably sup­ple­ments that even­tu­ally help in achiev­ing the pro­tein goals of the day. Sup­ple­ments like whey pro­tein, pea pro­tein, ca­sein pro­tein, and col­la­gen pro­tein are avail­able in milk/ wa­ter re­solv­able pow­ders and play an im­por­tant role in terms of pro­tein unit con­sump­tion. They also com­ple­ment our zinc, iron, mag­ne­sium and vi­ta­min B con­sump­tion.

In ad­di­tion, to avoid at­ro­phy of mus­cles in the body, one should nec­es­sar­ily ex­er­cise. It is ad­vis­able to in­dulge in 45 min­utes of ex­er­cise at least four times a week and also al­low for an in­creased con­sump­tion of pro­tein in the diet.

In mid­dle-aged fe­males, post-menopausal ex­po­sure to lig­a­ment tears, frac­tures and os­teope­nia in­creases. It is crit­i­cal that they raise their col­la­gen in­take be­sides also car­ry­ing out strength build­ing ex­er­cises. Ideally, to en­sure an up­surge in pro­tein con­sump­tion, each meal should en­com­pass a pro­tein source.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, in In­dia, peo­ple are more prone to an ex­cess of carbs in their meals. For in­stance, they gen­er­ally tend to eat more of paran­tha, poha, rice and upma. It is sug­gested that they go for a lit­tle ad­di­tion of pro­tein in­take such as cot­tage cheese and egg whites, which will make for a more healthy meal. Con­sump­tion of a good amount of pro­tein en­hances the skin of an in­di­vid­ual no­tice­ably. In­ter­est­ingly, the other parts of the body such as nails and hair also start glow­ing and be­come less dry and rel­a­tively health­ier. Pro­tein con­sump­tion trig­gers se­bum pro­duc­tion in the body, which acts as a nat­u­ral mois­tur­izer for the skin. Manag­ing the ag­ing process also be­comes eas­ier and smoother.

One of the com­mon mis­con­cep­tions peo­ple have is that a rise in the con­sump­tion of pro­tein has a neg­a­tive im­pact on the kid­ney. How­ever, re­search done in this re­gard has helped to de­bunk such fal­la­cies while build­ing the case for higher pro­tein in­take amongst the el­derly.

As a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner, I need to rec­om­mend that pro­tein in­take is in­ad­vis­able for peo­ple with chronic re­nal prob­lem. None­the­less, for healthy grownups, the ad­di­tion of pro­tein in their meals will lead to a healthy and more ef­fec­tive func­tion­ing of the body.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, in In­dia, peo­ple are more prone to an ex­cess of carbs in their meals. For in­stance, they gen­er­ally tend to eat more of paran­tha, poha, rice and upma. It is sug­gested that they go for a lit­tle ad­di­tion of pro­tein in­take such as cot­tage cheese and egg whites, which will make for a more healthy meal.

The writer is Co-founder, Fit­ness & Nu­tri­tional Sci­en­tist – Food Darzee, a health and nu­tri­tion com­pany that pro­vides a unique cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence com­bin­ing nu­tri­tion, food, fit­ness, and im­pec­ca­ble cus­tomer ser­vice to help you achieve your health and fit­ness goals.

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