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It is well known that calcium and vitamin D are important for bone health, but the role of protein has been controversial.
When protein is metabolized in the body, acid is generated. This acid has to be neutralized and calcium is a natural ‘buffer’. Since an increase in dietary protein results in greater calcium loss in the urine, it was thought that excess dietary protein pulls calcium out of the bones, and subsequently weakens them.
Is Protein Bad for Bone?
A scientific meta-analysis (where researchers do an exhaustive search of the medical and scientific literature and base conclusions on what the highest quality studies collectively demonstrate) found that protein did not have a negative effect on bone mineral density (BMD). In fact, there was a slight positive effect of dietary protein on BMD. There was no effect, either positive or negative, on fracture incidence (1).
So based on this extensive review, and commentary from other researchers (2-3), it can be concluded that protein is not bad for bone health. So will eating more protein increase your bone strength? Maybe, however large long-term studies are still needed to confirm this.
The Importance of Protein
Protein is an excellent source of energy and has multiple roles in the body: muscles, hair, skin, enzymes, antibodies, hormones, neurotransmitters and for storage and transport of other molecules. Unfortunately, many seniors, especially if they are living on their own, and subsiding on ‘tea and toast’, do not get enough protein in their diet.
A poor quality diet can lead to weakness, fatigue, sleeping problems, nutritional deficiencies, and a host of other problems. This is a disaster for the well-being of seniors, those most susceptible to osteoporosis, and may worsen the chances of a fall.
Improving Dietary Intake of Protein
In our low-fat world, many foods are being shunned because of their fat content. Eggs, nuts, cheese, milk and other dairy products are easy sources of protein for older adults and seniors. Additional dietary sources of protein include meat and legumes (but these often take more preparation and/or cooking time).
One of the easiest ways to add more protein to our diet is to have it at breakfast. It has been shown that having a caffeinated coffee and either a muffin, bagel, or donut at breakfast dramatically increases insulin levels in the body. Having this type of breakfast repeatedly over time, may increase your chance of developing diabetes.
All of us, no matter what our age, can benefit from having some protein in the morning. I personally start my day with a protein shake, made from high quality whey protein.
- Protein has a slight positive effect on bone mineral density, not a negative effect as previously thought.
- Protein is an important component of everyone’s diet, and should NOT be avoided by those with osteoporosis.
- Incorporating modest amounts of protein in the diet of older adults and seniors will enhance overall health.
- Having a protein shake or a protein-rich food in the morning is a healthier choice than a "coffee-and-a-carb" breakfast.
1. Darling, AL et al. (2009) Dietary protein and bone health: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 90: 1674-92.
2. Kerstetter, JE (2009) Dietary protein and bone: a new approach to an old question. Am J Clin Nutr 90: 1451-2.
3. Bonjour, JP (2005) Dietary protein: an essential nutrient for bone health. J Am Coll Nutr 24: 526S-36S.
Dieting has never been fun and never will be. People who are serious about losing weight have to include regular exercise in their lives, along with proper food and supplement management and a sensible reduction in caloric intake.
Because excessive body fat is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, some precautions are in order. Depending on the extent of the weight problem, a medical examination may be a good idea before starting the exercise program.
The choices for supplements are seemingly endless. But before you go crazy looking for the right additions to your diet, take a look at the basics, like protein powder.
Beginning a fitness regimen can be an intimidating experience. There are thousands of products that all claim to help you get big or get little, depending on your goals. While any number of these products may indeed help you reach your goals, your initial supplement purchase should be a high quality protein powder
Even if you aren't a gym regular, adding a protein supplement can still be of benefit to you. Although the name"protein powder" may not have a tasty connotation, the supplement industry now creates products that taste just as good as that vanilla milkshake from the local burger joint. So, don't be worried about having to choke it down.
Now that we've put the taste issue to bed, consider these five reasons you should include a protein supplement in your diet:
It was perfect weather for the Spartan Race weekend. So many people came out to participate and to support runners from all over. Summer is probably the best season to focus on health and wellness. It’s such a great feeling to move your exercise outdoors, you feel more motivated to target your health-goals. But while training more frequently will eventually make you stronger, it’s also important to recognize the importance of recovery time.
If you live for 65 years or longer, you will have consumed more than 70,000 meals and your remarkable body will have disposed of 50 tons of food! The foods you choose have cumulative effects on your body. So, how can you recognize a nutritious diet? Check out 5 characteristics for a diet must!
The secret is out! Maca is gaining worldwide attention as the “it” superfood that revitalizes the entire endocrine system, allowing your body to promote enjoy energy and stamina, improve your ability to handle stress and enhance sexual and reproductive health and wellness.
Of the some twenty amino acids forming different proteins in our bodies, today I want to share the benefits of only three. They are glutamine, glycine and cysteine. These Three Aminos – pun intended – form the most important compound you need to stay healthy and the secret to prevent aging. This amazing tripeptide is called glutathione (GSH).
For a number of people the smell of bacon and eggs frying causes the mouth to water. Others just need a quick breakfast fix such as an muffin or Waffle that will get them through the morning rush. What if I tell you that you’ll be craving something sugary by mid-morning to help you get the extra boost in energy.
When you eat simple carbs or sugar, all of the ingested sugar quickly rushes into your bloodstream. You typically feel a quick rush of energy. Your body reacts to this sudden spike in blood sugar by having your pancreas produce additional insulin to remove excess sugar from your blood. And for the moment you have significantly lower blood sugar as a result of the insulin doing its job, resulting in a sense of needing more fuel, more energy and more calories. And as you hit that residual low blood sugar, you begin to crave more and more simple sugars initiating the downward spiral of sugar cravings.
A breakfast high in protein can give you the perfect start to your day. Protein can be a great way to fuel, help stabilize your blood glucose levels and prepare you for any physical and mental challenges throughout your day.