Older Adults’ Protein Needs – Consumer Reports

In addition to protein drinks and powders that have been on the market for years, we’re seeing more items made with or enriched with protein, including pasta, bread mixes, and cereals.

Can they help you with your needs? “While these foods may be high in protein, someone who eats a mostly plant-based diet will still need to make sure they balance their protein sources so they are not deficient in the individual amino acids that are essential,” says Cary Kreutzer, RD. Associate Professor of Clinical Gerontology and Pediatrics at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

For example, some high-protein pastas, such as those made with chickpeas or black beans, are healthy. “But I avoid breakfast cereals that are high in sugar and fiber and high in protein,” Marianne says.

If you’re choosing high-protein products, remember that “high protein” on the label means the item should have 10 grams or more per serving. To be called a “good” source, it should contain 5 to 9.5 grams per serving.

Protein drinks and powders, which often contain soy, pea, or whey (from dairy) proteins, vary in their nutritional benefits. Some contain additives, such as artificial flavors, or lots of added sugars. And protein powders are not whole food into a powder. Instead, the protein is extracted from food in a lab, so you’re left with the protein and not the other food ingredients. There is also concern that residues of some of the chemicals used to extract the protein may be left in the final product, and some powders have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead.

However, these drinks may be beneficial in some cases. “I always recommend people try to get protein from whole foods, but some protein shakes provide 30 grams of protein in one serving, and can be good for someone who doesn’t have a big appetite,” Marian says. Low additive.

Editor’s note: A version of this article also appeared in the January 2022 issue of Consumer Reports Health.

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