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Protein for stronger bones

1 gram protein per day for every kg of body weight

To protect their bones, elderly women already know to eat lots of calcium-rich foods. But they may need to increase protein intake, as well. The results of a recent study show a positive relationship between protein intake and bone mass in the heel- and hip-bone mineral density in women around age 75 (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005, vol. 81, no. 6). Debra Boutin, clinic nutrition coordinator at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, recommends 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight (weight in pounds divided by 2.2) per day for people older than 65. For example, a person weighing 132 pounds (60 kg) would need 60 grams of protein. Meat, dairy, whole grains (particularly quinoa and amaranth), legumes, and soy products are all good sources of protein, says Boutin. She adds, “It all comes back to eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods to enhance bone health.”

Quick protein picks
Meat (3-ounce serving) = 21 grams
Eggs (2 whole) = 14 grams
Milk or soy milk (8 ounces) = 7 grams
Legumes (1/2 cup) = 6 grams
Whole-grain bread (1 slice) = 3 grams
Whole-grain pasta (1/2 cup) = 3 grams

Source: Debra Boutin.

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