Protein from age 50
Prevent muscle atrophy in the second half of life with protein

Proteins provide important nutrients and are very important for building and maintaining muscle mass. After age 50 it's important to adapt your diet to avoid gaining weight and losing muscle mass. What can you do to avoid this?

There probably isn't anyone who doesn’t want to stay healthy and live independently for as long as possible. To manage this, a diet adapted to your age and body and regular exercise play an important role. It’s no secret that our bodies change throughout our lives. Our daily calorie requirement declines steadily by 25% from 50 to 65. This is because ageing causes part of our muscle mass to be replaced by fat and tissue cells, which is why we don't need as much energy. On the other hand our micronutrient and protein requirements stay the same or even increase. So it's recommended that from the age of 65, people consume 1 to 1.2 g of animal or vegetable protein per kilo of body weight per day (recommendation for younger adults: 0.8 g per kilo of body weight).

A study by the Felix Platter Geriatric Medicine University (Universitäre Altersmedizin Felix Platter) showed that older people especially eat too little or have unbalanced diets. This can be for various reasons such as loss of appetite, chewing and digestive problems, but also because people are unaware of what they should eat. More than half of the 300 elderly hospital patients studied showed signs of malnutrition and insufficient protein intake. One consequence of this is muscle atrophy, which one in five of the malnourished people suffered from.

Three tips for a healthy everyday life

1. Our bodies like to keep moving at every stage of our lives. We should do this by spending at least two and a half hours a week walking briskly, gardening, climbing stairs, cycling, doing gymnastics, balance exercises or hiking. Pro Senectute's varied programme includes activities such as dancing and rhythmic gymnastics which help balance and coordination. They have created numerous fitness workouts in collaboration with SWICA.

2. In the winter, our bodies lack vitamin D, which is produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. It's important for the muscles and the immune system, which is why it's recommended that people over 60 take vitamin D in the form of soft capsules containing oil or oil in drop form.

3. Proteins contribute to muscle and bone formation and are found in many animal and plant foods: 

  • Meat, fish, eggs
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese
  • Pulses such as chickpeas and lentils
  • Soya, tofu or soya drinks
  • Seitan and Quorn
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cereals such as wheat, oats, rice or muesli



What SWICA offers

Want to try aqua-fit, yoga, strength training, tennis, rhythmic gymnastics or dancing? With COMPLETA PRAEVENTA supplementary insurance SWICA supports preventive healthcare and health promotion with exercise, nutrition and wellbeing activities with an annual contribution of 50% up to 500 francs or 300 francs per activity category. 

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