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Morning protein helps older folks muscle up

A diet rich in protein-rich foods, such as

A diet rich in protein-rich foods, such as meat, eggs and nuts, help maintain muscle mass. Credit: iStock

Older adults may not be getting sufficient protein, or they may not be eating enough protein-rich foods early in the day.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston concluded that the typical American breakfast of cereal or toast may not "promote healthy aging" because it doesn't contain enough protein to maintain muscle mass.

The deficiency lingers even if you eat a protein-rich dinner and end up with the recommended daily amount of protein -- about 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. (A 6-ounce steak, for instance, has about 42 grams of protein.) They suggest adding an egg, a glass of milk or a handful of nuts to your breakfast.

And a Purdue University study found that older women may benefit from consuming about 30 percent more protein than guidelines recommend to combat muscle loss, which increases the risk of falls.

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