Does a person need extra protein or protein supplements to build muscles?

Muscles develop from training and exercising in the right amount, certainly some amount of protein is needed to help build the muscles, but a nutritious, balanced diet that includes:

1. 2-3 servings from the meat/bean/egg group (6-7 ounces total)

2. 2-3 servings of dairy products will supply all of the protein that the muscles need.

Extra servings of protein supplements do not necessarily assist in muscle development, ensure to consult a dietitian for doing so. However, biologically, protein cannot be stored in the body and any excess will be burned for energy or stored as body fat.

How can fibre be added to a senior’s diet?

The best way for seniors to get fibre is through plant-based foods and cereals. Some cereals are also fortified with iron and zinc. Seniors should eat whole grains as much as possible. If it’s hard to get fibre through these foods, there are fibre supplements. Adding ground flaxseeds or oatmeal to foods helps with fibre. For foods richer in fibre, look for foods labelled with five grams or more of fibre per serving. When increasing fibre in a senior’s diet, always do so slowly with an increase in fluids to prevent abdominal distress.

What helps with a senior’s poor appetite?

When seniors are dealing with appetite issues caused by cancer treatments or surgery recovery, or just not wanting to eat, you may want to mix up the diet a bit. Some of the nutritional supplements such as Ensure can be a benefit, but you don’t want to solely depend on them. You might want to add in some fruit, protein powder or ice cream. Caregivers can help with adding nutritional variety to a diet.

How do you deal with unintentional weight loss?

Calorie intake is an individual measure for each person, but if a person loses five per cent of his or her body weight in a month, that is significant. That fluctuation is a red flag and should be addressed by a doctor. With this type of unplanned weight loss, the person is at higher risk for getting sick and not healing well. There could be something else going on in the body. Weight monitoring is important especially for those with medical conditions such as congestive heart failure. Also, if you notice your loved one is gaining weight rapidly, this could be a sign of an underlying health condition.