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J Nutr Health Aging. 2017;21(6):673-680. doi: 10.1007/s12603-016-0819-6.

Diet Modeling in Older Americans: The Impact of Increasing Plant-Based Foods or Dairy Products on Protein Intake.

Author information

1
Jenny A Houchins, National Dairy Council, Rosemont, IL 60018, USA, Email: Jenny.Houchins@Dairy.org.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the effects of increasing plant-based foods or dairy products on protein intake in older Americans by performing diet modeling.

DESIGN:

Data from What We Eat in America (WWEIA), the dietary component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2010 for Americans aged 51 years and older (n=5,389), divided as 51-70 years (n=3,513) and 71 years and older (n=1,876) were used.

MEASUREMENTS:

Usual protein intake was compared among three dietary models that increased intakes by 100%: (1) plant-based foods; (2) higher protein plant-based foods (i.e., legumes, nuts, seeds, soy); and (3) dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt). Models (1) and (2) had commensurate reductions in animal-based protein intake.

RESULTS:

Doubling intake of plant-based foods (as currently consumed) resulted in a drop of protein intake by approximately 22% for males and females aged 51+ years. For older males and females, aged 71+ years, doubling intake of plant-based foods (as currently consumed) resulted in an estimated usual intake of 0.83±0.02 g/kg ideal body weight (iBW))/day and 0.78±0.01 g/kg iBW/day, respectively. In this model, 33% of females aged 71+ years did not meet the estimated average requirement for protein. Doubling dairy product consumption achieved current protein intake recommendations.

CONCLUSION:

These data illustrate that increasing plant-based foods and reducing animal-based products could have unintended consequences on protein intake of older Americans. Doubling dairy product intake can help older adults get to an intake level of approximately 1.2 g/kg iBW/day, consistent with the growing consensus that older adults need to consume higher levels of protein for health.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; dairy; muscle; plant; protein

PMID:
28537331
DOI:
10.1007/s12603-016-0819-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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