Soy Protein Battles Aging-Related Health Issues
A recent survey conducted by Solae shows that among adults aged 35-65, heart health and maintaining an active lifestyle are the top two concerns, followed by having a strong immune system and maintaining a healthy weight.
While a variety of conditions can affect adults as they age, the three main causes of death are heart disease, cancer and stroke. Solae’s survey showed that 87 percent of adults in India were concerned about heart health and 84 percent listed weight maintenance as a top concern. Older consumers (50-65) and males were more likely to rate “healthy heart” as one of their top three concerns. Females were more likely to rate “maintaining a healthy weight” as one of their top three concerns. The survey also showed that the primary motivator for exercising is maintaining health rather than appearance.
“When you look at the listing of top ranking health concerns, it’s clear that soy protein can be a beneficial addition to the diet of someone in this age group,” said Ratna Mukherjea, PhD, nutrition group lead at Solae. “Protein can help preserve lean muscle mass and manage weight by promoting satiety.”
In addition, some studies suggest protein consumption should increase as we age to counteract muscle loss and the natural decline in protein utilization with aging. Studies have suggested that 90g may be the ideal target for aging individuals, with that consumption spread out evenly throughout the day. This is different than the typical diet, where the majority of protein is consumed during an evening meal and very little is consumed in the morning.
Please note that this figure is an average and how much more or less you need depends entirely on your level of physical activity, exercise, and daily lifestyle.
While the health concerns of this age group can be affected by protein intake, 78 percent of those surveyed think that they need to consume more protein as they age.
When it comes to the types of protein that they ingest, 80 percent prefer to get their protein by consuming foods or beverages that naturally contain it. Traditional food protein sources – meat, milk eggs, nuts and beans – dominate protein usage in this segment. Soy has the highest usage among plant proteins commonly used for protein fortification.
Soy protein can decrease total LDL cholesterol and may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when consumed as a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats. In 1999 the FDA issued a health claim for soy protein saying: “25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease”.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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