Eating Well As You Get Older

Frequently Asked Questions

11. What are some sources of protein?

Protein helps build and maintain muscle and skin, and you should include protein in your diet very day. Meats and poultry are sources of protein as well as B vitamins, iron, and zinc. When buying meats and poultry, choose lean cuts or low-fat products. They provide less total fat, less saturated fat, and fewer calories than products with more fat.

For instance, 3 ounces of cooked, regular ground beef (70% lean) has 6.1 grams of saturated fat and 230 calories. Three ounces of cooked, extra-lean ground beef (95% lean) contains 2.9 grams of saturated fat and 164 calories.

Also consider varying your sources of protein. Try replacing some meat and poultry with seafood or with bean, tofu, or pea dishes. These foods tend to be low or lower in saturated fats, and beans and peas provide fiber. Pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils are all healthy options. Look for ways to add unsalted nuts and seeds to your meals and snacks too, but keep the amounts small since these foods are high in calories.