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    Archive for the ‘aging’ Category

    Numbers Game: Answer

    older_man_musclesAdults lose, on average, 5 to 10 percent of their muscle mass between the ages of 30 and 50, and an additional 30 to 40 percent between the ages of 50 and 80.

    This is why, as beneficial as cardiovascular exercise is, it does not cut it.  Weight-bearing exercise is key to muscle mass maintenance, and needs to be integrated into your physical activity routine.

    This is not about “bulking up”; it’s about preserving and keeping muscle tissue active and firm.

    The increased loss of muscle mass after age 50 helps us understand why so many individuals tend to put on weight during their fifties, even if they consume a diet calorically similar to the one they ate throughout their forties.

    Remember, a loss in muscle mass also means a less efficient metabolism.  The less efficient our metabolism works, the fewer calories we burn on a daily basis — and the higher our risk of weight gain.

    Weight gain, as you know, increases the risk for a multitude of diseases and conditions (from arthritis to diabetes to heart disease).

    Once muscle mass wanes, the dominoes cascade down very quickly!

    Use it…. or lose it.

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    In The News: The Other Retirement Account

    When we look ahead to our older adult years, we think pensions, IRAs, 401Ks, and all those other acronyms associated with financial security.

    But what about our nutrition portfolio?

    Sally Squires tackles this issue in one of her latest Lean Plate Club articles (courtesy of The Boston Herald).

    In middle age (40 to 65), the body begins losing about 1 percent of muscle per year. Fat replaces the lost muscle. Since fat cells need fewer calories than muscle cells to survive, metabolism slowly declines.”

    In other words, the eating patterns that work at 25 are not as effective at 50, and certainly not appropriate at 75.

    Most nutrition advice in the mainstream media generally applies to a younger population (i.e: sodium recommendations of no more than 2,400 milligrams are acceptable for a 45 year old, but too high for someone in their 70s or 80s).

    Alas, Tufts University nutrition professor Alice Lichtenstein and her comrades have come up with a food pyramid exclusively for senior citizens.

    I particularly enjoy the inclusion of healthy choices throughout the entire pyramid (i.e.: the dairy group specifically illustrates non and low-fat products).

    Additionally, this pyramid is lifestyle-friendly — notice the ample inclusion of frozen, pre-cut, and ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables.

    [They] have a larger shelf life, require no peeling or cutting for hands tender from arthritis, and are often more economical for those on fixed incomes.” And they are just as nutritious, too!

    Older adults are particularly at risk for inadequate vitamin and mineral intake (a combination of increased needs and decreased consumption), so the hoisted flag recommending B12, D, and calcium supplements is a nice — and accurate — touch.

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    In The News: Olive Oil and Aging

    Mariam Amash is an Israeli woman who claims to be 120 years old.

    If this factoid is validated, it would make her the oldest documented person in the world.

    When asked about her longevity secrets, one of Mariam’s daughters pointed out that her mother drinks “a glass of olive oil every day.”

    Very well then.

    Yesterday afternoon, Mary Kearl of AOL Body & Mind asked me about that claim, as well as the beneficial properties of olive oil.

    Read the article — including my comments — here.

    PS: There is a slight “quoting error” I notified the author about.

    I had mentioned that the Food & Drug Administration does not test imported oils, but the article erroneously identifies the United States Department of Agriculture as the organization.

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