Healthy aging with a high-protein diet

Franziska-white balcony-h

Hi everyone! I’m Franziska, one of the registered dietitians on Diet Doctor’s editorial team. I’m also a certified diabetes educator who’s passionate about helping people improve their health with low carb.

In addition to writing evidence-based guides for Diet Doctor, I also review our recipes for nutritional accuracy. When you see the nutrition information listed for each recipe, you can be confident that it’s been verified by me.

My low-carb journey

When I first began eating a low-carb diet in 2011 to control my post-meal blood sugar, only a handful of other dietitians believed in this approach. Fast-forward ten years, and I’m happy to report that there are now hundreds of low-carb dietitians worldwide — and our ranks continue to grow. So encouraging!

One of the best things about low carb is that it’s flexible and can accommodate a wide range of eating preferences. I personally thrive on a high-protein, moderate low-carb diet that includes a diverse mix of animal and plant foods. Eating plenty of protein helps me feel satiated, keeps my metabolism up, and protects against muscle and bone loss.

However, I realize that some people may feel their best eating a little less protein than I do – or fewer carbs, more carbs, a mainly animal-based diet, or a mainly plant-based diet. I also prefer to eat three meals a day but understand that intermittent fasting can be life-changing for others.

Focus on what you can control

I can honestly say that I feel as energetic in my mid-50s as I did when I was younger, if not more so. In addition to eating high protein and keeping carbs low, I exercise every day, including strength training three times a week.

Unfortunately, we tend to lose muscle after age 35 – and the rate of loss increases more rapidly with each decade. The good news is, getting enough protein and performing resistance exercises can help you retain and even build muscle as you age.

My goal is to stay vital and independent for as long as possible — and I hope yours is, too!

Finally, I think it’s important to accept the realities of aging. Growing older presents many challenges – some that can be managed fairly easily, and others that are undeniably tough to handle. I know I can’t turn back the clock, but I’m thankful for all the things I can control: my diet, physical activity, and mindset. I hope to live many more healthy, happy years on this planet.

I feel so fortunate to work at a company whose mission is to empower people to dramatically improve their health – throughout all stages of life.

Tip 1: Find a way of eating that works for you. Experiment as much as you need to and recognize that what works best may change over time. Always meet your essential needs for protein and choose nourishing food that you like to eat.

Tip 2: Every day, engage in some physical activity that you enjoy. To preserve muscle, perform resistance exercise several times a week when you can. If you don’t have access to a gym, you can lift water bottles or cans of food while standing or seated – no gym required!

Tip 3: Adopt a grateful mindset toward aging. This is easier said than done, but it’s so important. Be thankful for the health you have, appreciate the opportunity to continue learning, and look forward to the future.

Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE, Senior Writer

Leave a comment