New study claims a third of adults over 50 have a protein deficiency

Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains what the proper amount of lean protein should be along with a balanced diet of healthy fats and whole grain carbs.
2:17 | 02/23/19

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Transcript for New study claims a third of adults over 50 have a protein deficiency
?????? Welcome back to "Gma" and in today's "Weekend download" a new study finds a third of adults over age 50 in this country don't get enough protein. Joining us to talk about this is our chief health correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton. Good morning, whit. This is really important for everybody to understand, and I think it's confusing for folks. You're going to tell us about the study, but first explain why not getting enough protein is such a problem. You know, our bodies need protein, whit, especially as we get older. There is a condition called age-related sarcopenia, that's muscle wasting and in order to rye build muscle among other need protein. Now, here's the entire study. It was pretty interesting. They looked at over 11,000 adults over the age of 50 and surveyed them so there's some questions about the methodology, how accurate it really is but they surveyed them about how much they ate this one day and found 30% to 50% of adults over the age of 50 were not getting anywhere close to the daily recommended protein allowance and were also lacking in other micronutrients so this wasn't just about protein. We should remind our viewers, you are a nutritionist as well as a doctor. Many adults don't know how much protein they should be getting. How do we figure it out? The key thing is this is not one size fits all. This formula, so you take your weight in pounds, you divide that by 2.2. Then you multiply that number times 0.8. 0.8. And that gives you the number of grams you need per day. People are going to be confused by this. I will tweet it on my Twitter account at drjashton to walk people through it. Athletes need a little more but you need to do it weight based so it's not one size fits all. Got it again. You will tweet out that formula so people can try it at home. Also I think some people try to oversimplify this by just loading up on a bunch of protein. Is more always better? No, and there's huge controversy in medicine and nutritional science about this. Many studies have getting way too much protein and that potentially could dehydrate us. Put a strain or our kidneys. But what I want people to look at is all of these protein rich options, you don't have to go with meat so you can get something from eggs, Turkey, salmon, chia seeds, almonds, oatmeal. Everything on this table will get you to your daily protein allowance. All right. Dr. Ashton, always a pleasure, thanks so much. Important information.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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