Too little protein intake is one of the reasons of malnutrition and frailty in older adults (65+). The current recommended dietary allowance (the RDA) for protein (0.8 g protein per kg body weight) is under revision. This is because a higher RDA (1.0–1.2 g protein per kg body weight) is scientifically proven to better maintain physical functioning and wellbeing in older adults. Researchers calculated that this potential recommendation could lead to net increases of 5%–14% in diet-associated greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs), which influence negatively our environment and our health.
A recent Dutch study investigated the ways of meeting a potential higher protein recommendation and at the same time decreasing the negative impact on the environment. The researchers found out that a 50% GHGE reduction can be achieved while still eating the same amount of meat (500 g/wk), mainly by replacing beef and lamb and processed meat with mostly poultry and some pork. Increasing plant proteins from whole grains, legumes, nuts, and meat/dairy alternatives also contribute to improved protein quantity and quality while adressing environmental limits.
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