Protein check: How much do you really need?

The research is mixed when it comes to daily protein requirements for older adults.

Protein is important for building and maintaining muscle, bone strength, and numerous body functions. But are you eating enough of it each day? "Some older people just don't get enough protein to meet their bodies' needs, especially if they are not getting enough daily calories," says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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