Healthy older adults should eat a more protein-dense diet containing foods such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs, a scientific report from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has said.

The report offers updated national recommendations to enhance older people’s nutritional well-being and was written at the request of the Department of Health for scientific advice.

The FSAI identified the need for a protein-dense diet to prevent frailty, with high-quality proteins helping to stimulate muscle.

Ongoing increases

Over 65s are the fastest-growing age group in Ireland, having increased by 19% in the 2016 census to some 630,800 people or 13.8% of total population, with expected ongoing increases to a predicted 1.6m older citizens by 2051.

FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said it is important to ensure robust science underpins the development of food-based dietary guidelines that include healthy eating and nutritional recommendations tailored specifically for this cohort.