Diane May Nutrition Blog

What You Need To Know About Sarcopenia

July 10th, 2021

Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of skeletal muscle mass that can affect people as they age. At some point, all adults may face this condition and it can start as early as in our 30’s. This loss of muscle mass can affect strength, the ability to mobilize well, risk of fall and reduction in metabolism, so it is critical to maintain muscle mass as we age. Sarcopenia occurs for a number of reasons: loss of motor neurons and muscle fibers, less muscle protein synthesis after consuming protein, and impaired muscle regeneration, and age related hormonal changes.  People with sarcopenia can experience weakness and fatigue. Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3%-5% of their muscle mass aftter the age of 30. The good news is that sarcopenia can be reversed with diet and exercise, which in turn increases longevity nad quality of life. The best form of exercise for sarcopenia is resistence and strength training. In regard to diet, protein, optimally an intake of 1.0-1.2grams/kg of body weight per day (20-30 grams per meal) is recommended. Excellent sources of protein include: Eggs, poultry, fish, shellfish, soy, beans, low fat dairy and nuts. Some easy ways to add protein into your day include:

  • Have a  low fat greek yogurt for breakfast, added to a smoothie or for snack.
  • Always add protein to your salad.
  • Make sure if you consume a protein shake, it has at least 20 grams of protein and only 1-2 grams of sugar.
  • Have high protein snacks such as hummus, low fat cheese sticks, nuts, seeds or a hard boiled egg.
  • Replace your morning cereal with an omelette with vegetables and low fat cheese.
  • Add beans to soups.

You should always work with an experienced physical therapst or trainer when developing an expercise plan. If in doubt whether or not you are getting enough protein in your diet, reach out to an RD! The takeaway is it is very important to move throughout your life and eat a well balanced diet to have longevity nad a good quality of life!


In this quick dinner recipe, the delicious garlicky-mustardy mayo that tops baked salmon is very versatile. Make extra to use as a dip for fries or to jazz up tuna salad. Precooked brown rice helps get this healthy dinner on the table fast, but if you have other leftover whole grains, such as quinoa or farro, they work well here too.


Carolyn Casner

Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2016


Recipe Summary

Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4


Ingredient Checklist




Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

  • Brush salmon with 1 tablespoon oil and place on the prepared baking sheet. Mash garlic and salt into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife or a fork. Combine a scant 1 teaspoon of the garlic paste in a small bowl with mayonnaise, mustard and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture on top of the fish.

  • Roast the salmon until it flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part, 6 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness.

  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green beans, lemon zest, pine nuts, the remaining garlic paste and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring, until the beans are just tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add rice and water and cook, stirring, until hot, 2 to 3 minutes more.

  • Sprinkle the salmon with parsley, if desired, and serve with the green bean pilaf and lemon wedges.


All wild salmon–and now some farmed–is considered a sustainable choice. For farmed, ask for fish that’s raised in land- or tank-based systems. For more information about sustainable seafood, go to seafoodwatch.org.

Nutrition Facts



442 calories; protein 32.2g; carbohydrates 21.6g; dietary fiber 3.8g; sugars 1.7g; fat 24.8g; saturated fat 3.8g; cholesterol 69.2mg; vitamin a iu 795.2IU; vitamin c 13.4mg; folate 46.2mcg; calcium 99.3mg; iron 1.7mg; magnesium 67mg; potassium 705.9mg; sodium 605.2mg; thiamin 0.2mg.