Eating a diet enriched with protein and low-calorie foods may help obese adults lose more weight, maintain more muscle mass and improve bone quality. Doing so could also help them shed ‘bad’ fat too, revealed a latest study. Weight loss recommendations have always been tricky for older adults. Since dropping pounds can lead to muscle and bone loss; therefore, elderly should be very mindful of their diet and fitness regimen. The study was done on nearly 100 adults aged above 65, and was published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism.
“Doctors hesitate to recommend weight loss for fear that losing muscle and bone could cause mobility issues or increase the risk of injury,” said Kristen Beavers, Assistant Professor at the Wake Forest University in the US.
“This study suggests that a diet high in protein and low in calories can give seniors the health benefits of weight loss while keeping the muscle and bone they need for better quality of life as they age,” added Beavers.
The findings revealed that the participants lost about 18 pounds, most of it fat (87 percent), and preserved muscle mass whereas the control group lost about half a pound. An interesting observation about the study was the fact that participants were able to maintain bone mass even when they lost weight. Even the trabecular bone score – a measure of bone quality that predicts fracture risk – seemed to improve.
The scientists said that the diet also helped lose fat in the stomach, hips, thighs and rear – which is very crucial for preventing or controlling cardio-metabolic diseases such as diabetes and stroke.
Participants also had an improved score on the Healthy Aging Index, which measures biomarkers that predict mortality and longevity, said the researchers.