Plant foods preserve muscle mass

Western diets rich in protein, cereal grains and other acid-producing foods lead to the development of metabolic acidosis with age, triggering muscle wastage. American researchers looked at links between lean body mass and dietary intake of potassium-rich, alkaline-residue producing fruits and vegetables, which help neutralise acidosis. Analysis of data from nearly 400 male and female volunteers aged 65 or older showed that subjects whose diets were rich in potassium had an average of 3.6 more pounds of lean tissue mass than volunteers with half their potassium intake. According to the authors, this almost offsets the 4.4 pounds of lean tissue typically lost per decade in healthy men and women aged over 65. (Alkaline diets favor lean tissue mass in older adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):662-5).


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