Low muscle mass can cause complications over time

Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine, Social Health Community Comments Off

Fasting without understanding its effects can lead to loss of muscle

New Delhi, 22 October 2018: As per a recently published review, low muscle mass is linked to an increased risk of serious health complications and decreased survival. There is growing evidence which suggests that muscle mass should be a key factor to be considered while evaluating a person’s health status. This is more so in case of people living with a chronic disease. Those with less muscle had more surgical and post-operative complications, longer hospital stays, lower physical function, poorer quality of life and overall lower survival, indicated the study.

Low muscle mass can occur at any body weight, so someone who is normal weight may appear healthy when they can in fact lack muscle. Something as simple as the firmness of a person’s handshake can give a lot of insight into their overall health. It is imperative to rebuild muscle with good nutrition, including protein, and proper exercise.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Good muscle health is vital for an active lifestyle and for carrying out daily activities. Loss of muscle mass is an indication of protein deficiency. Muscles are reservoirs of protein and when muscles become deficient in this essential nutrient, they absorb it from the skeletal muscles to preserve tissues and body functions. Over time, this can cause wasting and lead to an increase in appetite. Overeating, eventually, can lead to unhealthy weight gain. It is imperative to divide the intake of protein uniformly throughout the day as this will help the body to effectively absorb and break it down. It will also regulate hunger hormones and prevent cravings.”

Some other symptoms of protein deficiency include swelling in the legs, lighter hair, big stomach with ribs showing and a tendency to fall sick frequently.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Starving cannot make a person lose weight. The body does not burn fat but rather muscles to release energy. To ensure this does not happen, one must work out and burn calories so that fat is lost instead of muscle. A right diet and active lifestyle can thus work wonders for a person.”

The 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela 2018 will have a workshop by celebrity chef and nutritionist Ms Nita Mehta on how one should tailor their diet regime. It will be held on 24th and 26th October at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.

Some tips from HCFI

Try consuming the following protein-rich foods.

Fish: Apart from being a good protein source, they are also rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, in general, have less fat than meat

Eggs: These are one of the excellent sources of protein

Beans: They contain more protein than any other vegetable and are also loaded with fibre, helping you feel full for hours.

Nuts: Nuts such as an ounce of almonds can give you as much as 6 grams of protein

Whole Grains: A slice of wholewheat bread gives 3 grams of protein, plus valuable fibre