A Calorie-Restricted DASH Diet Reduces Body Fat and Maintains Muscle Strength in Obese Older Adults
Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010102
Received: 21 November 2019 / Revised: 10 December 2019 / Accepted: 26 December 2019 / Published: 30 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Metabolism)
This study examined the effect of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet containing lean red meat on measures of body composition and muscle strength in a cohort of obese adults 65 and older; 36 males (n = 15) and females (n = 21) consumed 1800 kcal/day for 12 weeks under controlled feeding conditions. The study diet included daily intakes of 126 g of meat. Measures of body composition and muscle strength were obtained at weeks 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were provided every day for 12 weeks, and equal portions of meat were distributed at each meal. Significant effects of the study diet were detected across time for total body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, hip circumference, body fat percentage, absolute fat mass (AFM), and blood pressure such that a decrease (p < 0.001) was observed over 12 weeks. Significant effects of the study diet were detected across time for sit/stand (p < 0.001) such that an increase was observed. From baseline to study end, total body weight decreased by 6.3% (p < 0.001), body fat percentage decreased by 2.5% (p < 0.001), and absolute fat mass (AFM) decreased by 4.4 kg (p < 0.001). By the study end, skeletal muscle mass (SMM) was positively correlated with handgrip strength (R2 = 0.75; p = 0.001) and resting energy expenditure (REE) (R2 = 0.29; p = 0.001). Handgrip strength, gait, balance, and resting energy expenditure (REE) were well maintained (p > 0.05) throughout the study. These findings suggest that the DASH diet has the potential to be a tool to preserve muscle strength while reducing fat mass in obese older adults.