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Last updated April 21, 2017, originally published January 1, 2010

By the Editors, Mangoboss

When you decide to add muscle to your frame, you have a lot
of choices. Most guys make the wrong choice. They start
eating everything in site, pumping iron like crazy. Sure, they
gain weight. They also gain muscle-- you can't help but gain
muscle if you pump like crazy.

But they also may ruin their health. Everybody knows you
need protein to add muscle. But eating slabs of red meat will
add tons of artery-clogging cholesterol to your body. As a
result, because of the direct
connection between arterial
health and maintaining an erection, you may find your sexual
potency diminished because you've destroyed your arterial

Eating excessive amounts of protein also exacts a heavy toll
on your kidneys. You will find differing opinions on the effect
of eating high amounts of protein on your kidneys. Some
sources, such as the
Mayo Clinic, point out that eating
excessive amounts of protein can damage your kidneys'
ability to filter waste, if you already have kidney disease.
Other sources aggressively
assert that eating high amounts
of protein have no effect whatsoever on your kidneys
pointing out that muscle-building community has engaged in
high protein intake without effects on kidney function for
many decades. These sources sometimes note that the
explorers on the Lewis and Clark mission ate nine pounds of
buffalo meat daily with no reported effect on their kidneys.

In the other camp are scientists such as Dr. Sharon Anderson
and Dr. Barry Brenner who in 198 published a study in The
American Geriatrics Society journal which found that eating
high levels of protein accelerates the decline of kidney
function as we age.

Moreover, eating meals that are high in fat content --  thick
steaks, for example --- may even change the genes of your
muscles.  A 2012 study from the Steno Diabetes Center in  
Gentofte, Denmark examined how feeding young healthy men
high fat diets changed their muscles.

They found that energy-dense high fat diet actually changed
45% of the genes in muscle. As the study noted:" HFO[high
fat overfeeding] introduced widespread DNA methylation
changes affecting 6,508 genes (45%)..."

So, the trick is to eat in a way that lets you lay on muscle
while also keeping your arteries nice and clear
and your
kidneys happy
. Nuts such as macadamia nuts are surprisingly
rich in protein and can help to improve your cardiovascular
profile as well.

This column is designed to give you that. We will feature diets
that let you add muscle safely. Check back to get new meal
ideas and food strategies when you want them.

Light or Medium Lifting Days Are in dark type. On Heavy
Lifting Days, you can also eat what is in Red.


Egg whites (2)
Apple or Pear
Wheat Bread (1 or 2 slices, if you need a buttery taste, use a
butter substitute with omega-3s such as Olivio or Promise)
One slice low-fat cheese

Multi-vitamin ( some are formulated just for men)

Protein shake


Lean turkey sandwich, lettuce, tomato (no mayo, just
mustard, your choice what type)
You can substitute a subway turkey club sandwich
Small bag of your favorite chips
Drink-Gatorade or Water


Protein Bar

Big piece of fish (salmon, sordfish steak, tuna steak, white
fish of your choice)

Huge plate of mixed greens (spinach, broccoli, string beans)
Mashed Potatoes- One scoop, topped with butter substitute
Wheat bread (2 small rolls or 2 slices)
Dessert-One day a week only-choose a low or no-sugar
dessert such as  low-sugar ice cream (2 scoops) or
low-sugar cookies
Drink water or Gatorade

If in doubt about the Sugar Content, always check the

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lean chicken salad to add muscle
Eat plenty of lean meat such as chicken to add muscle.