Many of the changes that occur as we age can feel completely out of our control. While some changes are out of our hands (hello, gravity exists), some can be slowed by making a few adjustments. Age-related weight gain affects many people, even those who previously never struggled with their weight. Oftentimes the extra fat hangs out around the belly, which is one of the most stubborn spots to slim. A recent study identified which diet can beneficial in reducing age-related belly fat.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular diets, with many experts backing up its benefits. The new study published in JAMA Network Open reveals that an energy-reduced (lower calorie) Mediterranean diet paired with physical activity can successfully counter age-related body changes like fat gain and the loss of muscle mass.
The study’s original goal was to determine whether the Mediterranean diet could help prevent cardiovascular disease, but along the way, experts noticed how the diet impacted the body composition in participants after three years. “Clinically meaningful” changes in body compositions were observed.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the Mediterranean diet is heavy on vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, olive oil and whole grains. The diet features minimal meat consumption, opting for fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids instead. Limiting sweets, sugar and butter is recommended during this diet. A moderate amount of wine with meals is encouraged if you already drink. If this diet sounds like something you want to try, talk with your doctor to confirm it’s right for your body.