A Mediterranean diet may help prevent belly fat and muscle loss. 

The Mediterranean diet may hold the answer to shedding belly fat.

A new study from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea-Plus (PREDIMED-Plus) found that the Mediterranean diet.

The study, which was published on Oct. 18 in JAMA Network Open, was aimed to establish whether the diet may prevent cardiovascular disease.

The findings revealed that a lower-calorie (energy-reduced) Mediterranean diet and greater physical exercise appeared to decrease aging-related weight gain and muscle loss.

A total of 1,521 middle-aged and older participants, who were either overweight or had obesity and metabolic syndrome, were separated into two groups.

The first group followed a Mediterranean diet while reducing their calorie intake by 30% and increasing their physical activity.

The second group followed a Mediterranean diet without calorie restrictions or changes in physical activity.

The participants in the first group experienced "clinically meaningful" changes in body composition throughout the three-year experiment.

Nutritionist and registered dietitian Ilana Muhlstein, who was not involved in the study.

She added, "And while that may be true, it is extremely arbitrary advice for a health professional to give to an average person."

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