Title: Mediterranean Diet Combined with Physical Activity Counters Aging-related Body Changes, Study Finds
A recent study conducted by the PREDIMED-Plus group has shed light on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet when combined with physical activity. The study aimed to determine whether this diet could prevent cardiovascular disease while also examining its impact on body composition.
Overview of the Study:
The study involved 1,521 middle-aged and older participants who were either overweight or had obesity and metabolic syndrome. The participants were divided into two groups: one group followed an energy-reduced Mediterranean diet while reducing their calorie intake by 30% and increasing physical activity, while the other group followed the Mediterranean diet without any restrictions.
After just one year of following the diet, the group that incorporated physical activity along with the Mediterranean diet experienced significant improvements in body composition. They saw a reduction of 5% or more in fat mass, visceral fat mass, and lean muscle mass. These findings suggest that the Mediterranean diet, when coupled with regular physical activity, can help counter aging-related body changes such as fat gain and loss of muscle mass.
Insights from a Nutritionist:
Noted nutritionist and registered dietitian Ilana Muhlstein commented on the Mediterranean diet, highlighting its reputation as the healthiest diet. However, she emphasized that it may not be suitable for everyone. Muhlstein stressed the importance of incorporating vegetables into every meal, as this is a key aspect of the diet that is often overlooked. Countries with better cardiovascular health, such as Israel and Greece, prioritize the presence of vegetables in every meal.
Guidelines for a Healthy Mediterranean Diet:
Muhlstein advised Americans to limit their consumption of high-calorie Mediterranean delicacies and instead fill half of their plates with Mediterranean diet staples like roasted eggplants and chopped salads. This conscious effort to maintain a balanced diet can help individuals achieve long-lasting and positive results.
The Importance of Trained Dietitians:
Throughout the study, the participants were regularly contacted by trained dietitians. This personalized approach helped them improve their relationship with food and achieve lasting results. The support and guidance provided by these professionals played a vital role in ensuring the participants’ success in following the Mediterranean diet.
The study’s findings highlight the potential of the Mediterranean diet, combined with physical activity, to counter aging-related body changes. Incorporating vegetables into every meal and maintaining a balanced diet are crucial aspects of this regimen. With the guidance of trained dietitians, individuals can embrace this healthy lifestyle and strive towards improved overall health.
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