Mediterranean Diet For Fatty Liver

    Mediterranean Diet For Fatty Liver

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 12/3/2022

    A disorder in which fat accumulation in the liver is referred to as fatty liver disease or hepatic steatosis. Mediterranean diet for fatty liver disease is also known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The condition known as fatty liver can also be referred to as fatty liver disease and Alcohol-related liver illnesses. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which stands for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, falls under the more inclusive definition of this group.

    Both of these illnesses affect the liver's function; consequently, the control of blood sugar and the breakdown of fat in the body is affected. Both of these disorders have the impact of changing the function of the liver as a consequence of their presence in the body. The presence of an abnormally high quantity of fat in the liver can lead to inflammation, as well as the liver's potential to sustain irreversible damage.

    On the other hand, the buildup of fat can be avoided, slowed, and even reversed with the support of good eating habits. Changing the way that you eat is all that is required.

    fatty liver

    The Mediterranean diet is high in whole grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and legumes while low in processed meats and added sugars. It is well recognized that this diet benefits one's health, and this eating plan has been singled out as one that researchers focus on the most.

    In addition, new research has demonstrated that adhering to a diet analogous to that of the Mediterranean may also be beneficial in treating fatty liver disease.

    This article explores the facts that tie the Mediterranean diet to fatty liver, suggests sticking to this eating pattern, and highlights additional lifestyle variables that should be considered while treating fatty liver disease.

    Does The Mediterranean Diet Help Prevent Fatty Liver?

    Even though research in this field is still in its infancy, there is some evidence to suggest that following a diet that is analogous to that of the Mediterranean may reduce the risk of developing fatty liver disease not caused by alcohol use (NAFLD). That is something that you should consider.

    A higher level of adherence, defined as adhering to the principles of a Mediterranean diet very strictly, was found to be protective against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a study that included 548 individuals at risk of developing NAFLD. You saw this in a study that included 548 individuals at risk of developing NAFLD.

    According to another study that investigated the eating patterns of 3,220 people in Iran, following a diet analogous to the Mediterranean was associated with a lower risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This association was found to exist.

    Does The Mediterranean Diet Help Prevent Fatty Liver?

    You showed the effect to be more pronounced in female participants, specifically those who did not have "excess" weight carried around their midsections.

    The Mediterranean diet may have a protective impact against NAFLD due to its demonstrated history of improving the health of many risk variables connected with the illness. That is because the Mediterranean diet focuses on eating foods from the Mediterranean region. These potential dangers include the following:

    In addition, several foods included in the Mediterranean diet, such as olive oil, almonds, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, and fruit, are beneficial for preventing or treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. These foods include olive oil, almonds, un starchy vegetables, and fruit (NAFLD).

    Olive Oil 

    Olive oil is a wonderful resource for monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols, both of which are found in high concentrations. Both of these healthy plant chemicals have been found to have antioxidant advantages in the body, and olive oil is an excellent supply of both of these essential plant chemicals.

    Olive Oil

    We are consuming monounsaturated fats such as olive oil is associated with better cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and blood sugar (glucose), in addition to a smaller waist circumference. This association also holds for a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

    Fatty fish

    Omega-3 oils are a form of polyunsaturates, and fish and seafood that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such salmon, mackerel, and tuna, are excellent examples of some of the foods that are in this category. It is well known that a high concentration of these acids may be found in the Mediterranean diet.

    A dietary pattern high in omega-6 fatty acids, a different kind of polyunsaturated fat that you can frequently find in refined vegetable oils, and low in omega-3 fatty acids is a risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

    In addition, research suggests that individuals who consume a diet high in omega-3 fats have a lower risk of developing the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This lower risk is associated with improved blood sugar management, inflammation, and oxidative stress brought on by the consumption of omega-3 fats.

    Whole grain

    Whole grains, as opposed to their refined or "white" counterparts, have more fiber and polyphenols. Refined grains are sometimes referred to as "white" grains.

    Whole grain

    Because the digestive tract cannot digest fiber, the fiber consumed does not supply the body with any calories or nutrients that include calories. It helps people feel fuller for longer when used with a diet low in calories, which is critical in reducing one's overall body fat percentage.

    People who are obese are often advised to reduce their body mass index (BMI) as a method of protecting themselves against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

    Fruits And Vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense foods, which indicates that they contain a significant number of health-enhancing compounds while having a relatively low-calorie count. That is because fruits and vegetables are composed of complex carbohydrates, which the body cannot produce independently.

    In addition to providing a sufficient amount of fiber in the diet, they are packed with various vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols and are a rich source of dietary fiber. People who consume a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


    Eating foods that have traditionally been included in Mediterranean diets may help prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by lowering significant risk factors, such as excessive body weight and type 2 diabetes. That may be the case because eating these foods has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body.

    Can The Mediterranean Diet Improve Fatty Liver?

    Can The Mediterranean Diet Improve Fatty Liver?

    In addition, there is data that indicates the health advantages of adopting a diet comparable to that of the Mediterranean area for persons who suffer from fatty liver disease. You found this evidence in the form of studies.

    The primary treatment method for alcohol-induced and non-alcohol-induced fatty liver is to emphasize one's lifestyle choices. That is because there are currently no medications explicitly targeting the decrease of liver fat.

    It is healthy knowledge that losing weight, even if just 5–10 percent of total body weight, is the most effective technique for improving the outcomes of fatty liver disease in those who are overweight and obese. Those suffering from fatty liver disease should nevertheless make an effort to consume a diet high in nutrients, even if they do not intend to reduce their overall body mass.

    It has been demonstrated that some components of the Mediterranean diet, in particular, reduce the amount of fat already stored in the liver and inhibit the production of fat in the liver, which may potentially reverse the development of the illness.

    A study comparing how individuals with metabolic syndrome reacted to one of three distinct types of Mediterranean diets showed that all three were associated with improving symptoms. However, the Mediterranean diet with a low glycemic index appeared to have caused the most remarkable improvement out of the three.


    In addition, a study that was carried out in the year 2021 on a total of 294 people found that those participants who followed a Mediterranean diet and accompanied it with regular exercise experienced a significant drop in the amount of fat stored in their liver.

    People who followed a Mediterranean diet and additionally ingested plant polyphenols in the form of walnuts, green tea, and duckweed had the most significant improvements in their general health.

    Adopting a diet typical of the Mediterranean region can enhance their body's sensitivity to insulin, which in turn aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels and helps to avoid the buildup of fat in the liver.

    That is crucial because patients who live with fatty liver disease may have a decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin. The hormone insulin is that is responsible for transporting glucose throughout the body (also known as sugar) from the blood into the cells, where it may be used as a source of energy. Without insulin, you cannot utilize glucose in the body.

    In addition to having high blood sugar, having a lower sensitivity to insulin enables glucose to be transported to the liver for storage. This occurs regardless of whether or not the blood sugar levels are high. That occurs whether or not the person has diabetes. Any glucose that is not needed by the body and is stored in the liver gets converted into fat.


    Following the foundations of a Mediterranean diet to the letter was connected with an improvement in insulin response in those who had NAFLD; the study was carried out in 2017.


    Those currently struggling with fatty liver disease may discover that adopting a diet more characteristic of the Mediterranean area is not only a risk-free strategy but also an extremely efficient means by which to improve their general health. It is possible that this eating pattern is still appropriate for alcohol-induced fatty liver, despite the great bulk of the research on individuals who had NAFLD.

    Tips For Following The Mediterranean Diet For Fatty Liver

    When it comes to adhering to a Mediterranean diet, there are no hard-and-fast rules you must follow to consider doing so correctly. That is because the Mediterranean diet is modeled after the cuisines of various countries.

    A diet consistent with the Mediterranean diet's fundamental principles will primarily consist of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, legumes, fish, and olive oil as its principal sources of nutrition.

    • Make the switch from grains that have been processed to grains that have been left in their natural state. You must make every effort to keep half of your grains in their unprocessed form. A few examples of foods that contain whole grains are oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, brown rice, and whole wheat bread.

    Tips For Following The Mediterranean Diet For Fatty Liver

    • As part of your diet, you should make it a goal to consume two to three portions of fatty fish per week. This will help you maintain optimal health. The amount of fish you should serve with each dish should roughly be equivalent to the size of the palm of your hand (or three to four ounces). Pay special attention to foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel. 
    • Make it a daily goal to consume at least five servings worth of fruits and veggies. It is suggested that persons take at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day following the Dietary Guidelines for Americans produced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Choose from options such as tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, cauliflower, apples, berries, and grapes. Other options may also be available.
    • Olive oil should be used in daily cooking whenever possible. Olive oil may serve as both cooking oil and a salad dressing, so it is essential to keep a bottle of it on hand at all times. Olive oil is versatile enough to be used in several different ways.
    • Make an effort to reduce the number of processed foods and red meat you eat. Both processed foods and red meat tend to be consumed in smaller quantities in diets typical of the Mediterranean area. It has been found that a person's likelihood of acquiring cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol increases when they regularly consume these meals. If you want to consume red meat, save it for exceptional occasions and choose unprocessed cuts of meat like cattle, lamb, or hog instead of processed options.
    • Avoid alcohol. Even though the Mediterranean diet frequently recommends the consumption of red wine that is low to moderate in volume, those who already have a fatty liver should avoid drinking alcoholic drinks.


    • Reduce the amount of added sugar that has been introduced. A higher consumption of added sugars, in particular table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, is linked to an increased risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which may also make the symptoms of the illness more severe. In particular, table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the culprits. The most common types of added sugars are those that come from table sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

    A diet that is based on the Mediterranean diet may include foods that are more commonly associated with civilizations that are not from the Mediterranean.

    If you choose a pattern of eating centered on the principles of the Mediterranean diet, you won't necessarily have to give up the foods that are typical to your culture. The Mediterranean diet is based on various plant-based meals rather than animal products.

    To do so would be really beneficial to you in the long run a top priority to incorporate into your diet not only foods that are easily accessible to you in the immediate area but also foods that have some significance for you, either on an individual level or in terms of the culture to which you belong. This would be the best case scenario. You have a choice between two approaches to take here: either you should eat foods that are easily accessible to you in the immediate area, or you should eat foods that have some meaning for you because of the culture too.

    On this website, for instance, you may get more information on giving the food associated with the Mediterranean area a Caribbean spin.


    The Mediterranean diet stresses consuming many plant-based foods high in fiber and antioxidants and sets limitations on consuming processed meats and added sugars. This diet has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

    Other Lifestyle Interventions For Fatty Liver 

    Other Lifestyle Interventions For Fatty Liver

    The treatment of fatty liver disease might involve several various dietary and lifestyle therapies, each of which has the potential to be effective.

    • Weight reduction is the most effective therapy for fatty liver disease in those who are overweight and have obesity-related excess body fat. Alterations to one's diet and increased physical activity may be necessary to achieve this goal. It may be good to speak with a trained healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian (RD) or a physician, to identify a healthy amount, rate, and weight loss method to determine a healthy quantity, speed, and technique of weight loss. It is essential to remember that an effective weight loss rate might range anywhere from 5 to 10 percent.
    • Exercising may assist raise insulin sensitivity and decreasing fat in the liver. You can accomplish this by keeping a regular exercise regimen.
    • Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. It has been shown that the DASH diet, also known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, is beneficial for fatty liver. This eating pattern is more adaptable than the Mediterranean diet in terms of including various foods across cultures. As a result, it may be a better choice than the Mediterranean diet for certain people.


    It is essential to achieve or maintain a healthy weight, participate in moderate-to-vigorous physical exercise regularly, and maintain a low salt diet that mainly consists of foods derived from plants to cure fatty liver disease and enhance overall health.



    Several studies have hypothesized that eating a Mediterranean-style diet may help prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and lessen or even reverse its severity. Thay has been suggested as a possible benefit of following a diet similar to the Mediterranean. It is also probable that it will aid with other associated chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. That is because ailments strongly related to one another tend to have similar symptoms and treatments.

    The impact will likely be even more evident if it is included as part of a diet that is low in calories and is followed by regular exercise. Both of these factors have been shown to influence weight loss positively.

    While research into the specific association between food and NAFLD is probably still in its infancy, some evidence suggests that a good diet can help those who already have the condition or even fend it off entirely.

    It is crucial to remember that even because an eating plan is founded on the principles of the Mediterranean diet, this does not mean that the program must automatically omit items that are significant to your culture. Consult with a qualified medical practitioner, such as a certified dietitian, if you are interested in establishing whether or not the Mediterranean diet for fatty liver is the best option to make an informed decision.