A Mediterranean diet reduces hepatic fat more than a low-fat diet, improving the health and fat content of the liver above and beyond visceral fat changes.
A colourful Mediterranean diet (a Rainbow Diet) is certainly not low fat; it contains high levels of unsaturated fat from extra virgin olive oil and nut oils such as walnut oil. It also contains large quantities of long-chain omega-3 oil from fish.
These work synergistically encouraging friendly gut bacteria to make anti-inflammatory molecules. These oils also promote health, for example repairing membranes, encouraging brain development, and elongating the telomeres at the ends of DNA and encouraging longevity.
By contrast, low fat diets achieve none of this.
A Rainbow diet is also moderately high in whole grains, vegetables and fruit and the fibre encourages the slow release of carbohydrate and sugars reducing insulin peaks and troughs.
In this study, researchers followed 278 participants for 18 months. All were obese and had their abdominal fat measured at the outset, and again at 6 and 18 months. The participants were randomly assigned to a Mediterranean diet, or low-fat diet group.
The results were clear and after both 6 and 18 months the Rainbow diet participants had significantly lowered Hepatic Fat and Abdominal (Visceral Adipose Tissue) Fat over a low-fat diet.
Moreover, the researchers concluded that the overall benefits to health were more due to the loss of Hepatic Fat than due to the loss of abdominal fat.