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More than calories, Mediterranean diet effective at reducing liver fat

Mediterranean Food is seen on a table at a restaurant at the port of El Masnou, near Barcelona.
(photo credit: REUTERS)


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Ben Gurion University researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to map fat deposits in the bodies of 278 overweight people to solve the question of which diet might be better, a low-fat diet or a Mediterranean diet? 


The results were that while both diets will result in weight loss, a Mediterranean diet will cause greater reduction of fat around the liver, heart and pancreas. Moderate exercise will help reduce visceral fat. 

Professor Iris Shai said in a Friday press release by the American Associates BGU that “reduction in liver fat is a better predictor of long term health than reduction of visceral fat.” 


Fat around the heart was reduced by 11% and visceral fat by 25%. 


Called the Mediterranean diet, this diet usually includes high consumption of fruits and vegetables, using olive oil and wine, and eating less red meat, the American Heart Association explains. 

16 countries share the Mediterranean sea, so it is a generic term as Italian food can be very different from Moroccan food while both nations share the Mediterranean. 


As people around the world become more aware of the intimate relationship between food and health, a surge of new diets had been created to help different people.  The Paleo diet for example claims meat is better for humans than grains, as grain was cultivated by human civilizations and this diet is meant to recreate the diet enjoyed by early humans.

The Vegan diet is a diet in which people refrain from the consumption of animal-based protein and opt to consume almost only fruits and vegetables.The IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi is a vegan. 


A great deal of study and personal exploration is needed before embarking on a specific diet as people can be quite different from one another. 
Some scientists recently began to explore the role microbes in the human digestive track have in human health, showing that it may not only be what you eat, but what meets the food once you consume it. 


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