I found this study a while back. TL;DR: Physical activity, the Mediterranean diet, and legume consumption are linked to lower incidence of liver fat. At least in a Spanish population with metabolic syndrome.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver morbidity. This condition often is accompanied by obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (MetS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the connection between lifestyle factors and NAFLD in individuals with MetS.
A cross-sectional study with 328 participants (55–75 y of age) diagnosed with MetS participating in the PREDIMED-Plus trial was conducted. NAFLD status was evaluated using the non-invasive hepatic steatosis index (HSI). Sociodemographic, clinical, and dietary data were collected. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet (mainly assessed by the consumption of olive oil, nuts, legumes, whole grain foods, fish, vegetables, fruits, and red wine) and physical activity were assessed using validated questionnaires.
Linear regression analyses revealed that HSI values tended to be lower with increasing physical activity tertiles (T2, β = –1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], –2.73 to –0.20; T3, β = –1.93; 95% CI, –3.22 to –0.65 versus T1, Ptrend = 0.001) and adherence to the Mediterranean diet was inversely associated with HSI values: (moderate adherence β = –0.70; 95% CI, –1.92 to 0.53; high adherence β = –1.57; 95% CI, –3.01 to –0.13 versus lower, Ptrend = 0.041). Higher tertiles of legume consumption were inversely associated with the highest tertile of HSI (T2, relative risk ratio [RRR], 0.45; 95% CI, 0.22–0.92; P = 0.028; T3, RRR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.24–0.97; P = 0.041 versus T1).
Physical activity, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and consumption of legumes were inversely associated with a non-invasive marker of NAFLD in individuals with MetS. This data can be useful in implementing precision strategies aimed at the prevention, monitoring, and management of NAFLD.
Steve Parker, M.D.