Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common chronic liver disease that ranges in severity from simple steatosis to cirrhosis. NAFLD is considered to be associated with hepatic metabolic disorders, resulting in overaccumulation of fatty acids/triglycerides and cholesterol. The pathogenesis and progression of NAFLD are generally explained by the "two-hit theory." Most studies of lipid metabolism in the NAFLD liver have focused on the metabolism of fatty acids/triglycerides; therefore, the impact of cholesterol metabolism is still ambiguous. In this paper, we review recent studies on NAFLD from the viewpoint of hepatic lipid metabolism-associated factors and discuss the impact of disordered cholesterol metabolism in the etiology of NAFLD. The clinical significance of managing cholesterol metabolism, an option for the treatment of NAFLD, is also discussed.