`Olive Oil May Help You Eat Less - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil May Help You Eat Less

Mar. 18, 2013
Elena Paravantes

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Olive oil is known for many of its health ben­e­fits, but new research shows that it may even help in weight loss. A study from the Technical University of Munich showed that fats in gen­eral, but olive oil in par­tic­u­lar, increases feel­ings of full­ness which may result in con­sum­ing less calo­ries overall.

Fat is nec­es­sary in the diet not only for its essen­tial fatty acids and for the absorp­tion of fat sol­u­ble vit­a­mins, but also to pro­duce feel­ings of sati­ety. This is one of the rea­sons many indi­vid­u­als have a dif­fi­cult time adher­ing to low fat diets as they may not feel full, so they eat more car­bo­hy­drates or other foods in order to compensate.

Work groups at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Vienna stud­ied four dif­fer­ent fats and oils: Lard, but­ter­fat, rape­seed oil (canola) and olive oil. Participants received 500 grams (18 ounces) of low-fat yoghurt enriched with one of the four fats or oils every day as a sup­ple­ment to their nor­mal diet for a period of 3 months.

According to Prof. Peter Schieberle, Head of the TUM Chair of Food Chemistry and Director of the German Research Center for Food Chemistry, olive oil had the biggest sati­ety effect. The olive oil group showed a higher con­cen­tra­tion of the sati­ety hor­mone sero­tonin in their blood and these par­tic­i­pants also reported that they found the olive oil yogurt very fill­ing,” Schieberle said. During the study period, no mem­ber of the olive oil group gained weight or saw an increase in their body fat percentage.

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The researchers believe that the aroma com­pounds of the olive oil may play a role and focused on that in the sec­ond part of the study. Participants were either given one yogurt with olive oil aroma extracts or plain yogurt. The olive oil group’s calo­rie intake remained the same, but the con­trol group had been con­sum­ing 176 extra calo­ries a day even though both yogurts had the same calo­ries. It was noted in the study that the olive oil aroma group adapted their eat­ing habits – but the con­trol group par­tic­i­pants were not able to do the same and they also found that in com­par­i­son to the aroma group, the con­trol group had less of the sati­ety hor­mone sero­tonin in their blood.

This is not the first time sati­ety and olive oil have been stud­ied. A University of California study had shown that oleic acid (a fatty acid abun­dant in olive oil), may pro­long feel­ings of full­ness between meals. Any type of fat pro­vides sati­ety, how­ever it appears that olive oil due to a num­ber of fac­tors may be more effec­tive, and with its addi­tional health ben­e­fits it can be the ideal fat to be used in the diet. It is impor­tant to note though that while olive oil may make you feel full longer, it needs to be used judi­ciously in order to achieve a bal­anced calo­rie intake.

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