Olive Oil May Help You Feel Fuller
Satiety is the feeling of being full. The faster a person reaches the point of satiety, the less they will eat, which could result in weight loss. According to a series of three interconnected studies, olive oil - specifically the aroma oils in olive oil - has the highest satiety effect when compared to lard, butterfat, and rapeseed oil.
For a period of three months, the participants ate 500 grams of low-fat yogurt enriched with one of the four fats or oils daily for three months. The researchers measured levels of serotonin (a hormone that is a sign of satiety) in the participants and found higher levels in the olive oil group.
The olive oil group also reported feeling physically fuller than the other groups.
The researchers were surprised by the results, as rapeseed oil and olive oil contain very similar fatty acids. This led them to conduct another study in which half of the group was given yogurt with olive oil aroma compounds and the other half was given a placebo of plain yogurt.
At the conclusion of this second study, the researchers noted that the olive oil group consumed the same number of calories as in the previous study, but that the control group consumed 176 more calories daily. The control group also had less serotonin in their blood.
For the third study, the researchers investigated which aroma substances in olive oil were causing the satiety effect. They found that Hexanal and E2-Hexanal both lower the rate of absorption of glucose, which extends the amount of time until a person feels hungry again. Italian olive oil was found to have the highest amount of those two substances when compared with olive oil from Spain, Greece, and Australia.
The study was conducted by researchers at Technische Universität München and the University of Vienna. It was published by the Technische Universität München on March 14, 2013.
Olive oil has been used in folk remedies for years to treat dry scalp, earaches and dry skin. Recent research suggests that it may help prevent colon cancer and reduce cholesterol. If you want to add more olive oil to your diet, it can be as simple as eating a spoonful daily. If eating olive oil by the spoonful doesn’t appeal to you, consider substituting olive oil for butter in your daily diet: you can use it for cooking, put it on bread, or use it as a salad dressing.