Olive oil may stave off hunger
Mediterranean diet believers may be on to something. New research from Germany found that consuming olive oil may help people feel fuller and eat less throughout the day.
The study looked at two different aspects of olive oil, its satiation effect – or its ability to make us feel full – and its smell. First, researchers divided volunteers into four groups. Each group ate 500 milligrams of yogurt every day, supplemented with lard, butter fat, rapeseed oil or olive oil. They were not asked to change any other part of their diet.
During the three-month study, the participants who ate the yogurt supplemented with olive oil showed the highest concentration of serotonin - a satiation hormone - in their blood and reported feeling fuller from the yogurt than participants who ate yogurt supplemented with the other fats. Also, no member of the olive oil group recorded an increase in their body fat percentage or their weight.
In a follow up study, researchers determined that even the smell of olive oil helped people feel fuller and consume fewer calories throughout the day.
The findings suggest that those who turn to low-fat foods to lose weight might consider high-fat, but delicious-smelling olive oil to help them eat less.
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