Olive oil could be key to helping us lose weight according to nutritionists. Of course, always within the framework of a balanced diet. It is a pillar of the Mediterranean diet, the only one, on the other hand, that has managed to agree with experts from around the world, and whose benefits even affect mental health. Its satiating effects, together with its nutritional benefits, have made it an object of study at the universities of Vienna and Munich. An oil that helps maintain the line? There is, and this is it.
To develop this research, their participants (divided into four groups) ate 500 grams of low-fat yogurt enriched with lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil, or olive oil as a supplement to their regular diet, every day for three months. The result? “Olive oil had the greatest satiating effect,” according to Professor Schieberle. In addition, the group that ingested this oil showed a higher concentration of serotonin, the satiety hormone, in the blood. As if that weren’t enough, no member of this group saw an increase in their body fat percentage or weight during the study period; in other words, they didn’t get fat.
Belén Sánchez, a nutritionist at Clínicas Segura, points out that “this could be due to its composition: rich in monounsaturated fats, which tend to generate more satiety, which could help us not to overeat and, in turn, feel less anxiety. This will be enhanced if we also combine it with foods high in fiber or protein”. The expert also highlights that “it provides us with good fatty acids, and not trans-type saturated fatty acids, which can directly influence weight gain and inflammation.”
beyond the salad
In addition to cooking recipes, we recommend taking it with natural yogurt (like the study group) or on its own, every morning. “It can help us for different situations, such as activating digestion, being able to go to the bathroom more easily and it could also stimulate the secretion of bile, which helps to digest food and avoid heaviness after meals,” explains the nutritionist.
Of course, “to get its benefits, this should always be accompanied by a balanced diet according to your specific requirements, otherwise, it could prevent you from feeling this effect on your digestion,” he clarifies.
Scent with satiating effect
On the other hand, the research above determined that the most differentiating factor of olive oil was its aroma since it contains fatty acids similar to those of rapeseed oil. In the second part of the study, one group ate plain yogurt, and the other, yogurt with olive oil flavor extracts. In conclusion, those who were deprived of the smell of olive oil consumed up to 176 extra calories a day.
According to Belén Sánchez, the reason is that “this oil has aromatic compounds such as hexanal, from which it is believed that these effects could come.” You can see for yourself: you don’t even have to take it; smelling a tablespoon of olive oil calms the appetite instantly.
A multi-benefit oil
Finally, being one of the main foods of the Mediterranean diet, it is credited with the ability to prevent neurodegenerative diseases. “This diet has several studies that relate it to fewer rates of this type of alteration, perhaps thanks to the phenolic compounds in olive oil, which could have a neurotherapeutic effect, as well as help, reduce the incidence of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular diseases. , even better, if it is accompanied by physical exercise”, says Belén Sánchez.
Finally, he reminds us that olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal: “It is anti-inflammatory and could have a beneficial effect on the joints, reducing arthritic pain. Many studies (for now, in vitro ) -by this nutritionist- show us a possible inhibitory effect of metastasis in cancer cells. It also contains vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant that would delay cell aging; hence we find it in cosmetic products”.