Fats & oils aren’t all bad: New study shows olive oil makes you feel full

15 Mar

The benefits of olive oil, a monounsaturated fatty acid, have been well documented: lowered risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol and the ability to normalize blood clots are just a few.

But, a new study suggests that olive oil can also help you feel full and the reason was a surprise to the researchers at Technische Universität Münchendownload in Germany. The study suggests that the aroma of the ingredient played a role in the feeling of fullness.

Work groups under Prof. Peter Schieberle and at the University of Vienna under Prof. Veronika Somoza looked at the effects of four different fats and oils: Lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil and olive oil. Study participants were studied over three months and asked to consume 500 grams of low-fat yogurt containing one of the fats or oils each day as a supplement to their normal diet.

“Olive oil had the biggest satiety effect,” Schieberle said in a press release. “The olive oil group showed a higher concentration of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood. Subjectively speaking, these participants also reported that they found the olive oil yogurt very filling.”

No weight gains in the study group were reported.

“The findings surprised us,” Schieberle said, “because rapeseed oil and olive oil contain similar fatty acids.”

Confused by the findings, the researchers decided to look at a different component of olive oil: the aroma. In an experiment, some participants were given yogurt with olive oil aroma extracts and the control group was given plain yogurt.

The results showed that the control group consumed 176 more kilocalories a day.

“The aroma group adapted their eating habits, but the control group participants were obviously not able to do likewise,” Schieberle said.  “We also found that in comparison to the other group, the control group had less of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood.”

The study used olive oil from Spain, Greece, Italy and Australia and found that Italian olive oil contained larger amounts of the two aroma compounds responsible for the satiety effect: Hexanal and E2-Hexenal.

“Our findings show that aroma is capable of regulating satiety,” Schieberle said. “We hope that this work will pave the way for the development of more effective reduced-fat food products that are nonetheless satiating.”


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