Olive oil is not only a healthy fat and a key part of the Mediterranean diet, but new research shows meals made with it can also help you feel fuller than butter, lard, and other fats and cooking products — making you less likely to overeat.
German researchers with the Technische Universität München noted reduced-fat food products are gaining in popularity worldwide, but studies show many people overcompensate for the lower calories by eating more of them to feel satisfied. But the team’s research shows people who eat foods with olive oil may be better off because it helps regulate their sensations of feeling full and, as a result, eat fewer calories overall.
The work, led by Peter Schieberle in collaboration with researchers from the University of Vienna, compared four different edible fats and oils: Lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil, and olive oil. Over a period of three months, the researchers fed volunteers 500 grams of low-fat yoghurt enriched with one of the four fats or oils every day — as a supplement to their normal diet.
Blood tests performed on the study participants found higher concentrations of the hormone serotonin — which makes people feel sated and full — after eating olive oil, compared to the other fats.
"Olive oil had the biggest satiety effect," said Schieberle. "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 yoghurt very filling."
He added that the findings came as a surprise "because rapeseed oil and olive oil contain similar fatty acids."
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