The Secret Health Benefit in Olive Oil’s Scent

Written on April 5, 2013 at 10:46 am , by

Olive OilAs if we didn’t already love extra virgin olive oil enough–we even have a well known abbreviation for it, EVOO–two recently released research studies are giving us another reason to love this healthy fat!

Aside from being chockfull of antioxidants and high in monounsaturated fat, researchers have found that olive oil increases satiety, the feeling of fullness, which could be key to a healthy diet and weight loss. 

Read on about why you should smell your olive oil after the jump!

With news on “good” and “bad” fats constantly changing, scientists in Austria and Germany decided to study natural fats’ affect on fullness and weight loss. After dividing participants into five groups, scientists fed four groups yogurt samples combined with a specific fat (lard, butter, olive oil, or rapeseed oil in the first study and canola oil in the second) and only plain yogurt to the fifth group as a control.

After administering blood tests, researchers found the olive oil groups in both studies showed higher blood concentrations of serotonin, a satiety hormone. Additionally, the participants in the olive oil group reported the samples to be “filling“ which led to a reduction in calorie intake and no weight gain, as compared to the other groups.

The findings baffled researchers as they had predicted rapeseed oil and canola oil would perform similarly to olive oil due to their similar fatty acid content and health properties, respectively. So to truly understand the key to olive oil’s satiation properties, the scientists continued their research with a second study.

In their second trials, both teams fed one group of participants plain non-fat yogurt and the other non-fat yogurt combined with the aroma extract of olive oil, therefore not adding any fat.  In the end, the results showed that the groups with the olive oil-scented yogurt were able to adapt their eating habits and reduce their calorie intake showing that just the aroma of olive oil can affect satiety. 

Although the research has yet to make any jumps to consumer products as more studies still need to be done, the research could be the beginning of unlocking more of the secrets to olive oil’s key health benefits and perhaps even crazy, new oil-scented diets. What do you think? Could you see any new fad diets or products coming out of this research?

Takeaway: Next time you use EVOO, take a big whiff of the aroma to increase your feelings of fullness and eat less!

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2 Responses to “The Secret Health Benefit in Olive Oil’s Scent”

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