Could olive oil be an important element to put you on the quickest way to lose weight?
Olive oil plays a very vital role in many Mediterranean diets or dishes. In fact you might struggle to find a Mediterranean diet recipe that doesn’t list olive oil as one of its components. It is very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. It is believed to be the major contributory factor to long life expectancy among populations in the Mediterranean regions.
In these populations, the possibility of getting a heart disease, stroke or high blood pressure also tends to be very low. The extensive use of olive oil is believed to be one of the main reasons for such low possibilities.
Olive oil – The basic facts
It is extracted from the fruits of the olive tree, which is a popular tree crop in the Mediterranean region. Apart from cooking, it is also used for medicinal purposes, in cosmetics, soaps and even as fuel in traditional lamps.
It is used all over the world. It is estimated Greeks consume more of the oil per person than any other country. The North American Olive Oil Association estimates Greeks consume an average of 24 litres of olive oil per person every year, while Spain comes in with about 15 litres, followed by the Italians consuming an average of 13 litres per person.
What is special about Olive oil?
It contains some of the highest levels of monounsaturated fats found in cooking oils available in the food market. It also contains no levels of cholesterol, no trans-fat and very low levels of saturated fat.
It is also known to contain very good levels of antioxidants including vitamin E and polyphenols, as well as vitamin K.
Can olive oil put you on the quickest way to lose weight?
According to an article published by the Technische Universität München, olive oil was found to be the best of few natural oils and fats with the ability to create a feeling of satiety after eating. The study highlights the role it can play to help put you on the quickest way to lose weight.
In a 3 months study involving olive oil, butterfat, lard and rapeseed oil, a work group at the Technische Universität München (TUM) concluded that participants who had 500 grams of low-fat yogurt which had been enriched with olive oil as part of their normal diet experienced a higher level of fullness compared to those whose yogurt were enriched by one of the other 3 above listed edible fats and oils.
According to Prof. Peter Schieberle, under whose supervision the study was conducted, the blood of participants who had the olive-oil-enriched-fat-free-yogurt contained very high levels of the serotonin satiety hormone. These participants also indicated finding their version of yogurt very filling. The group also showed no increase in weight or body fat during the 3 month study period.
Given that both olive and rapeseed oil contain comparable fatty acids, the researchers concluded that the difference in the performance of the 2 types of oil was down to the aroma compounds found in olive oil.
The above fact was confirmed by another study which involved the addition of olive oil aroma extracts to yogurt and plain yogurt respectively. This study concluded that the group that had plain yogurt required extra 176 kilocalories a day, while those that took the yogurt enriched with olive oil extract found no need for extra calories.
In addition, it was also found that the group that had the olive-oil-enriched-fat-free-yogurt were able to adapt their eating habits, while the other group couldn’t.
Also, the blood of the participants that ate plain yogurt also had lower levels of serotonin.
Prof. Schieberle stated in conclusion that the research was a very significant step towards the production weight loss foods with the ability to regulate satiety.
It is worth noting that not all olive oils provide the same level of fullness. The study concluded that the Italian variety seem to perform better as it contains higher levels of the aroma compounds that have the ability to cut down the amount of glucose absorbed from blood in liver cells.
Olive oil has the ability to make you feel full over a longer period. This means it can keep your hunger pangs at bay without the need for extra calories or food. This means with time your weight will fall gradually. Thus olive oil can play a very significant role in any effort to lose weight quickly.
We believe the quickest way to lose weight could be made quite effective by including this type of oil in your diet plan or weight loss strategy.
Other Benefits of Olive Oil
The qualities and benefits of this oil do not end with only with helping to put you on the quickest way to lose weight. Various studies have been carried out for more than 50 years to help identify the many benefits of olive oil. We summarise some of them below.
Effect on cardiovascular diseases
As stated at the beginning of this article, studies show that Mediterranean societies that use olive oil extensively in their diet and dishes have the lowest cardiovascular diseases. The incidence of having a stroke, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels tend to be very low in these societies. These societies also tend to have a longer lifespan on the average.
Can help with the prevention of stroke
Studies show that regularly eating it can reduce the risk of having stroke by about 41% in older people. Thus, it is believed encouraging elderly people to opt for this type of oil could be a very good way of preventing stroke in this age group.
Can help with depression
Studies show that the incidence of depression is a lot higher among people who rely heavily on mass-produced and fast foods that are laden with trans fats, and, lower among people whose diets are mainly based on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Studies also show that can help protect people against depression, irrespective of their level of physical activity, what diet they are on and their lifestyle.
Other benefits of Olive oil that have been confirmed by various studies include
- May help cut down the chances of getting breast cancer and may also help make breast cancer tumours inactive or harmless;
- May help you to keep your cholesterol at healthy levels;
- Can help protect you against Alzheimer’s diseases by helping to remove the proteins that cause this disease from the brain;
- the components of virgin olive oil can help with the prevention of acute pancreatitis;
- can help with the protection of the liver from oxidative stress caused by the presence of free radicals and other toxins in the body.
In conclusion, we believe olive oil has a range of benefits and capabilities. Using the oil on a regular basis can help put you on the quickest way to lose weight. It can also help provide you your health with a number of benefits.
What other benefits, or, what experiences have you had with olive oil?