Olive oil is one of those foods we know without question is good for us. Hello, it's pretty much the cornerstone of the oft-recommended Mediterranean diet. But it turns out antioxidants and the "good fat" oleic acid aren't the only two super-healthy characteristics olive oil has going for it. New research shows it actually makes us feel more full than other oils and fats (like canola and butter). So much so that smelling olive oil may make us more satiated. No, really!
In short, study participants ate yogurt made with various oils. The ones who got the olive oil yogurt had higher levels of serotonin, which signals satiety, and ate fewer calories over the course of the day. What's more, plain yogurt that was just laced with olive oil aroma extract led to fewer calories consumed, better blood sugar control, and, in turn, less hunger. Whoa. Well, I guess it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise ...
We tend to think the nutritional properties of food are pretty much all there is to feeling fuller. Like if your sandwich bread has more fiber, you'll be fuller longer. If your sandwich has more lean meat, and thus more protein, fuller longer, etc. But clearly, there's more to hunger control than that.
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Dr. Malte Rubach, the nutritional scientist who conducted the research with his colleagues, elaborates:
This is the first time where we’ve really looked at the effects that things other than fatty acids, protein, and carbohydrates have on satiety. Everything that completes our impression of a meal can have an impact.
Well, being that taste and scent are so inextricably linked, this definitely makes sense (no pun intended). Now just wait -- pretty soon, we'll be hearing from diet gurus that weight watchers oughta simply sniff fattening foods to slim down!
Do you think this makes sense? Are you a fan of olive oil?