For years, fat was considered a weight-loss rival. But now, recent data suggests that dietary fat can improve weight loss when incorporated in the right way. Scientific studies reveal that supplementing your diet with high-quality extra virgin olive oil can actually promote loss of excess weight.
People in the Mediterranean basin are long-time consumers of EVOO in their high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources. The Mediterranean way of eating has been thought to contribute to the Mediterranean people’s slim physique and heart-health. In fact, several scientific studies conducted in Mediterranean countries have found that adhering to a Mediterranean diet decreases obesity rates1. And despite fats bad rap for weight loss, studies have found that there is no correlation between increasing olive oil consumption and weight gain2. In fact, one such study found that women who consumed EVOO lost 80% more fat than those who instead consumed soybean oil3.
Research suggests that a diet low in saturated fats, such as the Mediterranean diet, and high in monounsaturated fat sources like EVOO, may promote an improvement in obesity and obesity-related disorders such as high cholesterol and diabetes4. One study claims that the high oleic acid (one type of monounsaturated fat) content of olive oil produces a feeling of satiety to promote weight loss5. Other studies suggest that polyphenols, found in high-quality EVOO, are responsible for EVOO-induced weight loss by increasing fat breakdown, inhibiting fat production, and promoting insulin sensitivity6.
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1Adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet is inversely associated with body mass index and obesity in a Spanish population. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15570037
2Olive oil consumption and weight change: the SUN prospective cohort study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16711599
3Consumption of extra virgin olive oil improves body composition and blood pressure in women with excess body fat: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28808791
4Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil and obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443484
5The lipid messenger OEA links dietary fat intake to satiety. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18840358
6Relationship between Mediterranean Dietary Polyphenol Intake and Obesity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6213078/