understands that there are millions of consumers who gravitate towards reduced-fat food products. Generally, people feel like these products are better choices for their health and their weight. Especially with the skyrocketing rates of obesity, those “light”, low-fat products appear to be healthier than their full-fat counterparts. Unfortunately for the folks that are eating these products, we know that people will eat more because the products themselves don’t help those folks achieve a “full” feeling after eating a regular serving size. A new study seems to point out one of the reasons this is true.
It appears that natural oils and fats regulate the sensation of feeling full after eating – most especially olive oil.

Work groups at Technische Universität München (TUM) under Prof. Peter Schieberle and at the University of Vienna under Prof. Veronika Somoza studied four different edible fats and oils: Lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil and olive oil. Over a period of three months, the study participants ate 500 grams of low-fat yogurt enriched with one of the four fats or oils every day — as a supplement to their normal diet.

It was reported that olive oil had the biggest effect on satiety. The group consuming low-fat yogurt with olive oil showed a higher level of serotonin in their blood. This is the hormone responsible for the feeling of being satiated. These particular participants reported that they found the olive oil enriched yogurt very to be very filling. During the study period, no member of that group recorded an increase in their body fat or their weight.

The researchers were surprised by the findings. Rapeseed oil and olive oil contain similar fatty acids. So the scientists decided to look more closely at the aroma compounds in olive oil. For this they gave one group of participants yogurt with olive oil aroma extracts while another group was given plain yogurt.

The results were conclusive: The olive oil group’s calorie intake remained the same, but the control group had been consuming an extra 176 calories per day. The researchers explained that the group consuming the yogurt enhanced with the olive oil aroma extracts adapted their eating habits, while the other group could not do the same thing. The second group also had less of the hormone serotonin in their blood.

Blood sugar level plays a major role in how the feeling of fullness will last after eating. The faster the blood sugar level falls, the sooner the person will begin to feel hungry again. This is due to the absorption of glucose in the blood. So, the next thing the researchers studied was which of the aroma substances present in oils are most effective at inhibiting glucose absorption.

The researchers used olive oils from Spain, Greece, Italy and Australia for their study. The research team managed to identify two substances that reduce the absorption of glucose from the blood in liver cells: Hexanal and E2-Hexenal. They also discovered that Italian olive oil contained larger amounts of the two aroma compounds. hopes that this fascinating research will be expanded on, and perhaps manufacturers create healthier products for the population in the future.