Can Olive Oil Help Reduce Weight?
December 17, 2021
You may be familiar with olive used to flavor and spice up dishes. How can you resist its pungent and fruity smell, which blends well with aromatics, creating a symphony of taste?
Many people rave about olive oil and its purported therapeutic benefits. You may even have heard someone say how this Mediterranean wonder has helped them manage their weight.
But are all those claims backed by scientific evidence? This article aims to answer these queries by discussing whether olive oil can promote healthy weight management and help reduce weight.
In This Healthy Insight:
- Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet for Weight Loss
- Olive Oil-Enriched Diet vs. Standard Lower-Fat Diet
- Can Olive Oil Massage Help You Lose Weight?
- Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Healthier?
The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) always includes olive oil, herbs and spices, vegetables, nuts, beans, and legumes. In this eating plan, animal protein is consumed in smaller amounts.
While MedDiet often incorporates fish or seafood, the primary source of fat is olive oil.
A randomized controlled trial published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition hypothesized that MedDiet, especially one that’s rich in virgin olive oil, is linked to higher levels of plasma antioxidant capacity.
The participants in the study engaged in a three-year intervention program, where they followed a Mediterranean-style diet rich in virgin olive oil.
Results showed that plasma total antioxidant capacity (TAC) played a role in the participants’ weight reduction. TAC is the growing action of antioxidants found in plasma and body fluids.
Another study from the Journal of Women’s Health examined the effectiveness of an olive oil-enriched diet for weight reduction.
This randomized controlled trial involved breast cancer survivors who consumed an NCI (National Cancer Institute) diet and a plant-based olive oil diet for eight weeks.
After the participants finished the two diet trials, the women chose the olive oil-enriched diet for an additional six months of follow-up for weight management.
Results showed that an olive oil-enriched diet may be more effective for weight reduction than a standard lower-fat diet among breast cancer survivors.
Even though the results of these studies are promising, more longitudinal research is recommended to determine whether a Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil may help with weight management.
Some people claim that massaging one’s body with olive oil can help an individual shed some pounds. Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence that supports this concept.
However, a study published in the Nigerian Medical Journal suggested that olive oil massages may help preterm babies gain weight.
According to the study, the neonatal weight gain of infants who received an olive oil massage was 21g daily.
Like olive oil, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is also made from olives. However, the EVOO extraction method differs from the regular one.
Extra virgin olive oil is obtained via mechanical and physical processes, such as:
- Crushing of olives
- Malaxation (mixing and churning milled olives)
- Centrifugation (a method that helps separate mixtures by spinning them in solution around an axis at high speed)
A research article from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences stated that extra virgin olive oil contains the highest polyphenols, a compound with antioxidants and many potential health benefits.
Animal, cell culture, and limited human studies suggested that eating foods containing polyphenols may facilitate weight reduction and prevent weight gain due to their ability to alter energy metabolism and lipids.
However, high doses of polyphenols in supplement form may trigger an adverse reaction. If you’re considering EVOO for its high polyphenol content, make sure to consult with your dietician first for guidance and advice.
You may freely add olive oil to your diet to benefit from its purported therapeutic effects. You may easily add it into your soups or pasta, incorporate it into your baked goods, drizzle it onto your vegetables, or use it as a salad dressing.
Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fats and is packed with antioxidants. However, there are no quick fixes for losing weight.
Therefore, make sure to eat right, sleep well, and have a regular exercise routine to achieve the weight you’ve always wanted.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.