Low-fat versions of many of our favourite indulgent snacks are available on supermarket shelves, popular because these ‘light’ food products entice those trying to lose weight and those wanting to indulge in their favourite treats without gaining weight. The effectiveness of buying these products for those reasons is highly disputed as low fat options are often loaded with sugar and as ridiculous as it sounds, people tend to eat more of the low-calorie foods because they can convince themselves it is not that bad.
If you want to lose weight, you need to find a way to satisfy your hunger and research shows that consuming healthy fats might just be the way to do it! Natural oils and fats regulate the sensation of feeling full post-ingestion, with olive oil being the frontrunner.
One particular study compared the effects of four different edible fats, among which were rapeseed oil and olive oil. Over a period of 3 months, participants ate 500g of low-fat yoghurt enriched with one of the four fats on a daily basis. Olive oil was found to have the biggest satiety effect, with the subjects who consumed this fat having the highest levels of serotonin in the blood. They also reported that they found the yoghurt very filling, without knowledge of what it had been enriched with or which group they were in. No member of this group recorded an increase in body fat or overall weight, only maintenance or loss.
Scientists now believe that it is in fact, the aroma of olive oil which contributes towards its ability to satiate appetite so successfully, as the fatty acid content of rapeseed oil and olive oil is similar. Due to this reasoning, subjects were tested by being divided into two groups; one which consumed yoghurt enriched with olive oil aroma extracts and one which consumed plain yoghurt. The group consuming yoghurt with the extracts ate 176kcal less than the control group on average per day.
Schieberle P, Somoza V, Rubach M, Scholl L, Balzer M, Identifying Substances that Regulate Satiety in Oils and Fats and Improving Low-Fat Foodstuffs by Adding Lipid Compounds with a High Satiety Effect, Key Findings of the DFG/AiF Cluster Project, 2009-12.