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January 19, 2009 • Healthy Eating & Nutrition, Weight Control

Another Reason to Enjoy Olive Oil

I consider extra virgin olive oil a superstar food for both sensory pleasure and health protection, and a fascinating new study in the October issue of Cell Metabolism provided yet another reason to make this delicious fat your oil of choice, namely better appetite control.  Olive oil is chock full of heart-happy monounsaturated fats and is particularly high in one called oleic acid.  In this current study, scientists infused oleic acid directly into the gastrointestinal tract of laboratory rats and found that it triggered the release of appetite-suppressive neurochemicals from the lining of the intestines that ultimately quieted the brain’s appetite center.  As expected, the laboratory rats that received the oleic acid infusions ate less afterwards than the control rats not given the oleic acid.  A similar report in the journal, Gastroenterology (November 2007) noted the same findings and also found that oleic acid delayed stomach emptying, giving rise to a prolonged sense of “fullness.” A simple and practical way to take advantage of olive oil’s potential to quiet your inner cookie monster is to enjoy a salad tossed with an olive oil vinaigrette as a pre-meal appetizer.  For other great reasons to include extra virgin olive oil in your diet you can watch this brief video clip.