Olive Oil and Diet: Slimming Ally or Not? Truths and Myths


Is olive oil good for the diet?

Olive oil is one of the ‘pillar’ foods of the Mediterranean diet. This is not without good reasons! It has several health benefits which are detailed by Aurore Lavergnatdietician-nutritionist: “Olive oil contains oleic acid (omega-9). This monounsaturated fatty acid is beneficial for the cardiovascular system. It also contains polyphenols and antioxidants like vitamin A and the vitamin E which protect the body from free radical attacks. It also regulates transit, which can help to have a flat stomach, and it promotes the secretion of bile by the liver for good digestion. »

Does olive oil make you lose weight?

The Predimed study published in 2017 showed that olive oil was an ally in to fight against obesity. The 2,543 people who followed the Mediterranean diet based on olive oil lost 1 kg on average.

Effectively, “it has an ‘anorexigenic’ role by reducing appetite and promoting satiety, adds Aurore Lavergnat. It also regulates blood sugar to limit weight gain and the onset of diabetes.

This ‘appetite suppressant’ role can also be attributed to its aromas which stimulate endorphinsthe pleasure hormone, and would thus lead to faster satiety.

But this is not its only asset for the digestive system! “Olive oil promotes the production of cholecystokinin, a hormone that stimulates gallbladder contractions, and helps the liver function properly,” specifies the dietitian-nutritionist.

What does ‘a drizzle’ of olive oil mean?

In cooking recipes, the quantity of olive oil to use is not always indicated in a number of spoonfuls, but only with the heading ‘a drizzle of olive oil’. This indication is vague. In reality, what does it correspond to?

It is estimated that a drizzle of olive oil is the equivalent of approximately one tablespoon. Aurore Lavergnat.

Calories in olive oil

Since a drizzle of olive oil represents approximately a soup spoon you should know that the latter contains approximately 90 calories whereas a teaspoon only brings between 40 and 45, and 100 ml of olive oil provides 900 calories! But we never consume such a quantity!

Lipids in olive oil

Olive oil is made up of 99.9%* lipids! They are distributed as follows: “There are 73% monounsaturated fatty acids, including almost 70% omega-9 fatty acids. These help to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood and prevent cardiovascular diseases. It also contains 15% saturated fatty acids and 7% polyunsaturated fatty acids including 6% omega-6 fatty acids and 1% omega-3 acids,” specifies the dietitian-nutritionist.

Does cooking with olive oil make you gain weight?

Olive oil can be used in cooking, raw, as for cooking. However, for the latter, it is important to not exceed the temperature of 200°C. Beyond that, olive oil reaches its ‘smoke point’, which is then harmful to your health.

“Olive oil is to be preferred compared to, for example, ‘coconut oil which contains more saturated fatty acids, which are bad for your health. However, it remains an interesting oil to consume for its antifungal properties., antiviral and anti-infectious, as well as for its role on the microbiota (from the moment it is extra-virgin from 1st cold pressing), explains Aurore Lavergnat. You should simply not exceed the quantity of 2 tablespoons per day. »

Which oil is the least fattening?

” All the vegetal oils have a high-calorie content warns the dietitian-nutritionist. But more than calories, it is the composition of lipids that we must look at, and prefer those which are richest in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids which are better for health than saturated fatty acids. »

Here are the details (per 100 g)*:

  • Canola oil: 900 calories, 60% monounsaturated fatty acids, 27% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 7% saturated fatty acids.
  • Poppy oil: 900 calories, 19% monounsaturated fatty acids, 62% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 13% saturated fatty acids.
  • Hazelnut oil: 900 calories, 75% monounsaturated fatty acids, 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 8% saturated fatty acids.
  • Soybean oil: 900 calories, 22% monounsaturated fatty acids, 59% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 15% saturated fatty acids.
  • Grapeseed Oil: 900 calories, 19% monounsaturated fatty acids, 64% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 11% saturated fatty acids.
  • Sunflower oil: 901 calories, 27% monounsaturated fatty acids, 56% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 11% saturated fatty acids.
  • Sesame oil: 900 calories, 42% monounsaturated fatty acids, 40% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 15% saturated fatty acids.
  • Flaxseed oil: 900 calories, 20% monounsaturated fatty acids, 67% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 10% saturated fatty acids.
  • Palm oil: 900 calories, 37% monounsaturated fatty acids, 9% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 49% saturated fatty acids.
  • Walnut oil: 900 calories, 17% monounsaturated fatty acids, 70% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 10% saturated fatty acids.
  • Wheat germ oil: 900 calories, 14% monounsaturated fatty acids, 62% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 17% saturated fatty acids.

Good to know: some of these oils are not suitable for cooking. This is the case for rapeseed, flax, walnut, corn, soy, hazelnut oils, etc.

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