Comparison of four different edible fats and oils: Lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil and olive oil showed that olive oil satisfied hunger better than the others. It turned out to be two aroma compounds in the olive oil, not the fatty acids.
"Olive oil had the biggest satiety effect," reports Prof. Peter Schieberle, Head of the TUM Chair of Food Chemistry and Director of the German Research Center for Food Chemistry. "The olive oil group showed a higher concentration of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood. Subjectively speaking, these participants also reported that they found the olive oil yoghurt very filling."
Aroma is the key
"The findings surprised us," admits Schieberle, "because rapeseed oil and olive oil contain similar fatty acids." The researchers decided to turn their attention to a completely different type of substance -- the aroma compounds in olive oil. In the second part of the study, one group was given yoghurt with olive oil aroma extracts and a control group was given plain yoghurt.
The results were conclusive: The olive oil group's calorie intake remained the same, but the control group had been consuming an extra 176 kilocalories per day. Schieberle explains: "The aroma group adapted their eating habits -- but the control group participants were obviously not able to do likewise. We also found that in comparison to the other group, the control group had less of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood."
I haven't heard of just smelling the aroma to feel full - I have read that using it as a cooking oil is healthy.
I am going to try this. I love olive oil and its aroma, too.
Interesting about olive oil aroma. I just learned recently that over heating it destroys its molecular makeup, rendering it useless as a healthy alternative. Hmmm.
Yes, you have to be extra careful when sauteing with olive oil. I still use it exclusively, and try to pay close attention to the heat. Never let the pan smoke, for sure. I saw a Wegman's recipe book in which every recipe for frying told you to heat the pan until you saw it smoke, then put in the food. *groan*