Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil linked to weight loss
It's time to separate the good fats, like those found in olive oil, from the bad ones and put them back in our diet.
A randomized controlled trial in Spain (PREDIMED) has found that consuming a Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin olive oil does not lead to weight gain. Instead, the study found that olive oil is associated with weight loss. The findings were published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
The study looked at more than 7,000 participants who were divided into three groups and followed for five years. The first group was asked to follow a zero-calorie Mediterranean diet supplemented with additional extra virgin olive oil; the second group was asked to follow a zero-calorie Mediterranean diet with added nuts; and the third group was asked to follow a low-fat diet. More than 90% of the participants were overweight or obese at the time of the study and were between 55 and 80 years old.
The results showed that all three groups lost weight, but the greatest weight loss came from the group that followed the Mediterranean diet with the addition of extra virgin olive oil - 0.88 kg compared to 0.60 kg on the low-fat diet.
Of course, this doesn't mean that people are allowed to eat anything that contains fat. Participants in the Mediterranean groups ate high-fat foods but did not include red meat or butter, processed foods, sweets and desserts, or sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, they ate fish, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Good fats found in olive oil, nuts, and fish are beneficial to our health, and science consistently proves this to be the case. Recent studies have shown that consuming a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil leads to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer. And now there's evidence that the healthy fats in olive oil are linked to weight loss.