The article is a subjective view on this topic written by writers specializing in medical writing.
It may reflect on a personal journey surrounding struggles with an illness or medical condition, involve product comparisons, diet considerations, or other health-related opinions.
Although the view is entirely that of the writer, it is based on academic experiences and scientific research they have conducted; it is fact-checked by a team of degreed medical experts, and validated by sources attached to the article.
The numbers in parenthesis (1,2,3) will take you to clickable links to related scientific papers.
Olive Oil For Weight Loss 2023 – Does Olive Oil Help You Lose Weight?
Olive oil is part and parcel of the Mediterranean Diet. It is now a part of a healthy diet worldwide. In the US, 90 million gallons of olive oil are consumed annually. Olive oil’s potential health benefits for cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and certain cancer types are well studied.
Weight and body composition have a big impact on these diseases. Thus, nutrition that not only prevents you from weight gain but also allows healthy weight maintenance can help you to stay healthy. In this article, you will discover the science behind using olive oil for weight loss.
Is Olive Oil Good For Weight Loss?
Contrary to common belief, you need to eat healthy fat to promote weight loss. Because unhealthy foods are usually rich in saturated fats and calories, you should consume them in moderation. Eating primarily unsaturated fatty acids, meaning polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, is recommended for healthy calorie intake from the fat group.
Olive oil has one of the richest monounsaturated fatty acid profiles. Accordingly, it is recommended as a healthy oil. Olive oil may indirectly aid weight loss by affecting blood sugar and insulin levels.
Olive Oil Benefits For Weight Loss
In a study, diabetic patients were given one of three diets: the Mediterranean diet is an olive oil-enriched diet with mixed nuts, or a low-fat diet for one year. At the end of the study, patients given either the Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or the diet supplemented with olive oil lost a significant amount of weight compared to their initial weight.
Blood sugar and insulin levels affect body weight. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. In insulin resistance, tissues and organs’ response to the hormone insulin is decreased, which results in high insulin and blood sugar levels. It may cause diabetes if it is left untreated.
A meta-analysis examined the association between olive oil intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk. Patients who included olive oil in their diets (compared to low-fat diets) had a significant reduction in HbA1c, a biomarker for long-term glucose control. The analysis also showed that a 10-gram (g) daily increase in olive oil consumption was significantly associated with a reduced risk of T2D by 9%. Up to 15-20 g daily olive oil intake decreased T2D risk by 13%.
Olive oil-rich diets may contribute to weight management via their effects on blood glucose and insulin levels.
How To Use Olive Oil For Weight Loss?
Healthy and sustainable weight loss can not be achieved by eating excessive amounts of certain foods, including olive oil. You need a healthy and balanced nutrition plan individualized with your nutritional and caloric requirements. The Mediterranean diet is one of the diets recommended by health authorities, and it is rich in olive oil. In addition to adding olive oil to your diet, you should choose to eat healthy or fat-burning foods such as:
- Whole grains
- Legumes and beans
- Vegetables and fruits
- Non-tropical vegetable oils rich in monounsaturated fatty acids
- Fish, poultry
- Low-fat dairy and dairy products
Foods to avoid:
- Products with added sugar such as sugary beverages, cookies, fruit juices
- High sodium food
- Ultra-processed foods – processed meats, packaged products
- Refined carbohydrates
According to the American Heart Association (AHA)], eating style as mentioned earlier supports your health by preventing heart diseases and reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and blood pressure, which are better indicators of health than the number on the scale. Of course, there are recommendations for a healthy weight range.
However, not all bodies are the same, and there is not an exact healthy number of kgs that suits everyone perfectly.
How To Choose The Best Olive Oil For Weight Loss?
Have you ever been confused when buying olive oil? What do terms like “cold pressed,” “pure,” “light,” “extra virgin,” and “classic” mean?
- The healthiest olive oil is extra virgin olive oil because it contains the highest amount of antioxidant molecules called polyphenols.
- The taste of olive oil changes based on the place the olives are harvested when ripe, harvest time, and processing techniques. Flavor can be mild to intense and peppery to buttery. You may see labels like “first press” or “cold pressed” on extra virgin olive oils. These labels indicate that no heat or chemicals are used when processing olives. Actually, whether they indicate it or not, extra virgin olive oil is produced without heat.
- ‘Olive oil is different from ‘extra virgin olive oil’. Olive oil is a mix of refined olive oil and virgin or extra virgin olive oil. Thus its taste is less strong with a mild flavor. Some labels for olive oil are ‘classic’ or ‘pure.’ If labels say ‘light flavor’ or ‘light tasting,’ they are olive oils mixed with very little virgin olive oil
- Fresher is better for olive oil. You can check the harvest time for the olive oil’s age. But looking at the “ best by ” date is recommended since many factors such as type and quality of olives as well as harvesting method affect the shelf life.
How Much Olive Oil Per Day To Lose Weight?
Drinking olive oil for weight loss is getting popular. However, you don’t have to drink plain olive oil to potentially promote weight loss. Just make olive oil a part of your daily diet. You can consume olive oil by cooking with it, adding sauces, dressings, and so on.
Fat contains high calories; thus, all fats, even the healthiest ones, should be consumed in moderation, especially if you are on a weight loss plan. A healthy and balanced diet should contain between 20-35% of total energy intake as fat. Fats are grouped as healthy (unsaturated fats) and unhealthy (saturated and trans fats). Try to choose unsaturated fat sources such as
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Peanut oil
- Safflower oil
- Sesame oil
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- Grapeseed oil
2 Recipes With Olive Oil For Weight Loss
Did someone say nutritious pancakes? Zucchini pancakes are great for a fresh summer meal and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For 12 pancakes, you need
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 6-8 oz feta cheese
- Salt and herbs
- Extra virgin olive oil for frying
First, grate zucchini, mix it with salt, and leave it for a few minutes. Then, squeeze excess water and mix dried zucchini with eggs, flour, herbs, and feta until evenly distributed. Medium-high heat in a pan with extra-virgin olive oil ( EVOO). After heating, drop a spoonful of zucchini mix and cook until it is golden brown. It is ready to serve with sour cream.
Oatmeal is an easy breakfast with high fiber. It is usually eaten with a protein source such as milk or Greek yogurt. Putting olive oil in oatmeal increases the taste and the meal fat content. Hence, it makes it more fulfilling and satisfying. You just need:
- ½ cup oatmeal
- 1 cup milk, greek yogurt, or water
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- ½ tsp maple syrup or honey
- Fruit and nuts – could be berries, bananas, walnuts, almonds
Mix all and simple, yet energy-boosting, oatmeal is ready.
Olive oil is a very versatile oil that can be used for cooking any food. It is healthy because its smoking point is high; EVOO is the most stable cooking oil. Besides these recipes, olive oil can be used in salad dressings, pasta sauces, and fruit salads.
Extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats (one of the healthy fats) with potential health benefits for preventing high blood sugar, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Olive oil diet may promote weight loss if chosen in place of unhealthy fats, such as trans and saturated fatty acids. However, focusing on one food or food group cannot achieve healthy weight loss. You need a well-planned, balanced nutrition program that matches your nutritional and caloric needs for sustainable weight loss.
If you’re hesitant about your weight and nutrition plan, you can get help from a doctor and registered dietitian to assist you in healthy eating for weight loss.
+ 7 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
- Lasa, A., J. Jaime Miranda, Mònica Bulló, Casas, R., Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Idoia Larretxi, Estruch, R., Ruiz-Gutiérrez, V. and Portillo, M.P. (2014). Comparative effect of two Mediterranean diets versus a low-fat diet on glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. [online] 68(7), pp.767–772. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2014.1.
- CDC (2022). Insulin Resistance and Diabetes. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/insulin-resistance.html.
- Lukas Schwingshackl, Anna-Maria Lampousi, Portillo, M.P., Romaguera, D., Hoffmann, G.W. and Boeing, H. (2017). Olive oil in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies and intervention trials. [online] 7(4), pp.e262–e262. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/nutd.2017.12.
- Mazzocchi, A., Leone, L., Agostoni, C. and Pali-Schöll, I. (2019). The Secrets of the Mediterranean Diet. Does [Only] Olive Oil Matter? [online] 11(12), pp.2941–2941. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122941.
- Liu, A., Ford, N.A., Hu, F.B., Zelman, K.M., Dariush Mozaffarian and Kris-Etherton, P.M. (2017). A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion. [online] 16(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4.
- Lunn, J. and Theobald, H.E. (2006). The health effects of dietary unsaturated fatty acids. [online] 31(3), pp.178–224. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2006.00571.x.
- Harinageswara Rao Katragadda, Andrés Fullana, Sidhu, S. and Carbonell-Barrachina, A.A. (2010). Emissions of volatile aldehydes from heated cooking oils. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248511136_Emissions_of_volatile_aldehydes_from_heated_cooking_oils.