Olive oil and slimming

Calorific value of olive oil

CRETAN MYRON, Cretan extra virgin olive oil

Monounsaturated Fat: Good fats as part of your diet.

Olive oil has a higher nutritional value than other vegetable oils, but has the same caloric value as them. That is, olive oil yields the same number of calories as any other vegetable or animal fat. Therefore, the myth that seed oils are lighter and contain fewer calories is not actually true.

Fats and oils all have one thing in common – their energy value of 9 kilocalories per gram, but the metabolism of each one differs significantly from the rest. Olive oil is the main lipid added to the Mediterranean diet and provides 9 kilocalories per gram. (1 tablespoon = 10 ml, gives 90 kcal). The recommended daily intake of monounsaturated fatty acids is 10% of the total daily intake of energy. This, of course, should be part of a total daily fat intake which should not exceed 30%.

Energy (kilocalories per day) Kilocalories of mono-unsaturated acids per day
10 – 15% of total Energy intake
Recommended daily
consumption of olive oil
1200 kcals 120 – 180 kcals 1-2 soup spoons
1500 kcals 150 – 225 kcals 2-3 soup spoons
1700 kcals 170 – 255 kcals 2-3 soup spoons
2000 kcals 200 – 300 kcals 3-4 soup spoons
2500 kcals 250 – 375 kcals 4-5 soup spoons

Although olive oil is a fat which, as all fats are, is relatively rich in calories, it nevertheless plays a role in slimming. This is due to its increased content of monounsaturated fatty acids which stimulate fat breakdown in fat cells and reduce the ability of insulin to inhibit lipolysis.

Also, because of its unique strong flavour, you can use less of it compared to other vegetable oils. It also helps our body to absorb the dietary components included in food cooked in olive oil.

For example, it is worth noting that lycopene which is found in tomatoes, beans and other vegetables, and is beneficial for our health, can only be taken up by the body and reach the liver if it is eaten with olive oil.

According to Gennes (1977), someone who is averagely active requires 3g of linoleic acid per day. This can be obtained from just a few spoons of olive oil, but large amounts of dairy products or animal fats would be needed to provide this amount of linoleic acid.

Experience shows that, although olive oil has the same high caloric value, people who consume most olive oil suffer less from obesity. And it has also been shown that people who follow a diet with normal olive oil consumption have fewer weight fluctuations than those who eat less olive oil.

It should be stressed that adding olive oil to a poor diet will not make you healthy, but limiting animal fats, by using olive oil as the primary source of dietary fat, and enjoying a diet rich in fruits, pulses and vegetables accompanied by normal physical activity will enhance your health and aid slimming.