Adding olive oil to the meal, or taking it as a side-dish when you eat, gives the body a sense of feeling full, researchers from Munich University have found.
But it could be you get the same effects just by sniffing olive oil because its aroma seems to be the key, they discovered.
They tested the oil against lard, butterfat and rapeseed oil and added each to 500 grams of low-fat yoghurt. Participants in the study ate one of the four offerings every day for three months, and the olive-oil group always reported that they felt full, and nobody in the group put on any weight or body fat during the trial.
Then the researchers tried something different: one group ate the yoghurt with olive oil aroma extract added, and the rest ate the yoghurt plain. By the end of the second trial, the olive oil group continued to eat roughly the same calories, but the others had increased their daily calorie intake by 176 kilocalories a day.
(Source: Technische Universitaet Muenchen website).