Extra virgin olive oilDUSAN ZIDAR/Shutterstock
A study from the German Research Center for Food Chemistry found that even just smelling EVOO may lead to greater feelings of fullness. When an aromatic extract was added to yogurt, participants consumed fewer calories and had a better blood sugar response compared to those who were given plain yogurt without any added extracts. (Concerned about your levels? Learn the symptoms of high blood sugar.) They also had higher increases in serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety. This is great news for olive oil enthusiasts because this potent substance is also loaded with MUFAs, the healthy fats that help blast belly fat. (Check out these signs you need to eat more healthy fats.) But not all EVOO is created equal—find out how to tell if you’re buying fake olive oil.
According to a 2012 study in the journal Flavour, strong aromas make you take smaller bites of food. Look for spicy food with bold flavors like chiles or onions, or try sprinkling red chile pepper flakes into a simple soup for a strong kick. There’s also evidence hot peppers could help you burn more calories. As a bonus, another study found eating hot peppers could make you live longer.