Breast cancer survivors who follow a diet enriched with olive oil may experience better weight loss results compared to eating a traditional low-fat diet, according to findings published in the Journal of Womens Health.
For eight weeks, more than 40 women aged 50 years and older who had been diagnosed with breast cancer were randomly chosen to follow two different 1,500 calorie diets. The first was a low fat regimen recommended by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the other was a plant-based olive oil diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, beans, fish, and some poultry.
After eating each diet for two months, the women were then asked to select one of the diets to follow for an additional six months.
The results of the study showed that more women who started the trial on the olive oil diet lost weight than the individuals who began with the low-fat regimen. In fact, approximately 80 percent of the participants following the olive oil regimen lost 5 percent of their baseline weight, while only 31 percent of women on the NCI diet lost the same percentage.
The olive oil diet improves weight loss results because its “enriched with extra virgin olive oil, which is a source of healthy fats, and [included] foods associated with improving ones health, such as vegetables, beans and other plant products,” said Mary Flynn, a research dietitian at Miriam Hospital.
In addition to helping with weight loss, olive oil, a high source of antioxidants, can help protect the body against heart disease, certain types of cancer and diabetes.