A newly released survey of dietitians, which examines their current perspectives regarding various dietary fats and oils, reveals a strong preference for olive oil as the food oil of choice even for individuals on a diet. Canola oil was the second choice, while other oils—safflower, soybean, peanut, corn and flax—trailed far behind.
The Dietary Fat Survey for Dietitians was conducted by Dr. Doug Bibus, nationally recognized lipid nutrition expert and community faculty member at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota and president of Lipid Technologies, LLC. In releasing the survey results, Dr. Bibus noted that the public has been confronted by confusing messages about the consumption of fat, and the survey of professional dietitians should help provide some clarity.
Among the key findings of the survey respondents were that olive oil is considered one of the top two "healthy foods and ingredients," the first being fruits and vegetables, and the third being salmon and fish. Ninety-five percent of the dietitians routinely recommend olive oil to their patients.
"In response to the rising incidence of obesity in our country, 'Low Fat' diets were strongly recommended to curb calories," Bibus stated. "However, results from the past decade of practicing 'low fat' strategies have also mirrored a further expansion of the obesity epidemic. Recent epidemiological reviews are now suggesting that dietary refined carbohydrate may be a major culprit of increasing obesity rates and that dietary fat may not be as harmful as once thought. Clearly, dietitians in our survey feel that olive oil is an important part of any diet."
Among weight loss diets, the Mediterranean diet was preferred by sixty-five percent of respondents, with WeightWatchers a distant second. More than 9 out of 10 of the respondents agree that olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean diet and recommend it during weight loss dieting.
Ninety-five percent of the dietitians also "recommend replacing butter and hydrogenated fats" with olive oil.
The survey solicited participation from 787 dietitians. The complete survey results can be found at the website of the underwriter of the survey Pompeian, Inc.: www.pompeian.com/dietitiansurvey.