Sesame Oil & Weight Loss

Herbal Oil
Replace animal fats with plant-based oils when possible. (Image: Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Getty Images)

If you’re trying to lose weight, adding sesame oil to your diet may help. However, boosting your intake of sesame oil isn’t a guarantee you’ll lose weight -- especially because this oil is high in calories. Adding oils to a reduced-calorie weight-loss meal plan in recommended portions gives you the best chance at weight-loss success.

Calorie Considerations

Although adding heart-healthy sesame oil to your meal plan can be beneficial, overdoing it can hinder weight loss. A 1-tablespoon portion of sesame oil contains 120 calories, all of which -- about 14 grams -- are from dietary fat. To effectively shed pounds, you must eat fewer calories than you burn. For example, reducing your current energy intake by 500 calories a day often helps you lose 1 pound weekly.

Research Support

One study published in 2006 in the “Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine” found that participants who consumed about 2.6 tablespoons of sesame oil daily lost a significant amount of weight -- an average of 2.6 pounds in 45 days. When subjects stopped consuming the sesame oil for a period of 45 days, they started to gain back the weight they had lost. Researchers who conducted this study suggest that the polyunsaturated fatty acids in sesame oil might play a role in weight loss because they increase plasma levels of leptin, a hormone that regulates energy balance and suppresses food intake.

Recommended Portions

The study subjects who lost weight by eating sesame oil did so by consuming about 320 calories' worth daily. Many weight-loss diets that aren’t medically supervised contain 1,200 calories daily for women and 1,500 calories per day for men. Consuming 320 calories from fat is within the acceptable macronutrient distribution range provided by the Institute of Medicine -- which shows that 20 to 35 percent of your total calorie intake should be from dietary fats -- for 1,200- to 1,500-calorie diets.

Additional Benefits

Adding sesame oil to your meal plan may also provide you with some heart-health benefits. Cleveland Clinic notes that the monounsaturated fats found in sesame seeds help raise your good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol and reduce your risks for stroke and heart disease. The “Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine” study reports that 50 subjects with high blood pressure who ingested 2.6 tablespoons of sesame oil daily for 45 days as a replacement for the oils they normally consumed experienced decreases in blood pressure.


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