How Many Olives Should I Eat A Day


How many olives should i eat a day — Experts recommend eating olives every day as part of a healthy diet. Eating a few olives every day has been linked to improving many aspects of your health. Olive consumption may help to lower bad cholesterol, combat dehydration, and reduce the risk of cancer.

Are you eating enough olives? If not, it’s time for an adjustment. Eating a few olives every day may help to protect your body from inflammations and diseases as well as improving your heart health, according to new studies.

What are olives

The olive, botanically known as Olea europaea (literally “European olive”), is a tiny tree or shrub in the Oleaceae family that has traditionally been found in the Mediterranean Basin.

Olea europaea ‘Montra’, dwarf olive, or little olive is the name given to it while it is in shrub form. The plant is grown in all Mediterranean countries, as well as Australia, New Zealand, North and South America, and South Africa.  

Olea europaea is the genus Olea’s type species.

Health benefits of olives

Olives are a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. They’re linked to a variety of health benefits, including heart health and cancer prevention.

Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of eating olives.

Cancer reduction

Olives contain oleocanthal, a chemical that has been demonstrated in experiments to kill cancer cells. Other research has found a link between olive oil consumption and a lower risk of cancer, especially breast cancer.

Antioxidant characteristics

Antioxidants in your diet have been found to lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Olives are high in antioxidants, which have a variety of health advantages ranging from lowering inflammation to inhibiting the growth of microorganisms.

According to one study, ingesting the pulpy residue from olives improved blood levels of glutathione, one of the body’s most effective antioxidants.

Improves the health of the heart

High blood cholesterol and blood pressure are both heart disease risk factors. The major fatty acid in olives, oleic acid, has been linked to better heart health.

It has the potential to lower cholesterol levels while also protecting LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidation. Olives and olive oil have also been shown to lower blood pressure in several trials.

Improved bone health

Osteoporosis is defined by a reduction in bone mass and quality. It can make you more prone to fractures. Because Mediterranean areas have lower rates of osteoporosis than the rest of Europe, olives have been suggested as a potential anti-osteoporosis food.

Can Olives Help You Lose Weight?

Olives, a savory Mediterranean fruit, are often cured and eaten whole as a tangy, salty snack. Many people also enjoy them on pizzas and salads or processed into oil or tapenade.

They’re known for being rich in beneficial fats and are included in the popular Mediterranean diet, so you may wonder whether olives can help you lose weight.

This article explains whether olives aid weight loss.

olives in a bowl

How olives affect weight loss

Olives may affect your weight in a variety of ways.

Calorie density

Olives have a notably low calorie density.

Calorie density is a measure of the number of calories in a food relative to the food’s weight or volume (in grams). In general, any food with a calorie density of 4 or more is considered high.

Whole black or green olives have a calorie density of 1–1.5.

Choosing foods with a low calorie density may boost weight loss, as these foods tend to help you feel full for longer — and for fewer calories

Healthy fats

Olives also boast healthy unsaturated fats, which differ from saturated and trans fats due to their chemical structure. All fats contain the same amount of calories, but unsaturated fats affect your body beneficially.

In particular, replacing carbs and other fats in your diet with monounsaturated fats may reduce inflammation and decrease your risk of heart disease.

Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like olives, nuts, avocados, and plant-based oils. Some research links diets high in monounsaturated fats directly to weight loss

A 60-day study in 32 women compared diets high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with normal diets. The diet high in monounsaturated fats resulted in weight loss of up to 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg), plus lower fat mass, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference.

Furthermore, a large review of low calorie diets revealed that high fat eating patterns more often lead to weight loss than low fat ones 

Olive nutrition facts

The nutritional profile of olives varies based on the type of olive and the curing method. Still, most are low in calories but fairly high in salt and beneficial fats.

The following chart examines the nutrients in 1.2 ounces (34 grams) of black and green olives. This serving provides approximately 10 small- to medium-sized olives.

Black olivesGreen olives
Carbs2 grams1 gram
Proteinless than 1 gramless than 1 gram
Total fat3 grams5 grams
Monounsaturated fat2 grams4 grams
Saturated fat2% of the Daily Value (DV)3% of the DV
Fiber3% of the DV4% of the DV
Sodium11% of the DV23% of the DV

How many olives should I eat in a day?

Despite the fact that olives have a low-calorie density and can help with weight loss in a variety of ways, they should be consumed in moderation due to their high salt level and total fat content.

Furthermore, if you don’t keep track of your portion sizes, the calories in olives can soon mount up.

Limit your saturated fat consumption to 2–3 ounces (56–84 grams) per day — about 16–24 small- to medium-sized olives — to stay below the suggested guidelines.

Though olives can help you lose weight, they’re heavy in salt and fat, and eating too many of them can sabotage your efforts. As a result, you should limit your consumption to a few ounces per day at most.

Hence the answer to the question “how many olives should I eat a day” is 16 – 24 small to medium size olives in a day.

How many olives is it okay to eat in one sitting?

Sadly, not all of them. 

We’ve all enjoyed a few extra olives at cocktails and maybe even polished off an entire jar after work when cooking an actual meal just requires too much effort (just us, then?) but how many olives are too many? It’s a question for the ages, we know.

According to dietitian Chloe McLeod, one serving of olives usually consists of between five to ten, and for olives to make up a serve of vegetables (half a cup) you’d have to eat about 30. Which is probably a few too many.

Thing is, “olives are 11-15 per cent fat” – the good kind, though, with “most of it being monounsaturated fat oleic acid.”

In plain speak, “this has wonderful health benefits, particularly in relation to inflammatory conditions, such as heart disease.

“Olives also fit into low carb diets, with approximately four to six per cent carbohydrate, with more than half of this being fibre,” says McLeod.

And, as we all know, fibre is a crucial element to a healthy diet – especially if one of your goals is weight loss or weight management.

Before you go all out, take note: “Olives are often packaged in brine, which is high in salt, leading them to potentially to also be high in salt. Be mindful of this when choosing your olives, and drain them prior to use,” says McLeod.

Otherwise, these bad boys are a great source of vitamin E, too.

“Pair olives with leafy veggies, lean protein and low GI carbs for a balanced meal. I love adding olives to brown rice salad with salmon, baby spinach and a little feta for beautiful Mediterranean flavours,” says McLeod… and honestly, so do we.

Why You Should Eat Olives Every Day: A Doctor Explains

When I was a kid, olives were one of those foods I just didn’t quite get. They were salty and had a pit in the middle—a bit of a nonstarter for a kid in the market for sweeter treats. Fast-forward a few decades (OK, more than a few), and now my eyes light up at the sight of olives. Why? Because they’re a wonderfully tasty snack or mealtime ingredient that’s also a good-for-you indulgence.

In fact, olives pack such a healthy punch that working more of them into your diet is one of those no-brainer health-boosters nobody should miss out on. With all the varieties there are to choose from—roughly 500 or so—there is an olive to suit virtually every taste.

So as a functional medicine doctor, I recommend digging in to these precious pitted and unpitted powerhouses, and enjoying the benefits they can bestow from head to toe. Here’s why:

1. They are an anti-inflammatory antidote to modern ills.

Anything you can do to tamp down inflammation is a step in the right direction—and olives can help. Working them into your regular dietary repertoire will give your body more access to polyphenols, in particular, oleuropein, a chemical compound known for its powerful antioxidant, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.

Better yet, those delicious polyphenols help cut oxidative stress in the brain and can help boost memory. In other words, olives are also a great way to feed your head.

2. They support your cardiovascular health.

Tucked inside each olive is fat—the healthy, monounsaturated kind, which helps boost good cholesterol and reduces the risk for hardening of the arteries. The monounsaturated fat in olives also contains oleic acid, which is linked to lower blood pressure and better cardiovascular health overall.

3. They’re great for your eyes and skin.

Olives are rich in vitamin A, an antioxidant that’s essential for protecting the cornea and maintaining eye health. It can help fend off age-related eye problems such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma and, when it comes to skin, can help reduce wrinkles.

Olives also include vitamin E as well as the antioxidant compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, all of which offer additional eye- and skin-health support.

4. They can keep you trim.

Looking to reach a healthy weight? Olives can help here, too, thanks to those monounsaturated fats, which are linked to belly fat loss and better insulin sensitivity.

To help curb appetite in a healthy way, before sitting down to lunch or dinner, try snacking on a small serving of olives. The monounsaturated fatty acids (plus a bit of fiber) in the olives will help aid digestion and stimulate satiety hormones—so you’ll feel fuller sooner.

5. They’ll give you more energy.

Got glutathione? If you eat olives, you sure will, according to several studies that measured significant increases in glutathione levels in the blood after eating olives. Glutathione is essential to energy production, so getting enough of the stuff can be the difference between a vibrant, active life and one that’s anything but.

In addition, olives, particularly black olives, deliver a nice dose of iron, which is important for energy production and immune system function—so dig in to keep levels high.

Nutritional Values of Olives

There are many different types of olives. However, one can broadly divide them into two types. 

  • Green olives
  • Black olives

Green and black olives aren’t too different from each other. However, they have slightly different macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals values.

A 100 g serving of Black Olives contain:

  • Calories: 116 kcals
  • Protein: 0.84 g
  • Total fat: 10.90 g
  • Carbohydrate: 6.04 g
  • Fibre: 1.60 g

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin C: 0.90 mg
  • Vitamin B3: 0.04 mg
  • Calcium: 88 mg
  • Iron: 6.28 mg
  • Magnesium: 4 mg
  • Potassium: 8 mg
  • Sodium: 735 mg
  • Zinc: 0.22 mg
  • Copper: 0.25 mg

Olive Oil

These values are different for olive oil. One hundred ml serving of olive oil contains:

  • Calories: 884 kcals
  • Fat: 100 g
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Potassium: 1 mg
  • Iron: 0.1 mg
  • Calcium: 1 mg
  • Vitamin K: 21 mg
  • Vitamin E: 26 µg

Olives or Olive Oil?

Both olives and olive oil are healthy due to their high monounsaturated fats. In addition, mono-unsaturated fat can help reduce heart disease, cancer, and obesity. However, it is essential to remember that olive oil is high in calories. Therefore, despite its beneficial role, you should use it in moderation.

Some studies suggest that monounsaturated fats are less fattening. In addition, compared to other forms of fat, the body metabolises and stores them differently. As a result, monounsaturated fats may also lower the risk of blocked arteries and heart disease.

Differences Between Olives and Olive Oil


  • Whole olives contain fewer amounts of fat and calories. For example, a serving of 10 medium olives contains just 40 kcals.
  • Raw olives generally often contain a lot of sodium. Olives have to be cured or pickled before one can eat them. 
  • Olives are fermented naturally, which means they are a source of good bacteria. Usually, one plucks green olives before they mature and has greater polyphenol content. 
  • Whole olives contain fibre.

Olive Oil

  • Olive oil is almost entirely fat. A tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories.
  • Olive oil is nearly sodium-free. 
  • You can add olive oil to many dishes such as salads and pasta. However, the curing process destroys many polyphenols found in olives, primarily maintained in extra virgin olive oil.
  • Black olives that mature on the tree have a greater oil content.
  • Olive oil doesn’t have any dietary fibre.

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