Do you also like to relish on juicy, salty olives but you’re asking yourself if they are actually keto friendly? Well, in that case, we have some answers for you that might just turn your diet plan around.
Olives comprise of adequate healthy fats, fewer carbohydrates, and sufficient vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Therefore, you can consume olives if on a keto diet as a part of a salad, individual dish, or even oil.
Generally, fruits are a big no in keto owing to their high-carbohydrate presence. However, olives defy that rule and are safely added to the keto diet plan.
Read further to know why olives can be your next keto buddy!
How Olives are a Superfood
You'll often encounter olives on the top of your pizza or Martini. But are you aware that this Mediterranean food is way more beneficial than you'd think?
While a raw olive might taste bitter or sour, its rich flavor and crunchy texture can drastically improve the nutritional value of your dish. More so, it maintains the taste balance of your food and keeps it visually appealing. With bright shades of green and black, olives are consumed in both ripe and unripe stages.
Additionally, olives are also rich in Vitamin E and are extremely helpful in improving your overall cardiovascular health. Here are a few advantages of including olives in your daily diet.
- Source of heart-healthy fats
- Ideal for a low-calorie diet
- Antioxidant properties help combat aging
- Regulates appetite control
Here's what the nutritional composition of 5.3 ounces of 100 grams of ripe, canned olives looks like:
- Calories - 115
- Water - 80%
- Protein - 0.8 grams
- Carbs - 6.3 grams
- Sugar - 0 grams
- Fiber - 3.2 grams
- Potassium - 8 mg
- Sodium - 735 mg
- Cholesterol - 0 mg
- Fats - 10.7 grams
The fat composition is further bracketed into:
- Polyunsaturated - 0.91 grams
- Unsaturated - 1.42 grams
- Monounsaturated - 7.89 grams
As evident, olives are a good source of monounsaturated fats that can help lower your body's bad cholesterol (LDL) concentration. You can consume olives in multiple forms like olive bars, pressed oil, or even turn it into a hummus-like dip. The options are endless!
Why are Olives Keto Friendly?
A diet plan is considered ketogenic when it packs more fats, fewer carbohydrates, and even fewer proteins. Ideally, you should be getting about 70-80% fats, 5-10% carbohydrates, and 10-20% protein in your daily diet.
Unlike other fruits, olives pack a considerably lesser amount of carbohydrates, thus making them keto-friendly. However, you will find that olives are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help boost your overall health.
Olive fruit is rich in oleic acid, a form of monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, and can help improve heart health. Additionally, olives are also helpful in preventing bone mass loss and can enhance bone health.
It helps regulate the rapid increase in osteoblasts by stimulating alkaline phosphatase activities in the extracellular matrix. As a result, olives help counter osteoporosis. Combined with high Vitamin E concentration, oleic acid is also helpful for rejuvenating the dieter's skin.
You will be able to notice wrinkles fading away, blemishes lightning, and your skin being better hydrated than before. All these factors contribute to keeping an individual healthy by boosting their self-confidence and athleticism.
Also, it is natural for people to experience keto flu once their body goes under ketosis. As a result, you might face nausea, headache, and extreme irritability. Olives, being sodium-rich, can help bring down those symptoms.
10 Benefits of Including Olives in Your Keto Diet
It is fun to experiment with food, try out different varieties and adopt food from various parts of the world. Even better if the food choice is extremely healthy and helpful in aiding your weight loss journey.
Originally from the Mediterranean region, olives also present multiple benefits for keto dieters. Here are some of them.
Olives are Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants in your body help fight free radicals, thus protecting against chronic diseases. Free radicals support cholesterol oxidation and can risk several heart-related issues.
Olives help prevent the oxidation process, thus improving cardiovascular health. Additionally, antioxidants are also needed to combat deadly viruses and bacteria.
Composed of Vitamin E, oleuropein, oleanolic acid, quercetin, etc. Olives are an antioxidant-rich food source. These compounds protect skin from ultraviolet radiation and improve your overall facial glow. Similarly, olive oil is also helpful in stimulating the growth of your long, silky hair.
Low in Protein
Usually, you would see people investing in protein shakes and sticking to protein-rich diets. Therefore, it is not uncommon to wonder how low protein in olive helps lose weight.
For a 2000 calorie diet, the maximum protein consumption should be limited to 75 grams. A high amount of protein can help lower the number of ketones in your body. During ketosis, your body utilizes energy from ketones instead of blood sugar, thus burning more fat.
However, most low-carb foods are rich in protein and can't be considered for keto diet intake. But olives fit the keto diet criteria just right with high fats, fewer carbs, and lesser protein. Therefore, it is a wise idea to include some olives in your food wherever you can.
As the nomenclature suggests, anti-inflammatory foods help reduce the risk of inflammation. Such food protects your body from arthritis, heart diseases, Alzheimer's, Psoriasis, and many other conditions.
Olives are rich in oleuropein, a popular antioxidant that helps protect your body against cell damage. Adding olives to your keto diet will keep the gut healthy and even reduce the risk of Asthma and Type-II diabetes.
Packed With Vitamins E and K
Olives are rich in nutritional compounds and can have several health benefits when consumed regularly. Another benefit to the nutrition list would be high Vitamin E and K concentrations.
Vitamin E supports the formation of red blood cells, and Vitamin K is helpful for improved bone health. Additionally, Vitamin K is also fat-soluble and helps in blood clotting. It has also been noticed that Vitamin K can heighten episodic memory in older adults.
Therefore, olives can help in improving organ damage and initiating cell repairs. Eating olives on keto will reduce the risk of falling sick and keep you active throughout the day.
Perfect Low-Calorie Snack
Keto is all about watching your carbs and calories. Unsurprisingly, most food items come with both. As a result, you can have trouble finding something that will keep you full without disturbing the state of ketosis.
One hundred grams of olives will give you just 115 calories with just 6 grams of carbohydrate. It is a steal deal for a person on keto that can help curb your spontaneous hunger cravings.
Moreover, you will easily find keto-friendly snack-sized packets of olives in the grocery store.
So, if you are looking for some instant snacks without cheating on your diet, you know what to pick!
Olive Helps in Repairing Damaged Skin Tissues
Traditionally, olive oil has been used in wound healing and skin restoration for a long time. It has further been proved by clinical trials that confirm olive's usefulness in treating diabetic foot ulcers, nipple ulcers, episiotomy wounds, and many more skin conditions.
The presence of vitamins and antioxidants in olives induce healing and regenerative properties in our body, thus supporting overall damaged skin tissue repair. Skin, being one of our largest organs, needs a thorough nutrition palette to reduce the risk of superficial wounds.
Therefore, olives are considered good for skin tissues against all kinds of conditions, ranging from regular acne to Rosacea.
High in Sodium
Abandoning your day-to-day dietary pattern and turning to keto can lead to several bodily issues in the initial days. You might face carbohydrate withdrawal within 2 to 7 days and experience symptoms of keto flu.
Such symptoms might include dizziness, poor concentration, nausea, or muscle cramps. Symptoms vary from person to person and can disturb your daily lifestyle. However, the consumption of olives may help get some relief.
Olives are rich in sodium and can help compensate for the salt loss due to diuresis. Half a cup of black olives can help you get about 735 mg of sodium.
Contains Several Plant Compounds
Olives come from the Olea Europaea tree and have multiple functional, biological, and therapeutic benefits for human health. Olive fruit is rich in flavonoids, secoiridoids, phenolic alcohol, phenolic acids, and other similar plant compounds that help boost human health.
Such bioactive compounds help provide anti-viral, anti-diabetic, cardioprotective, and other similar benefits to the human body.
Also, olives are wholly plant-based and actively consumed by vegans and vegetarians. Considering that many food options like dairy and seafood are eliminated from plant-based diet plans, olives serve as an excellent alternative for the keto diet.
Contains Heart-Healthy Fats
Olives contain high amounts of monounsaturated fats and present many properties that improve heart health in numerous ways. Also, it can be a struggle to maintain acceptable fat vs. carbohydrates percentage in your daily calorie intake.
On the other hand, olives will give you over 80% fat from the total calorie intake. Olives also help reduce LDL, increase HDL, and maintain the overall blood pressure. Also, extra-virgin olive oil is linked with reduced rates of cardiovascular immortality.
Reduces Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress refers to the condition when the production of free radicals and cells that clear them is imbalanced. As a result, one might face several issues, including increased risk of diabetes, cancer, cell or DNA damage.
Olives contain antioxidants that can help combat free radicals, thus improving overall health. Research suggests that ketosis is helpful for neuro-progressive conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, etc. Therefore, adding olives to your keto diet is beneficial for health in more ways than one.
Potential Drawbacks of Olives
You must consume olives while keeping a check on quantity. Here are a few reasons why olives might not be suitable for you.
Olive fruit allergy results from seasonal pollen and can lead to anaphylaxis or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Olives can also cause contact dermatitis and cause excessive itching or skin rashes.
Some common symptoms include sinus headaches, excessive coughing, swelling in the nasal cavity, wheezing, hives, eczema, etc. If you notice any such symptoms soon after having olives in your diet, you should check for olive allergy.
Contains Heavy Metals That May Harm Your Health
When tested for heavy metal composition using a chemometric approach, it was proven that olives contain several such metals that may be a health hazard. Some of these metals were iron, nickel, copper, lead, and Cadmium.
However, the trace amount has proven to be well within the safety limit. Therefore, you can consume it without any fears.
Contains Acrylamide Which is Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
California olives are sterilized at high temperatures. As a result, such olives might contain the acrylamide compound, a human carcinogen. Acrylamide concentration in black ripe California olives was 243 to 1349 ng per g.
Considering that the acceptable levels are set at 2.6 ng per g, it should be safe to consume olives in a limit. However, acrylamide is not found in Spanish-style or Greek-style olives. Therefore, it is advised to check the olive type and production before buying them.
Different Types of Olives
Olives boast thousands of years of history and rich culture. Even though most people generally classify olives as green or black, the fruit offers more diversity.
The taste might vary from sweet to sour, and so does the nutritional composition. However, the below-mentioned types are a good choice if you want to add olives to your keto diet.
Agrinion olives are native to the Agrinion region of Greece and are grown on Conservolia trees. Usually spotting a shade somewhere between faded green to pink to dark purple, these olives are generally larger than a standard fruit size.
After Kalamata, Agrinion olives are the second most popular variety from Greece. These olives have soft flesh that is easily tearable and tastes sour or tangy. Usually used in sauces or sandwiches, you can also use Agrinion olives as pickles or add them to Pasta.
Containing a high concentration of fat, these olives can be consumed either whole, stuffed, or sliced based on your preference.
Originating from the Zeytinbagi region of North Turkey, Gemlik olives are well-known for their rich flavors and high oil content. Rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K, these olives help combat bacteria, fungal, and viral diseases.
These olives also have several other properties like protection against radioactive substances. If you face gastroduodenal ulcers or notice an increase in gastric juices during a keto diet, Gemlik olives are ideal for consumption.
These olives are mid-sized, jet black, and are a breakfast staple in Turkey. If you want to add some authentic taste to your keto diet, Gemlik olives are the answer for you.
Another Greek specialty, Kalamata olive, is bitter, soft, and incredibly fruity. These olives take their name from the region of origin, Kalamata, near the Lonian sea. The deep-reddish hue makes them look exotic, and the large size makes them ideal for usage as table olives.
Primarily found in the forms of brine or red wine vinegar, these olives will give you a moderate amount of oil and plenty of sodium. As a result, this olive is a perfect choice for people just beginning their keto journey.
You will often find these olives sold stuffed with feta cheese. You can also add them to salads for their high plant-based iron, antioxidants, and Vitamin A presence.
If you want to add Spanish-style olives to your keto diet, Manzanilla olives come from Sevilla, a city in Southern Spain. You will mostly find these olives in the aisle of US grocery stores, being sold in addition to Pimiento.
You have probably encountered a Manzanilla olive in the form of commonly available green olives. It is a form of table olive and is often used to produce oil. Manzanilla olive is mid-sized and offers a mild smoky flavor.
So, if you are looking for some easily accessible high carb, low protein options for your keto diet, Manzanilla olives are a perfect choice.
Shaped like a torpedo, this mid-sized olive is grown throughout the globe and is renowned for its crunchy texture. Originally from Gard in southern France, Picholine olives are green in color and offer a bit of fruity taste.
As a result, it is an ideal choice for olive-novices to consume. Keto dieters can mix it up with cheese to form a delectable, mid-day snack.
Personal Recommendation - While all olives are equally beneficial for your keto diet, our preference would be Manzanilla Olives. 5 olives will give you 2g fat, 1g carbs, and 0g protein, with only 20 calories.
You will often hear most fruits aren’t keto-friendly. Considering that thay contain a high percentage of carbohydrates, it is not entirely false. However, olives are an exception!
Olives are rich in fats and contain low carbohydrate concentration, thus making them an ideal keto snack. Generally, low-carb snacks also come with plenty of protein and high calories.
However, olives stand out and offer the needed nutritional composition for a keto diet.
You can easily find olives in the grocery market and add them to your pasta, salads, or even dip. It is safe to say that munching on olives won't disturb your ketosis and keep you healthy in the long run.