Ever since I started my ambitious Keto diet, I have tried to experiment as much as possible with what exactly my diet entails. This is the only way I can follow through with it! After all, everyone needs a little mix and match in their food intake every now and then!
But, when you are in keto, this can be hard. You constantly have to ensure that the new food that you are incorporating is keto-friendly. I had a similar question when I decided to add black olives to my keto salads.
Are black olives keto? It turns out they are the most keto friendly olives out there! This is because, compared to the other variety of olives available, black olives contain the lowest amount of net carbs.
Are you new to the world of olive, keto or both? Don’t worry! I was once in your shoes too. This is why I have compiled a guide to help you figure it all out. Keep reading to find out!
What are Black Olives?
6000 years old! That is how far back olives go! Olives are picked from the Olea Europaea tree, traditionally found in the Middle East. There are quite a few types of olives out there, including kalamata, arbequina, Thassos, etc.
You might have noticed that I didn’t mention black olives. This is because black olives can exist within any of these varieties. Black olives are any type of olives that are fully ripe when harvested. This is in contrast to green olives, which are still raw when they are plucked.
While black olives are soaked in iye, followed by getting cured in brine to help remove some of the bitterness, green olives are slightly more bitter, although they go through a similar treatment. In fact, green olives can also be treated to be converted into black olives if the above-mentioned process is thorough enough.
Overall, black olives contain merely 0.2 grams of carbs, out of which 0.1 grams are derived from the fiber. Hence, the net carbs of black olives are minimal. This is why the answer to the question “are black olives keto” is an affirmative yes.
The Number Game of Black Olives: Nutritional Profile
Apart from the low carb content, there are various other aspects of black olives that make them a good addition to any diet, be it keto or not.
According to USDA, 1 olive of 3.8 grams is equipped with the following composition of nutrients:
- 4.4 calories out of which 3.7 come from fat
- 0.4 grams of fat, including 0.3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0.1 grams of saturated fat and no trans and polyunsaturated fat.
- 28 milligrams of sodium
- 0.3 milligrams of potassium
- 0.2 grams of carbohydrates, including 0.1 grams of dietary fiber.
- 0.3 percent of vitamin A
- 0.1 percent of vitamin C
- 0.3 percent of calcium
- 0.7 percent of iron
You might be alarmed by the amount of fat in olives.
Olives are considered to be high in fat. However, it is equally crucial to dig deeper and see where the fat is coming from. In black olives, most of the fat is monounsaturated, and this type of fat is actually good for you! This I because it helps boost heart health by lowering your bad cholesterol.
But still, it is always a smart idea to eat any food item in moderation to avoid the disadvantages caused by excess consumption. The advised amount is 4 olives per serving to avoid consuming too much sodium. But, from a keto perspective, you can go as high as a cup of olives, and it will not break your ketosis.
Are Black Olives Keto Friendly?
Now that you have seen the nutritional profile, let’s look back to the question at hand – are black olives keto? What makes them keto?
As mentioned in the beginning, black olives are great for keto. And this is because of their low net carbs. Net carbs refer to the carbs that come from sources other than dietary fiber. As you might have noticed above, half of the carbs in a black olive come from fiber! So, it has quite low net carbs – 2.93 grams in 100 grams worth of serving!
To effectively implement a keto diet, you need to keep your net carb intake between 20g to 30g. A low-carb diet, along with a protein-rich diet, ensures that rather than carbs, your body burns fat when it requires energy, thereby leading to weight loss.
Since it is recommended that you take olives in moderation anyway, there is no way for you to cross the net carbs threshold by introducing olives to your diet, even if they are an add-on to an already eaten meal.
Make Room for Olives: How to Incorporate Olives in your Keto Diet
If you are new to the world of olives, I would suggest that you begin by adding a few to your salads. You can also bake them into keto-friendly bread, add them in dips or make a pizza topping or stew out of them.
Here are some of my favorite ways of incorporating olives into a keto diet.
1. Keto Greek Salad
The ingredients you will need for this salad are a chopped and washed romaine lettuce heart, cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, kalamata pitted olives, feta cheese, balsamic vinegar, Greek spice, olive oil, and salt and pepper for seasoning.
All you need to do is mix all the dressing ingredients (starting with balsamic vinegar) in a bowl and mix them until combined.
In a large bowl, add all the vegetables along with the mixed dressing and toss it until the dressing completely covers all the salad. Top it with some cheese and seasoning, and voila, your healthy keto salad incorporating olives is ready! It can’t get easier than this.
2. Black Olive Keto Pizza
For the black olive keto pizza, you will first need a low-carb crust. Make sure not to make the pizza on the normal dough, as that will ruin your keto! For this crust, you will need almond flour instead of the normal one. The rest of the steps and ingredients can remain the same.
The next thing you need is spinach pesto. Sadly, pizza sauce is not keto-friendly, and hence you will need a base sauce. For making the spinach pesto, you will need spinach, fresh parsley, fresh basil, minced garlic, red peppers, walnuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese and butter. Toss them all in a blender and blend them until you reach a consistency that you are happy with.
Once your keto pesto is ready, spread it onto the low-carb crust. Then, add mozzarella on top as evenly as possible. Follow this by adding olives and spacing them out evenly as well. Bake your pizza for 10 minutes at 375°F and your piping hot pizza will be ready!
While it may not be as delicious as the classic pepperoni pizza that you might be used to, for diet food, it is as tasty as it can get!
What olives are best for keto?
If I start mentioning all the olives I prefer best for keto; you would be here for a long time! So, I have decided to limit this to the top olives that have low net carbs but also taste amazing.
1. Castelvetrano Olives
This olive is ideal for those who haven’t eaten olives before. This is because it has a significantly mild flavor and is not bitter. They are known for their crunch and crispiness and make a good addition to salads. They are also very rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
2. Cerignola Olives
This is an Italian variety that is the most common olive found worldwide. They can either be green, red or black. They also have a mild flavor and contain a lot of oil, thereby being good for the keto diet.
3. Kalamata Olives
The chances are you are already aware of this Greek olive. Known for its classic dark purple shade, this olive is bitter but also soft and fruity. They are best used when you begin your keto diet since kalamata olives are high in sodium – which is something you require during the early days of your keto journey.
4. Manzanilla olives
These types of olives are commonly available in the US as well as a usual addition to martinis. You can find these olives stuffed with items such as garlic. Because they are quite widespread, it is easy to find them in stores near you. At the same time, manzanilla olives are also low in carbs and high in fat, making them a good keto food.
5. Alfonso Olives
These purple olives are slightly bitter and sour. So, they might not be for everyone. But, they are a very healthy addition to a keto diet. Because they are cured using vinegar and red wine brine, they tend to have a tangy taste. When you combine this with their juicy interior, you realize that you have an ingredient that would make any keto food taste better! At least, that’s what I feel whenever I add it to my pizza.
Are black olives keto? Yes, they are. And now that you have this confusion out of the way, you have the entire olive world to explore! Considering just how many varieties of olives there are out there, I am sure you will find at least one type which you like.
While you decide what olive to incorporate and how don’t forget to mix things up by eating other food items in a keto diet, too; if you are unsure about a given item, you might want to check some of my other guides out as I have likely covered them. And if I haven’t, comment on the food below, and I will put my sherlock cap back on and share my insights with you soon. Till then, enjoy those olives.
Click on one of the links below to learn about more keto friendly foods: