Keto diets have become the talk of the town because of their effectiveness and ease of losing weight. However, they are not always easy to follow, as one needs to distinguish between keto and non-keto-friendly food options and keep a check on the quantity they consume, lest they exceed the permissible calorie intake.
Although fruits and vegetables are generally deemed healthy and good for a diet, not all fruits and vegetables are suitable for a keto diet. Keto diets do not allow the consumption of high-carb fruits and vegetables in large quantities, as they go against the keto-stipulated dietary standards.
However, certain fruits are keto-approved as they contain several micronutrients that can be consumed plentifully.
You might be wondering: are olives keto-friendly? Thankfully, yes, they are!
Olives are one of the best fruits you can consume on a keto diet. This article covers exactly why they are beneficial for you and how you can incorporate them into your healthy and keto-friendly lifestyle.
Olives are small, oval-shaped fruits that grow on olive trees. They are available in several kinds and come in two colors: black and green.
Olives hail from a fruit group known as drupes and are related to pistachios, cherries, peaches, mangoes, and almonds. They have been a part of the human diet for over a thousand years and are versatile in taste depending on how they are cured.
The different curing processes are the very reason not all olives have the same nutritional value. Most olives are soaked in a solution containing water and lye that softens them relatively quickly.
However, this process removes a considerable quantity of nutrients from the fruit. Conversely, olives that are cured in brine water solutions retain their nutritional profile and have a richer flavor but take a relatively more extended period of time.
Organic brands generally cure their olives in brine solutions instead of lye and thus are most nutrient-dense.
Olives are eaten in multiple ways: in drinks, appetizers, and main courses alike. They are loved and eaten all around the globe and make a healthy food component.
Keto diets follow a simple motto: diets rich in protein, high in fat, and low in carbohydrates. Its slogan is quite trending across the globe, making it a popular diet choice for individuals of all ages.
The Keto diet has also managed to capture the attention of today’s generation because they are prone to diseases arising from unhealthy food and lifestyle choices.
Ketogenic diets enable the body to attain the state of ketosis, where it starts to use fat as the primary energy source in the absence of carbohydrates.
The body breaks down the fatty acids and amino acids in fats instead of taking up energy from carbs or glucose. Because of this, the ketogenic diet was initially introduced in the 19th century as a cure for diabetes but is now used as a remedial treatment for several other diseases as well.
Ideally, a ketogenic diet stipulates that an individual’s diet should consist of 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% healthy saturated fat-rich food.
Olives check all the boxes when it comes to the dietary stipulations of the keto diet and, thus, are considered one of the most keto-friendly fruits out there.
Let us look at a few reasons that make olives keto-friendly:
Olives are excellent for a keto diet because they are low in net carbs; they contain only 0.54 grams of net carbs in every 100 grams serving.
Since keto diets require you to limit your net carb consumption between 20 and 30 grams daily to stay in ketosis, olives are a great option.
Olives are a great source of healthy fats as they are a highly nutrient-dense whole food. This makes them great for a keto diet as it requires them to get their fats from healthy food sources, allowing your body to use a clean fuel source in ketosis.
Whole foods are rich in nutrients and are a vital staple of a healthy keto diet. Whole foods consumption also dissolves the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, allowing you to both lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle with olive consumption.
Olives are free of harmful ingredients and are minimally processed. They do not contain food additives, non-keto-friendly sweeteners, or highly refined oils, making them an excellent option for keto diets and health.
It is vital to keep both your macros and the ingredients of the foods you are consuming in check to attain healthy weight loss in ketosis.
About 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces, of olives contain 115-145 calories, which comes up to about 59 calories for ten olives. Let us look at the nutritional facts for 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of canned, ripe olives:
|Saturated Fat||2.3 grams|
|Monounsaturated Fat||7.7 grams|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.6 grams|
Olives are 11-15% fat, 74% of which is oleic acid. Oleic acid makes up the primary component of olive oil and is a kind of monounsaturated fatty acid linked to multiple health benefits.
Oleic acid is known to help fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disorders.
Olives comprise 4-6% carbs, making them a delicious, low-carb fruit suitable for a keto diet.
In fact, a big chunk of these carbs are fiber, with fiber making up a total of 52-86% of the total carb content.
Therefore, the net digestible carb content in olives is very low. Despite the majority of carb content being fiber, olives are not a great fiber source since 10 olives can only provide about 1.5 grams of fiber.
Olives are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins, some of which are typically added during their processing. Some of the beneficial compounds found in olives are as follows:
Like other high-fat plant foods, olives are rich in Vitamin E content. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and excellent for sound health.
Black olives are a great source of iron, which is critical for the proper functioning of red blood cells. Iron allows these cells to transport oxygen to other body organs efficiently.
Olives are rich in copper, which is an essential mineral typically missing from the typical Western diet. Copper deficiency may eventually lead to cardiovascular disorders.
Calcium holds a high percentage in the vital mineral composition for the human body, and is critical for nerve, bone, and muscle function. Some calcium may also be added to olives during processing.
Olives are typically packaged in saltwater or brine solutions and thus are rich in sodium.
Olives are rich in several plant compounds, most of which are antioxidants, and include the following:
Oleuropein is present abundantly in unripe and fresh olives and is associated with several health benefits.
Oleuropein breaks down to hydroxytyrosol during olive ripening and is well-known as a powerful antioxidant.
Tyrosol is present abundantly in olive oil and olives and is a powerful antioxidant that may have anti-cancer properties.
Oleanolic acid is also an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and prevent liver damage.
Quercetin is a beneficial nutrient that improves heart health and lowers blood pressure.
Olives are not only an excellent source of healthy fat but are also imbued with several healing and health-promoting properties.
Whether you drizzle some olive oil over your salad or add minced olives to pasta, you are bound to treat yourself to a bundle of essential nutrients and minerals.
Some of the health benefits offered by olives include the following:
As discussed, olives are abundant in dietary antioxidants, which can decrease the risk of chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disorders and cancer. Some of them can even improve health by fighting against bacterial infections.
Improved Heart Health
Olives are rich in oleic acid, which has been medically associated with enhanced heart health. It can also safeguard LDL cholesterol by hampering its oxidation.
Research corroborates that olive oil can prevent osteoporosis and bone loss in animal trials, but more human tests are necessary to prove its health benefits.
Monounsaturated fats are highly beneficial in reducing inflammation and managing cancer-related genes. They also boast powerful healing properties.
Apart from oleuropein acting as the primary antioxidant and preventing cell damage due to its anti-inflammatory properties, olives also contain compounds that bestow it with antibacterial properties. They are helpful in fighting against the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which can cause stomach ulcers and even cancer.
Olives contain oleic acid, which is a fatty acid that helps regulate heart health by controlling cholesterol levels. Olives are your best choice whether you have high cholesterol or are looking to adopt a low-cholesterol diet.
Because of their high antioxidant polyphenol and oleic acid content, olives are highly effective in managing hypertension (high blood pressure).
Epidemiological studies have concluded that the rate of certain cancers is lower in the Mediterranean compared to the United States, which can be linked to the olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet.
Another study found that oleic acid, which is the fundamental monounsaturated fatty acid found in olive oil, can hamper the growth of breast cancer cells.
Olives are rich in Vitamin E, which helps regulate the immune system, support cell function, and boost skin health. Vitamin is also known to prevent damage caused by ultraviolet radiation, working against premature aging and skin cancer.
Now that you know the health benefits of olives and the positive answer to “are olives keto-friendly?” you may be wondering if there is a difference between the properties of green and black olives.
Because of the different kinds of olives, certain nutritional differences do exist. However, all olives possess the health benefits mentioned earlier and are keto-friendly. The ratios of the primary nutrients, such as calcium, monounsaturated fats, copper, vitamin A, and vitamin E, remain constant.
Contrary to popular belief, the only difference between black and green olives is the degree of ripeness. The color only refers to how ripe a particular olive is when it is plucked from its tree.
Green olives are harvested before their optimal ripening stage, whereas black olives are harvested when ripe.
However, one key nutritional difference between black and green olives is the degree of their salt content. Green olives generally pack a higher salt content than black olives.
Green and black olives also differ in taste: it is generally said that green olives taste better than their black counterparts. However, black olives have lesser salt content and are thus healthier than green olives.
Following are some of the most famous olive choices amongst various kinds:
- Alfonso Olives
- Kalamata Olives
- Nylon Olives
- Castelvetrano Olives
- Manzanilla Olives
Of the types mentioned above, Kalamata olives are highly abundant, whereas Castelvetrano Olives are referred to as being one of the tastiest and most nutritious olive types.
Fortunately, the answer to “Are olives keto?” is a big yes! Olives are an excellent addition to a keto diet and possess numerous health benefits that not only allow you to stay in ketosis but also improve your overall health.
Olives check all the dietary boxes stipulated by a ketogenic diet and so can offer excellent results if you take them up as a meal component.
Now that you know the positive answer to “Are olives keto?” and their numerous health benefits don’t forget to add them to your grocery shopping list!
If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, please click on one of the links below: