Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the possibilities. What about olives, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Even though it may come as a surprise to many people, olives are actually a fruit, not a vegetable. You can eat this atypical fruit in many ways varying from on its own as a snack to part of other recipes like a Greek salad.
While there are better fruits and other foods, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more olives. Depending on your current diet you do have to keep the sodium content of olives in mind. Find out just how good olives are and how to eat them when trying to lose weight.
Micronutrients in olives
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in olives.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of ripe canned olives provides you with approximately (1):
- Sodium: 36% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Iron: 18% of the DV
- Copper: 13% of the DV
- Calcium: 9% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 8% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The amount of other vitamins and minerals in olives is decent compared to many other whole foods. If you have trouble reaching your daily vitamin and mineral goals olives can help you a nice amount.
One thing you have to keep in mind that overdoing it with certain vitamins and minerals is not good either. In the case of olives the main mineral to keep in mind is sodium because they are often packaged with brine or saltwater.
Consuming too much sodium may have negative side effects. If you already get a lot of sodium from your current diet adding olives on top of that might not be a smart idea.
Olives do contains certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in olives for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Olives contains around 3.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in olives you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a good amount.
Do olives help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not olives deserve a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in olives
Ripe canned olives contain 115 calories per 100 grams. 22.8 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (6.3 g per 100 grams of which 3.2 g fiber).
You can definitely fit in olives in low carb diets like the keto diet.
The number of calories in olives is higher than most vegetables and other fruits but even with that in mind this number is low compared to many other foods.
Olives are a relatively low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more olives, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like olives you don’t have to go out of your way to force them into your daily eating habits, olives are not a unique weight loss food. There are many foods that are just as good, or even better for weight loss.
In theory, you can overdo it with olives in terms of calories, in that case they could be fattening. In reality, you will likely feel too full before you reach that point with olives. Olives are generally not fattening.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that a small number of people are allergic to olives. These individuals want to avoid this food.
How many olives should you eat a day for weight loss?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Olives will provide you with some vitamins and minerals but you will need other nutritious foods as well.
That’s why something like an olive diet, mostly eating olives, is just plain bad for your health and long term weight loss.
A typical serving size for olives is about 15-20 grams. This is about 5 olives depending on size since an ounce (28 grams) has about 7 olives.
Some people use this serving size as a daily recommendation for everyone but every situation is different.
If you are close to your daily vitamin and mineral goals you can see how many olives still fit within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.
Do olives help burn belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To burn belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since olives can help you lose weight in general this food can also help you burn belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
How to eat olives for weight loss
There is a wide variety of ways to eat olives. Some are better than others for weight loss. Olives make a great snack on their own but they also make a great addition to certain healthy recipes. Here are some healthy dishes you can combine with olives:
More specifically a Greek salad, with some feta cheese, is a very popuiar and healthy way to implement olives into your diet.
Olive oil is a great cooking oil but not something you eat by the tablespoon. If you plan on buying olive oil try to go for the “extra virgin olive oil” which is obtained in a healthier way than other olive oils.