Olives may be fruits but their nutritional details are unusual for this category. Find out whether they are keto-friendly or not.
100 grams of green olives contain around 0.5 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber).
This is a very low amount of carbs, especially for a fruit. In turn, you can definitely say that green olives are keto-friendly.
One large olive is about 4 grams and contains around 0.02 grams of net carbs. That means many people can eat at least 25 olives a day on keto and often many more.
You can eat all of these olives raw on their own or as an ingredient in dishes like salads.
Something interesting to note is that black olives are actually a good amount higher in net carbs. About 4.4 grams per 100 grams.
You could still be able to consume black olives while staying in ketosis but they are less keto-friendly than the green version.
Carbs in olives
To figure out whether a food like olives is keto and how many grams you can eat, you need to know how many carbohydrates they contain.
100 grams of green olives contain the following amounts of carbs (1):
- Total carbs: 3.8 grams
- Of which fiber: 3.3 grams
- Net carbs: 0.5 grams
This is a really low amount of carbohydrates per 100 grams. You can definitely say that olives are keto-friendly.
At the same time, it is worth noting that sometimes even small amounts of carbohydrates are enough to kick you out of ketosis.
You may want to double-check the carbohydrates in the rest of your keto diet before eating olives anyway.
One cup of green olives is about 135 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:
- Total carbs: 5.2 grams
- Of which fiber: 4.5 grams
- Net carbs: 0.7 grams
The more olives you eat, the higher your carb intake will be.
That being said, you should still be able to fit large amounts of olives into your ketogenic diet anyway.
Are black or green olives better for keto?
Black olives are olives that have ripened for longer. Interestingly enough, this changes their nutrient composition.
More specifically, 100 grams of black olives contain the following amounts of carbs (2):
- Total carbs: 6 grams
- Of which fiber: 1.6 grams
- Net carbs: 4.4 grams
In these nutrition sources, the black olives are 8.8 times higher in net carbs than green olives. Even so, in absolute amounts, the carbs in black olives should still be doable on keto.
At the same time, it becomes clear that green olives are typically better than black olives for keto diets.
Other nutrients in olives
It can be easy to fall into the trap of only focusing on the carbohydrates in olives when following a ketogenic diet.
However, whether you stay in ketosis and how healthy you are still depends on other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals too.
100 grams of green olives contain the following nutrients (1):
- Calories: 145
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 3.8 grams
- Part of the carbs that is fiber: 3.3 grams
- Fat: 15.3 grams
- Sodium: 65% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Copper: 6% of the DV
- Calcium: 5% of the DV
- Iron: 3% of the DV
- Magnesium: 3% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.
Olives are not that impressive in terms of other nutrients but they do contain a nice amount of unhealthy fats and sodium.
This can be helpful if you struggle to find relatively healthy ways to add calories to your ketogenic diet.
On the flip side, you do want to keep in mind that overdoing it with sodium is typically considered to be unhealthy.
If you already eat a lot of other foods with sodium, you may want to be careful with your olive portions anyway.
Why olives can sometimes kick you out of ketosis
While it is unlikely, there are theoretical situations where olives could kick you out of ketosis. To understand why this is and how to avoid it, it can be helpful to go over the keto fundamentals.
To do this, you need to keep your carbohydrate intake under a certain limit. Exactly how many carbohydrates you can eat depends on details like your weight, muscle mass, activity levels, etc.
Luckily, there are some oversimplified guidelines to get you somewhat of an idea of what it takes to follow a ketogenic diet. These are not perfect but can help.
A typical recommendation is getting 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.
If you apply this keto ratio, you will likely notice that you can eat around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day.
Keep in mind that you typically don’t include the fiber in olives and other foods in these amounts. Fiber is a category of carbohydrates but your body processes them in a different way.
Are green olives keto-friendly?
With the rough guidelines above and that green olives contain around 0.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, it becomes clear that green olives are very keto-friendly (1).
In theory, you could eat a lot but just not too many grams of carbohydrates. Adding olives to this could then kick you out of ketosis.
That being said, this is very unlikely and even then, you should likely pay more attention to these other foods.
Are black olives keto-friendly?
As mentioned, black olives are slightly higher in net carbs than the green version. More specifically, they contain around 4.4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (2).
Black olives can still be keto-friendly but you likely need to pay more attention to your portion sizes and the other foods you eat.
Are marinated olives keto-friendly?
You can also marinate olives with different oils, herbs, and spices. This will slightly change the nutritional details and in turn, how keto-friendly olives are.
To what extent exactly will depend on the additional ingredients and their quantities.
100 grams of one example of marinated olives contains around 6.7 grams of carbs without any mention of fiber (4).
This nutrition data is likely an exaggeration but it is true that marinated olives will be slightly less keto-friendly than the regular version.
At the same time, you will likely still be able to fit them into a ketogenic diet.
How many olives can you eat on keto?
To estimate how many olives you can eat on keto you want to find out how many carbs you can eat daily and how many carbohydrates the other foods in your diet contain.
With these pieces of data, you can figure out how many olives you could still eat while staying in ketosis.
For example, let’s say you conclude that you can eat about 20 grams of carbs a day and that you already ate 18 grams of carbohydrates.
In that case, you would (theoretically) be able to eat 200 grams of olives or more on keto.
That being said, this amount only considers the carbohydrates in olives. You may also have other goals like losing weight.
Olives can be decent for weight loss but they do contain a lot of calories. Even if these calories are typically considered to be healthy types, you can still gain weight from them.
In a situation like that, there are many more other factors that influence your olive portion sizes.
How to avoid eating too many olives
You may have to limit how many olives you eat for goals like weight loss or limiting your sodium consumption.
In that case, just filling a big bowl and hoping you don’t eat too many will typically not be a successful strategy.
Some of the following tips can help you approach this goal in a smarter way:
- Figure out in advance how many grams of olives align with your health goals
- Weigh out this amount and put the other olives somewhere else
- Don’t eat unlimited amounts while doing other things like watching a movie
- You may have to buy less or no olives if you really crave them too much
Keep in mind that your initial estimation of how many olives would help you achieve your goals could be suboptimal. You may have to adjust this amount over time.
Are olives considered low-carb?
Green olives contain around 0.5 grams of net carbohydrates which is definitely considered to be low-carb.
Can you eat too many olives on keto?
It is possible to eat too many olives on keto for different reasons. The main ones are related to calorie and sodium intake. However, in combination with diets that are already high in carbs, the tiny amounts of carbs in olives could be too much to stay in ketosis.