Are olives healthy or fattening?
Olives are mainly grown in countries with a Mediterranean climate such as Italy and Greece. No wonder we got to know them as a topping on a pizza or processed in a fresh salad. But we consume the largest amount of olives in the form of olive oil. Most people, therefore, know that there is a lot of fat in olives. What other nutrients are there? Are olives healthy or fattening? And which olive oil is the best to use?
Are olives fattening?
Olives contain an average of 115 kcal per 100 grams. This is mainly due to the presence of fats (11g / 100g). Purely based on calories, you can therefore decide not to eat too many olives if you want to lose weight.
But as we know, the right amount of fats is also essential for those who want to lose weight. Fats are very satiating and play an important role in building your hormones. A correct hormone balance ensures easier fat burning and the maintenance of your muscle mass.
Not only in your meal, but also as a snack, they are a smart choice. The fats are not only very satiating but also ensure a stable blood sugar level. That is why olives are often a better snack than, for example, a cracker with jam, where your energy level becomes a rollercoaster.
As long as olives fit within the macros of your eating schedule, they are not fattening but a smart choice for anyone who wants to lose weight.
Are olives healthy?
Olives are not only a good choice if you want to lose weight. Because they are healthy, they fit into any eating schedule. The most talked-about healthy nutrients in olives are the Omega-9 fatty acids. These are unsaturated fatty acids that are good for your heart and blood vessels and cholesterol levels.
But the real power of this Mediterranean fruit is actually in the lesser-known plant compounds, “polyphenols”. These substances have a protective effect on the brain and reduce DNA damage. That is why they can even work preventively against heart, muscle or kidney diseases in the long term. Polyphenols are also said to have an effect on the speed of cell divisions and thus counteract aging. Perhaps this is the real secret to a healthy Mediterranean diet.
Olives are therefore super healthy and contain numerous substances that have a positive effect on our weight and our health. And maybe eating olives will keep us looking youthful and young for longer. I will not let myself say that twice!
Which olives are the healthiest?
There are many types and they all contain slightly different amounts of healthy fats and plant substances. But if you are looking for the healthiest version, it is better not to focus solely on the species, but on the quality. Both the green and the black olive come from the same tree. If they are green, it means they were picked faster. The black has been able to ripen much longer.
However, this ripening process takes time and therefore money. That is why green olives are often processed in an unhealthy way until they turn a black color. An olive that has been processed and colored black still has a smooth texture just like green olives. Real ripened black olives look slightly wrinkled and are very intense brown, black, or purple. A ripe black olive is too soft to stone and therefore still contains its stone.
So preferably choose the more expensive olives if you prefer them black. You will often find them on the market or at Mediterranean supermarkets. Don’t you care much about the color? Then you avoid that unhealthy discoloration process with green olives.
Which olive oil is the healthiest?
Besides olives themselves, olive oil is of course also a good choice. Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest. The quality of olive oil depends on many factors in the picking and processing process. High-quality extra virgin olive oil can be recognized by its color, smell, and of course also by its taste. The taste is very aromatic and the color is intense green or yellow.
To maintain the quality, the oil should be stored in a dark bottle. The best thing is of course to go to a specialty store and taste the different oils. Just like with wine, you can learn to recognize and appreciate the subtle differences in taste.
Extra virgin olive oil is unfortunately not suitable for baking. If you want to bake with olive oil, do this with regular olive oil. This is a blend of the first pressing with refined oil. But this olive oil does not tolerate very high temperatures either. Other good alternatives for baking are butter or coconut oil.
Tasty recipes with olives
- Chicken, tomato & olives cacciatore
- Smoked chicken fillet with beans, feta & olives
- Pasta with tuna, capers & olives
- Salad with roasted halloumi & black olives
- Goat cheese wrap with olives