When you are just getting started on the keto diet it can be difficult to figure out what to eat. After all, the keto diet requires that you get roughly 65-80% of your daily calories from fat. To get in that much fat, you need to find high-fat foods that contain very few carbs. Olives are one of my favorite keto-friendly foods that fit this bill perfectly.
Not only can you eat olives on a keto diet, but I would recommend that you should eat olives on a keto diet. Olives are great for keto diets because most of the calories are in the form of fat. In addition, olives contain very few carbs and very little protein.
Another great thing about olives on keto is that they are loaded with sodium. This makes them a great low-carb snack when starting the keto diet because sodium can help reduce the symptoms of keto flu when starting the diet.
If you are pretty new to the world of olives they can be an exciting thing to get into on a keto diet. I have always loved olives but it wasn’t until I started keto that I really found a passion for them. After eliminating so many foods it was fun to experiment with the world of olives. Especially since there were so many varieties all with unique flavors and textures.
It opens up a whole new world of keto-friendly experimentation. That said, with so many varieties of olives out getting started can be a bit overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be stressful, especially since so many grocery stores have olive bars these days.
Later I will share my top olives for the keto diet, but first, let’s talk about why you should eat olives on a keto diet.
10 Reason To Eat Olives On A Keto Diet
#1 Olives Are High In Keto-Friendly Fats
For me, the biggest struggle I have on the keto diet is getting in enough fats. After all, getting 70 percent or more of your calories from fat is quite challenging. Thankfully there are foods like olives that are loaded with keto-friendly fats.
With most olives, you can expect that over 80 percent of the total calories are in the form of fat. In addition, olives contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats and a variety of healthy fatty acids.
#2 Olives Are Very Low In Net Carbs
Not only are olives high in fat, but they are also very low in net carbs. For example, 100 grams of olives contains about 115 calories, 6 total carbs, and 3 grams of fiber. To get the total net carbs you simply subtract the fiber from the total carbs.
That equates to just 3 net carbs per 100 grams of olives. Of course depending on the type of olive, the numbers might change a bit. However, the number above is on the higher end of what I found. That said, many olives will contain even fewer net carbs than that.
#3 Olives Are Low In Protein
I know what you are thinking, why is low protein a good thing? Well, when following a keto diet it is advised to keep your protein on the low-moderate side. That is about 20% of your total calories coming in the form of protein.
That said, many low-carb foods are high in protein which can make it hard not to get in too much protein on a keto diet. This is why so many people resort to foods like keto fat-bombs to get in enough fat without too much protein or carbs.
But when you can find keto-approved foods that are high-fat, low-carb, and low-protein, then overeating on protein is not as much of a problem. One trick I do when eating a high protein food like beef jerky is adding some olives to keep my macros in check.
#4 Olives Are Packed Full Of Nutrition
We already covered the fact that olives are full of healthy fats like monounsaturated fats. However, that is just the start of the list of health benefits associated with olives. Olives are high in many vitamins such as vitamin E, and vitamin K.
In addition, they are high in many minerals such as sodium, calcium, copper, and iron, just to name a few. Olives are also high in many antioxidants such as quercetin, oleanolic acid, oleuropein, and many more. Lastly, some types of olives can even have probiotic properties and a number of other health benefits that deserve a whole article by itself.
#5 Olives Are The Perfect Snack
I have already alluded to this but olives are the perfect keto snack. Olives are great for snacking between meals because they are filling and packed full of fats. In addition, you can now buy snack-sized olives packs online or at the grocery store. Check them out here on my post 21 amazing keto snacks you can buy on Amazon!
This way you can have keto-friendly snacks on hand at all times. This is great, especially when starting the keto diet. For me, the only time I would ever cheat is when I got so hungry that I just had to eat something immediately.
You can avoid this by keeping keto snacks at work or in your car. After all, you never know when you might have to stay a couple of extra hours at work to make a deadline. Working long hours, stress at work, and a ravenous appetite is a recipe for cheating on your diet.
#6 There Are So Many Olive Varieties To Choose From
Just like there are people who get into coffee or get into cheese, there are also people who get way into olives. It can be fun to try an endless supply of tasty olives that come in so many varieties. Like wines and cheeses, olives have different tastes, textures, and pairing options. That said, you can actually develop a passion for a food that is 100% keto approved!
#7 You Can Make Great Keto-Friendly Dishes
Olives can be a great addition to many keto dishes. For example, olives add a punch of flavor and nutrition to salads. Or perhaps you can even make your own keto olive dip or add them to your favorite chicken thigh recipes. One of my personal favorites is this low-carb anti pasta cauliflower rice dish made by sugar-free mom.
#8 They Are High In Sodium
When starting the keto diet many people experience what is called the keto flu. The main reason for this is that when you cut way back on carbs your body starts to drop water. With that water, your body releases many of its electrolytes such sodium. So it is typically advised that you get in extra salt when going on a keto diet. That said, olives are a great way to get in that extra sodium.
#9 Olives Are Great For Your Skin
Olives are high in oleic acid and vitamin E both of which have been shown to be great for your skin. Studies have shown that olives might even be able to reduce wrinkles in your skin. So not only might olives help you stay healthy they might also help you look better too!
#10 Olives Are Great For Reducing Appetite
Because olives are high in monounsaturated fats and fiber they are very satiating. They can help you keep your total calories down and help hold over between meals. According to some studies from Italy consuming 10 olives before a meal can reduce appetite by up to 22%!
My Top 10 Olives For The Keto Diet
Though there are countless olives I would love to talk about let’s just cover the basics. All of the olives mentioned below are my favorite olive for the keto diet. All of these olives are high in fats and low in net carbs. But most of all these are the olives that taste the best!
#1 Castelvetrano Olives
Castelvetrano olives are bright green olives that are crunchy and very crisp. Though many olives are green the color in these olives really stands out from the rest. Many people consider this olive the best tasting olive in the world. Though picking one olive to be the best tasting olive in the world is hard, Castelvetrano olives surely up there.
They are great for beginners because unlike many other olives, they are very mild in flavor and do not contain the bitterness associated with many other olives. Don’t get me wrong I personally love the strong flavors of some olives such as the kalamata olive but when you are just getting started these are a safe bet.
In addition, to flavor, these keto-friendly olives are loaded with nutrition. Besides being filled with healthy fats, Castelvetrano olives are high in many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For example, these olives are loaded with vitamin E, phenolic acid, and monounsaturated fat!
#2 Cerignola Olives
These amazing Italian olives are the largest variety in the world. Depending on the producer Cerignola olives might be green, black, and even bright red. Like the Castelvetano olives, the Cerignola olives are mild in flavor.
Since they are so large and contain a lot of oil these olives are often used to make olive oil. Because these olives contain so much oil they are loaded with keto-friendly fats. In fact, over 85% of the calories in these olives come in the form of fat. These olives also make a great addition to salads and go great with wine and cheese!
#3 Kalamata Olives
Most people are pretty familiar with this tasty greek olive. These dark purple olives are soft, fruity, and a bit on the bitter side. This is simply because they absorb a lot of sodium when they are from the brining process. This is great for keto because your body will require more sodium when starting a keto diet.
If you have ever had a greek salad then you most likely have had a kalamata olive. They are often eaten with feta cheese and taste great in salads! Kalamata olives are also loaded with nutrition. They are a great source of plant-based iron, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
#4 Mission Olives
Mission olives are the only American olive recognized by the international olive council. They seem to have originally been grown by Spanish missionaries in California. Like the first two olives on this list, they are pretty mild in taste.
#5 Manzanilla Olives
If you grew up in the United States and grew up eating olives, they were most likely manzanilla olives. These are the olives you will typically find in most grocery stores sometimes stuffed with pimientos. They are as far as I know the most popular Spanish olive across the world.
They are also the type of olive you will typically find in a martini. I personally love manzanilla olives that are stuffed with garlic. These keto-friendly olives are great because they are high-fat, low-carb, and easy to find at almost any store!
#6 Nyon Olives
If you are looking to step out of the box a bit, Nyon olives are another great olive for the keto diet. These dark black olives a variety from the southern part of France. Nylon olives are typically dry-cured and are known to be slightly bitter yet mild and salty.
They are sometimes cured in and often packed in olive oil. They can also have what looks like a wrinkly texture compared to other olives. But don’t worry they are supposed to look that way. These soft and chewy olives are a great variety to try if you haven’t already.
#7 Alfonso Olives
Alfonso olives are an amazing keto-friendly olive that has a beautiful purple coloration. They have a nice firm texture and have a slightly sour and bitter taste. This is because Alfonso olives are usually cured in red wine and vinegar brine. However, if you like your olives more on the tangy side these might just be the perfect olive for you.
These olives are originally from Chile and Peru and have a soft and juicy texture. They are a great addition to many dishes because of there wonderful appearance and great flavor.
#8 Beldi Olives
Beldi olives are an amazing keto-friendly olive originally from Morocco. These cured olives are black in color and are known by there wrinkly skin. Like most oil-cured olives, Beldi olives are chewy and just the right kind of bitter. They also pack in a nice amount of salt which like I stated previously, is great for keto diets.
Beldi olives are great on dishes such as quinoa salad or mixed with couscous. In addition, this olive complements dishes made with chicken and is great paired with a cabernet sauvignon. Lastly, since they are often stored in olive oil these olives are loaded up with healthy fats.
#9 Picholine Olives
Picholine olives are one of the most common olives in France. They are green in coloration and have a great crunchy and crisp texture. These keto-friendly olives have a mild and fruity flavor and are great for people just getting started with olives.
I love to enjoy Picholine olives on a platter with cheese and deli meats like prosciutto and a glass of red wine.
#10 Arbequina Olives
This small and slightly bitter Spanish olive is yet another great olive for the keto diet. They are also grown in South America, the United States, and a few other places around the world. They have a light brown coloration and a mild fruity taste.