How Do Olives Fit in a Low-Carb Diet?
Olives, technically are a fruit but are often categorized with vegetables. They are a flavorful addition to almost any diet and are good for you, too. Olives contain very little carbohydrates, and the number of carbohydrates does not vary much from species to species or from green olives to ripe olives.
Since olives right off the tree are too bitter to eat, they must be cured in some way to make them palatable.
With some exceptions, olives change from green to black as they ripen, although canned black olives were harvested when green, and then cured and exposed to oxygen to turn them black.
Many different varieties of olives are cultivated around the world. Some of the most popular olives include manzanilla or Spanish green olives, Kalamata or Greek black olives, Niçoise or French black olives, and Gaeta or Italian black olives. When most Americans think about olives, the first image that usually comes to mind is the manzanilla olive stuffed with a pimento garnishing a classic martini.
The edible olive seems to have coexisted with humans for about 5,000 to 6,000 years, going back to the early Bronze Age from 3150 to 1200 BC. Its origin can be traced to the eastern Mediterranean area based on written tablets, olive pits, and wood fragments found in ancient tombs. Olive oil has long been considered sacred.
An olive branch is still considered a symbol of abundance, glory, and peace.
Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts
There is a slight variation of carb and fiber counts among the various types of olives, but not a considerable difference.Quantity of OlivesCarbs, fiber, and calorie counts1 oz. olives equal about 10 small, 5 large, 3 jumbo, or 1 ½ super-colossal olives100 grams (3.5 oz.) olives
|1 gram net carbs, 1 gram fiber, 26 calories|
|3 grams net carbs, 2 grams fiber, 81 calories|
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load
The glycemic index of a food is an indicator of how much and how fast a food raises your blood sugar. As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of olives.
The glycemic load of a food is related to the glycemic index but takes serving size into account. A glycemic load of one is the equivalent of eating 1 gram of glucose. Since there is very little information on the glycemic index of olives, the glycemic load of olives is estimated.Estimated glycemic load
|1 oz olives: 0|
|100 grams olives: 1|
The health benefits of olives are not so much based on the vitamin and mineral content as it is the rich abundance of phytonutrients, particularly those which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These powerful antioxidants include flavonoids, phenols, terpenes, and anthocyanidins. In addition, olive oil is widely-regarded as being beneficial for heart health.
There are many recipes incorporating olives in the dish or highlighting olives as the star.
- Vossen, Paul (2007). "Olive Oil: History, Production, and Characteristics of the World's Classic Oils". HortScience. 42 (5): 1093–1100.
- Ben Othman N, Roblain D, Thonart P et al. Tunisian table olive phenolic compounds and their antioxidant capacity. J Food Sci. 2008 May;73(4): C235-40. 2008.
- Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002).
Video: Low Carb Day | Full Day of Eating
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