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Is Olive Oil Fattening?

Whether you’re a fan of Italian, Greek or Spanish cuisine, you probably use olive oil regularly. The popularity of olive oil has as much to do with its flavour and heady scent that can transport you to the Mediterranean in an instance, as it is the purported health benefits it offers.

For a long time now, many foods and nutrition experts have recommended switching other cooking and food preparation oils with olive oil. However, is olive oil the superhero of the oil world that many of us have been led to believe?

That’s what we’re going to discuss.

The truth is, if you eat large quantities of anything, it can be fattening. With regards to olive oil, it has a fat dense composition that makes it effective at curbing your appetite and will help you stay sated for longer. However, as approximately 1ml contains around 8g of calories, your calorie intake will increase along with your fat increase.

Is Olive Oil Healthy or Fattening?

Although it has long been disputed that olive oil is a healthy addition to a balanced diet, there are a lot of people who have concerns about it being more fattening than we may be led to believe. This is largely due to its high fat dense composition. Before you get worried about the mention of fat, the kind of fat we mean is that good and healthy kind, like MUFA.

Compared to some oils, though, with 1ml of olive oil having 8grams of calories, it provides a greater number of calories. Does that mean that it is fattening? Well, yes, but not really any more than anything else.

It all comes down to your diet overall and how much olive oil you are using and consuming. If you are using large quantities of olive oil, then it will make you gain weight, whereas if you are replacing butter with olive oil, and careful to moderate the amount you use and eat, if your diet is balanced and healthy, you should not experience significant weight gain.

Can Olive Oil Reduce Belly Fat?

As previously noted, olive oil is a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats. When combined with the medium-chain triglycerides found in the oil too, there are lots of potential benefits to including it in your diet if you are interested in losing weight.

It all comes down to moderation again, though. Rather than using a combination or continuing to use the other fats like butter, it is best to strictly switch out the fats you previously use and dressings you use, with olive oil instead, for there to be any real difference. Just as you would if you were switching from junk food or high-calorie meals to those consisting of lean protein-rich meats and fish with vegetables and a form of complex carbohydrates.

Is Olive Oil Ever Bad?

Aside from the issue, we have already discussed above that if you don’t eat olive oil in moderation, it could be fattening, you may wonder if there are any other issues with olive oil. Olive oil, fortunately, is incredibly stable in general. It depends though on the type of olive oil and how much it has been processed.

For example, light olive oil, the kind that has a very subtle and light colour, has been refined with the view of benefitting from a higher smoke point. That means it can be cooked over higher heats than other olive oils and is good for quick and high heat cooking, because it won’t burn off and convert into a gas quickly and won’t potentially ruin your food quickly.

Extra virgin olive oil, however, is popular for the very fact it is not refined at all, which means it has a stronger and more distinctive taste, scent, and colour. The downside is that this type of olive oil has a much lower smoke point. That means you should avoid using extra virgin olive oil for flash frying and it is best to use in dressings.

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Benefits of MUFAs and PUFAs in Olive Oil – Why It’s Better Than Other Oils and Fats

We have spoken about the fact that if you overuse it or your diet is not balanced, olive oil can become unhealthy and we have spoken about why you need to be careful when cooking with it, because of the smoke points.

While it’s true that points like these show that olive oil is not the super, always best, oil for your diet, they hardly suggest that it is dangerous. That’s what you would discover, researching olive oil as much as we have for this post. A lot of the hype surrounding olive oil is more or less true.

The reason why it is considered one of the healthiest oils available is because of the types of fat that it consists of – MUFAs or monounsaturated fatty acids. We’ve touched upon when they are better forms of fat, but we wanted to expand things a little and also discuss PUFAs too, or polyunsaturated fatty acids, also found in olive oil.

In addition to the risk of gaining weight if you are not careful, including these kinds of fats in your diet instead of trans and saturated fats, can do wonders for your health.

For one thing, PUFAs and MUFAs are believed to lower the risk of heart disease as they help improve many of the related risk factors. MUFAs can lower your cholesterol and particularly the bad cholesterol or LDL (low—density lipoprotein).


So there you have it, if you were concerned about including olive oil in your diet or that it might be fattening, we have addressed the real problems. Olive oil is not any more or less fattening than other oils and should be used in moderation and as a replacement for other fats, not in addition to them. If you make sure to follow these directions, you will get the heart and cholesterol-lowering benefits without unnecessary weight gain.

Ever wondered how many calories does one teaspoon of olive oil contain? Read more to know more…