Carbs in Olives

Nutritional Information, Health Benefits, Calories and Low-Carb Recipes

Small bowl of Castelvetrano olives
Thomas Barwick/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Olives are a flavorful addition to almost any diet, and are good for us, too! 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. Olives contain very little carbohydrate, and the amount of carbohydrate doesn't really vary much from species to species or from green olives to ripe olives.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Olives

There is a little variation among various types of olives, but not much at all.

  • 1 oz. olives equal about 10 small, 5 large, 3 jumbo, or 1 ½ super-colossal olives and has: about 1 gram effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber and 26 calories
  • 100 grams (3.5 oz.) olives: 3 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 81 calories

Glycemic Index for Olives

As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of olives.

More Information about the Glycemic Index

Estimated Glycemic Load of Olives

  • 1 oz olives: 0
  • 100 grams olives: 1

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Olives

The health benefits of olives lay not so much in vitamins and minerals as in the rich abundance of phytonutrients in them, particularly those which have antioxidant properties, as well as anti-inflammatory ones. These include flavonoids, phenols, terpenes, and anthocyanidins.

In addition, the oil in olives is widely-regarded as being heart-healthy.  Find out more about some of the amazing benefits of olive oil.

Low-Carb Recipes with Olives

  • Low-Carb Taco Salad -  which leaves out some of the carby items, but keeps all the flavors - a great meal for a hot summer evening.
  • Tamale Pie - A low-carb version of this classic comfort food
  • Put some ripe olives on a Low-Carb Pizza
  • An olive tapenade is easy to make, and can be served in many ways -- try it with a cheese plate, or with fish, for example.  There are lots of tapenade recipes of different kinds.  About.com's Cheese Expert presents one with walnuts while the Moroccan Food Expert shows us a spicy version of a tapenade.

More Information About Olives at Calorie Count.

More Carb Profiles:

Sources:

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).

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21.

Continue Reading