T Nation

Olives vs. Olive Oil

Yeah I know…its just a minor thing, details, just eat, blah blah. But I’m curious about the comparison. For instance, I know that flax meal is seeming to be better for you than flax oil. Is this the case here? Or is olive oil superior in terms of getting mono-fats?

In Dr. Bowden’s book, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” he mentions both olives AND olive oil as 2 seperate entries. I’ll have to go back and look up what he liked so much about olives specifically (may be for the same reasons as olive oil) and I’ll get back to you.

olives have more salt?

When specific health-promoting compounds in olives (besides the MUFA) have been mentioned and I’ve looked into the ones mentioned and knew the structure, they were fat soluble compounds with high ratio of fat-to-water solubility (this can be predicted from structure) and so it seems very unlikely that extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil would not supply them in a fully satisfactory way.

However if there are also compounds that have a very low ratio of fat-to-water solubility, then those might be poorly provided by the olive oil. Interesting question.

I’m not sure which is superior, but I love eating olives on the side with beef or chicken.

They’re not a replacement for vegetables, but sometimes they’re just easier to prepare.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
When specific health-promoting compounds in olives (besides the MUFA) have been mentioned and I’ve looked into the ones mentioned and knew the structure, they were fat soluble compounds with high ratio of fat-to-water solubility

(this can be predicted from structure) and so it seems very unlikely that extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil would not supply them in a fully satisfactory way.

However if there are also compounds that have a very low ratio of fat-to-water solubility, then those might be poorly provided by the olive oil. Interesting question.[/quote]

Precisely. I don’t know if phytochemicals are superior in their natural olive state or if it truly makes no difference. I thought I’d bring it up.

Greek Salads ft-fucking-w

Besides the fact that you can impress ladies with a small saucer of warm olives (mixed variety), do you really need another reason to consume them?

The smaller red olives (with seed) are really good. Usually served at Moroccan restaurants. Intense flavor.

OK, Here’s a summary of what Dr. Bowden says:

Olives have all the same healthy benefits as olive oil (Monounsaturated fat, tocopherols, polyphenols, flavonoids, sterols, anthocyanins), but also, if you get “traditionally fermented” or “cured” olives, then you get the health benefits of active cultures, similar to the health benefits of eating yogurt with active cultures (Probiotics).

Make sure you look for traditionally fermented or cured olives, usually found in the gourmet section where you spoon them into the plastic containers and pay by weight. Jarred or canned olives are processed differently and don’t contain the active cultures.

Thanks RichSpidizzy. Question answered.