Olives – A Tasty Condiment or Salt Delivery Platform?

bowl of olives

photo: smorgasbite

Olives are tasty. They are meaty and savory, and each one has only 10-15 calories. A standard serving is 4 or 5 olives, which keeps you in the 50 calorie range. Not bad.

The problem with olives is their high sodium content. Some brands have 200 to 300 milligrams in just 5 olives! That’s over 10% of the daily maximum recommendation for healthy adults, and 20% of the daily maximum for people over the age of 45 or with high blood pressure.

What’s an olive lover to do?

  1. When shopping, look at the nutrition facts label and try to choose olives with 150 mg of sodium or less.
  2. Portion off the number of olives you want to eat, onto your plate. Leave the olive jar in the fridge or kitchen counter.
  3. Shake off the salty brine from your olives, or better yet wash it off with tap water.

Are you an olive aficionado?

  • Gary

    The title of the article reminds me of a similar question I heard once on the radio:

    “Lingerie-clad ladies burlesque dancing – entertaining, or old-fashioned?”

    Answer: both!

    More seriously, I wonder if anchovies and capers might fall into the same area as olives?

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Same. Pickles too.

    • jadegreen_eyz

      But those are used mostly as a condiment/seasoning so we would use far less of them versus the amount of olives we would consume at a single time.

  • Crissy

    I love olives and never really paid attention to the sodium. I do know you can buy some low sodium, which I grabbed by accident. They were not as good and rather mushy.

  • Chef Mike in Burlington ON

    Olives aren’t my thing, but are they worse than potato chips, dill pickles or good cheese when it comes to sodium in snacking?? Like I said, not my thing, but still a better option than a bag of Dorito’s and a 2L of Pepsi…

  • Ramehu

    I ♡ olives for its sodium content and flavor. Am I advertising for HBP? I’m over 40 and my BP is just fine.

  • Healthy Man

    Just enjoy the olives and keep the salt intake low for the rest of the day.