Written by Sara Ipatenco
Olives are a good source of unsaturated fats, which boost heart health, as well as small amounts of other key vitamins and minerals. They also contain polyphenols, which can boost your immune system. At the same time, olives are high in sodium, which decreases their nutritional value somewhat. Black and green olives are the two most common varieties sold in supermarkets. Analyzing the nutritional information for both will help you decide which belongs in your diet plan.
COMPARE THE BASICS
Black olives are generally lower in calories and fat than green olives. Half a cup of black olives has 115 calories and 11 grams of fat, of which slightly more than 1 gram is saturated, the “bad” type of fat that can lead to heart disease and stroke. The same amount of green olives is slightly higher in calories and fat grams: 145 calories and 15 grams of fat, of which 2 grams are saturated.
While their calorie and fat amounts differ, black and green olives provide about the same amount of protein and fiber. Both half a cup of black and green olives provides about 1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fiber each. Protein is necessary for strong muscles and bones while fiber helps keep your digestion system healthy. Both protein and fiber helps you fell full longer, which can help with weight management.
According to Dr. Russell H. Greenfield, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine, studies suggest that black olives are generally higher in antioxidant activity, which helps your cells fight against damage, and polyphenols, which help your immune system.
CONSIDER VITAMIN AND MINERAL CONTENT
If you’re looking to boost your iron intake, black olives are the way to go. A serving delivers about 3 milligrams of the mineral, which translates to about 40 percent of the 8 milligrams men need each day and about 18 percent of the 18 milligrams women should have daily. Iron helps with oxygen transport in your body and helps produce energy. A serving of green olives contains 0.5 milligram of iron. With almost 4 milligrams per serving, green olives contain more than twice the amount of vitamin E as black olives. Those 4 milligrams translate to one-quarter of the 15 milligrams adults need each day. Vitamin E helps protect your cells from damage. Both varieties supply about the same amount of vitamin A, a nutrient essential for healthy eyes, skin and bones.
ANALYZE SODIUM STATS
Sodium is one drawback of olives, and the salt is added when the olives are canned, bottled or brined. A serving of black olives contains 735 milligrams of sodium, which is about half of the 1,500 milligrams you should limit yourself to each day, according to the American Heart Association. Green olives contain more than a day’s worth, with 1,556 milligrams of sodium per serving. Too much sodium contributes to high blood pressure, which increases your risk of life-threatening conditions such as heart attack and stroke.
MAKE YOUR FINAL CHOICE
The healthiest type of olive depends on what your health goals are, although both are rich sources of healthy monounsaturated fats. If you’re looking to reduce your saturated fat intake, black olives are a slightly better choice. If you’re trying to boost your vitamin E intake, green olives are a healthier option than their black counterparts. People who need to limit their sodium intake should make olives only an occasional part of their diet, but black olives are the better option when you do include them in a meal or recipe.
Original Article: https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/healthiest-type-olive-eat-12422.html