January 6, 2021 by A.Asma
Updated August 6, 2021

The truth about carbs in olives

 The truth about carbs in olives

Carbs in olives got the attention of many researchers. The Mediterranean diet is praised by many doctors and dieticians thanks to the daily usage of olive oil. Are you still hesitant to give it a try? Have you ever tasted any Mediterranean food? Think about it. You will be amazed by its delicious flavor. ‘’There are three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fats''. This means that carbs are essential for ''body functioning'’. Carbohydrates are sugars, starches, and fibers naturally occurring in food. (Paige Smathers, a dietitian)

Carbs in Olives

The number of carbs in olives is slightly different from one type to another. Most carbs in the fruit (4-6%) are fiber which makes about 52-86% of the total content.

Carbs in Black Olives: 10 small black olives consist of a total of 2.06g

Carbs in Green Olives: 10 small olives contain a total of 1.11g

Carbs in Stuffed Green Olive: 10 small olives are made up of 1.37g

Carbs in Greek Olives: 1 cup of sliced olives gives 8.18g

To meet our body and brain's nutritional needs, it is important to include carbs in our diet. A fair intake of sugar, starches, and fibers can afford adequate energy to the brain, kidneys, heart, and muscles. ‘’ If carbohydrate is not necessary for survival, it raises questions about the number of macronutrients needed for optimal health, longevity, and sustainability.’’

The importance of Carbs in your diet

According to the American Diabetes Association, carbohydrates are the essential source of the body's stored energy. In terms of chemical formulation, carbohydrate consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms.

In 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have recommended carbohydrate-based diets clarifying that low carbohydrate diets may not be effective in affording body needs. The study notes that people who don't rely on such a diet may be missing many health advantages such as ''increased intake of dietary fiber’’ mostly found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. What about carbs in olives?

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has determined that normal carb absorption for most people should be between 45% and 65%. People with diabetes should not consume more than 200 grams of carbs per day and pregnant women should consume 175 grams.

A study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has associated carb intake with decision making, mood, and memory. Scientists show that the RDA of carbs can meet the needs of the brain. Besides, the baseline dopamine levels, which are high in food rich with carbs, affect cognition, and behavior. Another study, published in 2009 in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, has related a high-carb diet to mental health. People who ate a high carbohydrate breakfast, for instance, were less vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and anger than people with a low-carb diet. Besides, diets that contain a fair amount of carbs boost cognitive skills, visual attention, and memory.

A popular belief is blaming carbs for weight gain which is not scientifically true. Choosing the right kind of carbs can be incredibly helpful in losing weight. Food rich in carbs contains sufficient fiber generally needed. Nutritionists linked eating fiber with fat loss because it is difficult to consume enough fiber in a low-carb diet.

Kelly Toups, a dietitian at the Whole Grains Council, has suggested that fiber naturally found in peas, beans, and brown rice promotes low cholesterol levels. The study compared patients who take statins and eating whole grains to patients who only take cholesterol-lowering medications found that first patients have lower cholesterol levels.

Without enough glucose, the body gets no energy which may result in many health problems among which is Hypoglycemia, a serious condition that occurs when the blood sugar level is lower than normal.

Our bodies need protein to make muscles, and if the intake of carbs is insufficient the body will use protein for fuel instead of carbs, which may lead to pain in the urine and stress on kidneys. ( University of Cincinnati)

Consuming fewer carbs than needed may also lead to some digestive problems and constipation.

Simple v.s complex carbohydrates

Carbs are made up of fiber, starch, and sugar. While fiber and starch are complex carbs, sugar is a simple carb.

Simple carbs are sugars quickly smashed by the body to be used as a source of energy. They can be naturally found in fruits, milk or, refined products such as candy, syrups, and drinks. Soda, fruit juice concentrate, and cookies are common refined sources of simple carbs to be avoided.

Complex carbs are not digested and absorbed easily like simple carbs. They are more staple sources of energy because they are rich in fiber. They are ideal for weight and cholesterol control, good for type 2 diabetes since they manage blood sugar. Whole grains (source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, selenium), beans, and fiber-rich fruits are complex carbs that should be regularly consumed.

Good and bad carbs,

Good carbs are usually complex carbs that are absorbed slowly and consist of plenty of nutritional values. The Pritikin Longevity Center set certain terms of good carbs:

Low/ moderate in calories

High in nutrients

High in fiber

Low in sodium

Low in saturated and trans fat

Free of refined sugars

Bad carbs are food with refined sugar and low nutritional values. They are defined as:

High in calories

High in sodium

High in refined sugar

High in saturated and trans fats

Low in fiber

Sugar, starches, and fibers

Carbohydrates include sugar molecules, starches, and fiber. The small units of sugar are easily and quickly broken into glucose and fructose. After being carried through the bloodstream, units of sugar are transformed by the liver to glucose and eventually converted into energy for the body. When the body meets its glucose needs, it can ‘’store up to 2.000 calories in the form of glycogen’’.

Starches are so naturally common in carbs. These complex carbs can be found in potatoes, bread, cereal products, rice, and grains, etc. Traditionally, starches were seen as healthy options, however, many starches today are highly refined that many studies linked them to type 2 diabetes and heart disease risks.

Fiber is not easily absorbed and does not convert to glucose. Instead, it is converted to hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and fatty acids. They decrease the risk of many diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases and promote a healthy digestive system. (source:

The U.S Department of Agriculture).

As mentioned above, carbs are very essential. There are many health benefits to olives. In the Mediterranean basin, olives are very popular. The olive tree is blessed and its oil is miraculous. Carbs in olives are very beneficial to many health problems. Many Tunisian dieticians include olives and olive oil on breakfast menus. The presence of carbs in olives may help people prevent chronic diseases and live longer.


*Basic html is allowed. Your email address will not be published.