Nutrition Articles

Choose Olive Oil as a Healthy Alternative

Cook as the Mediterraneans Do

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If you think you might be an olive oil convert, congratulations! But a few words of caution are in order. Always keep your bottle of oil out of light and away from heat to prevent it from becoming rancid. Perhaps more importantly, remember that although olive oil can be a healthy ingredient, it is still a fat containing 9 calories/gram. So as with all fats, watch your intake.

If you want to try any variety of olive oil as a substitute for margarine or butter in your own recipes, here is a convenient conversion chart to help you figure out the proper measurements:

 
       Butter     Olive oil
1 tsp 3/4 tsp
1 Tbsp 2-1/4 tsp
2 Tbsp 1-1/2 Tbsp
1/4 cup 3 Tbsp
1/3 cup 1/4 cup
1/2 cup 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp
2/3 cup 1/2 cup
3/4 cup 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp
1 cup 3/4 cup
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About The Author

Laura Bofinger Laura Bofinger
As a freelance writer, Laura uncovers some kind of inspiration every day when she writes about health and fitness.

Member Comments

  • To have a balanced diet, you need to include oils. They coat your nerve cells, so they are not exposed when they shouldn't be, unnecessarily causing pain.

    The conversion chart is nice, but you did not mention that you cannot bake with olive oil, and that cooking over high heat with olive oil is dangerous because it causes fires. A little more information about that would have been helpful! I hope no one gets injured after reading this, because it can happen so fast. - 7/18/2015 10:10:18 AM
  • I tried using coconut oil but found I am allergic to it - I had the worst stomach cramps. So, now I am trying olive oil for the health benefits. I put my dog on coconut oil as he is diabetic and wouldn't eat, and I think was even dying. But as soon as he took the first 1/2 tsp of it, he woke up and has been like a puppy since. So, I won' t switch him to the olive oil I have AFib and am very obese so have no energy, and was told that I need to take more oils. So, we'll see how I do with the olive oil. I researched it to make sure I had the purest I could find, and Kirkland at Costco, and California Olive Ranch are the two best and purest. So, I got a bottle of the California Olive Ranch and will see how I do on that. I prefer the taste of the coconut oil, but as that isn't an option, I'll get used to the olive oil, I'm sure. . - 6/10/2015 6:33:16 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    I don't care what they say about it, it tastes terrible, we don't like the taste, my family won't tolerate even the light tasting olive oil. My dietitian days Canola Oil is fine, that's what we use, period. They push olive oil like Kale, also awful tasting.......... Yuck - 5/12/2015 8:01:11 AM
  • Great article only I cannot afford to use olive oil that much. - 1/2/2015 10:35:22 PM
  • Love olive oil but it get toxic with heat so I use coconut oil for cooking. - 1/20/2014 3:41:40 PM
  • Interesting article!! - 9/14/2013 1:34:30 PM
  • NO oil is healthy. Not ANY oil. Cook without oil. Empty calories, high fat. You don't need it, leave it. - 7/9/2013 1:07:50 AM
  • Since learning about the good benefits, I have been using more olive oil in my food. Thank you for pointing out the difference in the olive oils, I have wondered about it. - 8/12/2012 12:34:30 AM
  • Thank you for the education on the different types of olive oil. - 6/16/2012 3:42:35 AM
  • I buy olive oil but didn't understand the differences. I didn't know that "light" olive oil could contain other types of vegetable oils! Now I'll look more closely at the label. Thanks!! - 1/2/2012 11:37:51 AM
  • We mainly use Olive Oil because it is better for you than any other oil. I love Olive Oil. - 11/24/2011 9:13:12 PM
  • We have been substituting butter for olive oil for years now. The oil makes what we cook more flavorful, and lighter on the stomach. - 4/1/2011 10:38:12 AM
  • I buy my extra virgin olive oil at COSTCO. SOOOOO much cheaper then anywhere else. The only thing I don't use olive oil for is seasoning a stone wear or cast iron pan. I even FRY chicken in it. The smoke point is lower, so I cook at a lower temp. An I can use Olive oil in baking, I just use a lighter variety...like the extra light. Not as healthy as the extra virgin, but still not as bad as veggie oil. It's taken years of cooking to figure these tricks out, but they are so worth it!!! - 3/15/2011 1:08:26 PM
  • Very good information and I also printed out the chart. Keep up the good work guys!!! Jean - 8/23/2010 7:27:00 PM
  • I agree with Regazza_Di_Lupo. Olive oil is horrible for anything in a pan because the smoke point is so low. I use peanut or canola (peanut works especially well for stir-fry since it adds a perfect Asian flavor). The only thing I really use olive oil in is to drizzle for dipping or when I'm barely warming up veggies in a pan.

    I use canola oil for almost everything (even in bread/muffin recipes that call for butter). Its flavor is far more neutral. I couldn't imagine using olive oil in a lot of things...the flavor would ruin the rest of the recipe.

    And extra-virgin is EXPENSIVE! The stuff I buy is about $13! - 8/23/2010 5:34:30 PM

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