Nutrition Articles

Choose Olive Oil as a Healthy Alternative

Cook as the Mediterraneans Do


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

  • 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 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
  • This is good info. I just printed off the chart to place on my fridge. I like the idea that a few of you suggested about coconut oil. This has me thinking that I need to do a little research and some experimenting as well. - 8/23/2010 2:40:15 PM
  • Guys, you need to remember that you cannot saute with olive oil. extra virgin, especially, has a very low smoke point, and if your oil is smoking you do not need to use it. It's one of those no-nos for taste AND free radicals. Peanut oil or grapeseed oil are great for high heat saute' though, and grapeseed oil is supposed to be pretty decent for you as well.
    - 8/23/2010 9:36:56 AM
  • I love using olive oil! However, it doesnt transfer well in every recipe. - 5/18/2010 5:52:59 PM

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