Can you eat too much olive oil?

Category: 
From: 
Colleen
Question: 

My husband, upon hearing of all the benefits of olive oil, insists that a person cannot eat too much olive oil. He drenches things with olive oil. I have read that 2 tablespoons a day should be the max.

Source: 
Dr. Deane
Answer: 

Olive oil is not a drug which mitigates poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Drenching a dinner of hamburgers and fries in olive oil would be frowned upon by most nutritionists and doctors.

In some Mediterranean diets fats constitute up to 30-40 percent of calories. If you ate 2200 calories a day (small woman) and 30% was fat, that would be 660 calories from fat. If all of the fat was added in the form of olive oil (none of the foods contained fat to begin with) then you would be adding about 5 tablespoons of olive oil.

This could vary greatly from meal to meal. Say you ate a breakfast of cereal with milk and nuts; you would be consuming a share of your fat for the day in the form of nuts, dairy and grains. For dinner you ate a fatty cut of beef and avocado and tomato: you have eaten your day's complement of fat without ever adding olive oil.

Another day you might have bread for breakfast that was made with olive oil and for dinner you have salad with olive oil dressing and pasta with olive oil on top. All your fat calories came from olive oil that day; 5 tablespoons may be quite reasonable that day.

Date: 
Thursday, March 24, 2005

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