Health benefits: Monounsaturated fats. They’re also low in calories; one serving of five kalamata olives is about 25 calories. However, olives are high in sodium, so cut back on salty foods elsewhere.
Latest research: Most studies researched the use of olive oil, which, like olives, is a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Other compounds may have a cardio-protective effect. Extra- virgin olive oil was found to have higher levels of polyphenols than refined oils, and resulted in greater increases of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. In addition, the polyphenols may help prevent the arterial inflammation caused by LDL.
Serving size: Approximately 5 to 6 large or jumbo olives, 10 small olives, 5 kalamata olives, or a heaping tablespoon of sliced or chopped olives.