Calories in Olive Oil & Nutrition Facts

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the best edible oils with its pleasant flavor, antioxidant properties and health benefits. Of all the edible oils, extra virgin olive oil has one of the highest levels of monounsaturated fatty acids. Studies have shown that consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids reduces the body’s total cholesterol levels, which may help lower your risk of heart disease. Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in fat-soluble vitamin K and vitamin E, and is often noted for its antioxidant properties, one of the primary health benefits of olive oil.

Olive Oil Nutrition Facts

One tablespoon of olive oil (14g) contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:

Calories 120
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 2.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 10 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Total Carbohydrates 0 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugar 0 g
Cholesterol 0 g
Sodium 0 g
Potassium 0 g
Protein 0 g

Fats are an integral part of a healthy diet, and EVOO is the healthiest fat.

According to the American Heart Association, dietary fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, as fats provide energy, improve cell growth and absorption of nutrients, and create important hormones. Not only does olive oil consist mainly of healthy monounsaturated fats, but it is also the only fat that contains high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols. This makes extra virgin olive oil without question the healthiest of all fats.

Calories in Olive Oil

Olive oil is 100% fat and contains 120 calories in 1 Tbsp (0.5 oz). Olive oil contains exactly the same number of calories as vegetable fats like canola oil and animal fats like butter.

Not All Calories are Created Equal

While many people want to know how many calories are in olive oil, research finds that not all calories are necessarily equal.

In a famous study at Middlesex Hospital in London in the 1950s, two British researchers, Professor Alan Kekwick and Dr. Gaston L.S. Pawan, tested a series of diets on overweight patients. The patients on a high-carbohydrate diet consistently gained or sustained weight, even when given limited calories. Conversely, subjects on the high-fat diet lost considerably more weight than any of the other diets, even when provided with excess calories.

A more recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association also challenges the notion that a “calorie is just a calorie.” Led by Cara Ebbeling, PhD, associate director and David Ludwig, MD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, the purpose of the study was to learn what kind of diet helped people maintain their new weight after successfully losing weight. The results indicated that a low-fat diet predicts weight regain, while diets featuring a moderate to high percentage of calories from fat both increased subjects’ energy expenditure and reduced the surge in their blood sugar after eating, making these diets preferable to a low-fat diet for those trying to achieve lasting weight loss.

How to Avoid Excess Weight Gain

Eating excess calories is only one reason for becoming overweight. Incorporating extra virgin olive oil into your diet can help counteract other factors responsible for fat buildup.

  • Adding EVOO to your diet provides your body with important nutrients and all the healthy fats it needs, thus reducing the cravings that lead to nutrient-empty foods like soft drinks, cookies and breads.

  • By emphasizing nutrient-rich extra virgin olive oil alongside vegetables and protein in your diet, you can avoid excess consumption of weight-inducing sugars and grains.

  • Consumption of man-made trans fats found in hydrogenated and refined vegetable oils interferes with numerous biochemical processes in the body and can cause serious health problems and contribute to weight gain. Using EVOO instead can begin reversing the negative effects of trans fats.

Many people consume EVOO strictly for its antioxidant power, but beyond that, the nutritional value of olive oil makes you full and satisfied. By feeding your body the healthy fats it needs and increasing your intake of olive oil, research shows you will feel more full for a longer period of time and be less tempted to overeat, making extra virgin olive oil an important aid in weight loss and improved health for adults and kids alike.

Hopefully you know by now how we feel about quality carbohydrates…we love ‘em! Oh yeah! Go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief, as most of our clients do when they see how we teach them to eat quality carbohydrates AND lose weight too! Hallelujah! Yup, we’ve been registered dietitians for over ten years and the proof is in the whole grain, sweet potato and quinoa pudding! 🙂 Ask our clients how wonderful it’s been to have quality carbs in their lives (buh bye sweet cravings and deprivation!) or try any of our quality carbohydrate meals and see for yourself!

Remember these pups? ( Quinoa Quiche Tots, Quick and Creamy Quinoa with Beans and Spinach and Quinoa, Kale & Edamame Superfood Bowl) If your goal is to lose weight and shed belly fat and bloat, this recipe below is a healthy, low-calorie, skinny pasta alternative (not that we have anything against whole grain pasta—they can be great too (remember our Spicy Tomato and Creamy Pasta and our Creamy Guiltless Tomato Rigatoni just to name a few) that will jumpstart your weight loss and have you feeling good in no time! Plus, it’s simply yummy!

If you’re looking for simple ways to shed a few pounds (other than finding simple ways to cut calories like swapping out your spaghetti for spaghetti squash and making healthier comfort foods like this Skinny Chicken Pot Pie instead of the real calorie loaded deal), remember to do the following:

  • One of our fave tips: Rather than adding dressings and sauces (most are packed with calories), spritz lemon or use flavored vinegars and spices. Just a few tablespoons of your typical sauce can add more calories than the food itself–eeks!
  • Always sit down when you eat. When you stand, you tend to eat quickly and consume more than you realize.
  • Those of you who eat with us know we always do this one and couldn’t survive without it!: Fill half your plate with veggies which pack in the nutrients and fiber but have very few calories. You’ll fill up but your waistline will shrink.
  • Record what you eat. It makes you aware of what you consumed and holds you accountable. Research show that people who write down what they eat lose twice as much weight! So get writing—woohoo!
  • Eat consciously. Why are you eating? Is it because you are hungry? Or are you just bored or sad? If you’re not hungry, find something else to do besides eat.
  • Exercise–even in short spurts is helpful!

Now enjoy this guilt-free meal! It’s to die for! 🙂

Photo from The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce and Parmesan Cheese
Serves 6 (each serving has 1 cup of spaghetti squash—go ahead and have 2 servings of this skinny number!)

INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon avocado or olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper (1 small)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon thyme, ( could also substitute herbs de Provence)
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1 Cooked Spaghetti Squash (see directions below)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)

DIRECTIONS:

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large sauce pan, add oil (you can also lightly spritz the pan with oil from a spray bottle) and sauté bell pepper and garlic until garlic is fragrant and pepper starts to soften..
2. Pour diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and addspices, to the pan.
2. Bring sauce to a boil and thenlower heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pepper to taste.
3. Meanwhile, prepare Cooked Spaghetti Squash by using a sharp knife and making several cuts throughout the squash to prevent it from exploding in the microwave. Heat in the microwave on high for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. It should be soft to the touch when it is ready (should be easy to cut). Let it stand for about 7 minutes. Cut the squash lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a fork and then use the fork and scrape the squash into spaghetti-like strands.
4. Serve sauce over squash. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Makes 6 servings (each serving has approximately 1 cup of spaghetti squash)
Nutrition Facts: 88 calories, 16 g carbohydrate, 2 g fat, 4 g protein, 1 g saturated fat, 3 g fiber

Photo from The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce and Parmesan Cheese Hopefully you know by now how we feel about quality carbohydrates…we love ‘em! Oh yeah! Go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief, as most of our clients do when they see how we teach them to eat quality carbohydrates AND lose weight too! Hallelujah! Yup, we’ve been registered dietitians for over ten years and the proof is in the whole grain, sweet potato and quinoa pudding! 🙂 Ask our clients how wonderful it’s been to have quality carbs in their lives (buh bye sweet cravings and deprivation!) or try any of our quality carbohydrate meals and see for yourself! Author: NutritionTwins.com Serves: 6 Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon avocado or olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped green sweet pepper (1 small)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, ( could also substitute herbs de Provence)
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Cooked Spaghetti Squash (see directions below)
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pan, add oil (you can also lightly spritz the pan with oil from a spray bottle) and sauté bell pepper and garlic until garlic is fragrant and pepper starts to soften..
  2. Pour diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and addspices, to the pan.
  3. Bring sauce to a boil and thenlower heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pepper to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare Cooked Spaghetti Squash by using a sharp knife and making several cuts throughout the squash to prevent it from exploding in the microwave. Heat in the microwave on high for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. It should be soft to the touch when it is ready (should be easy to cut). Let it stand for about 7 minutes. Cut the squash lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a fork and then use the fork and scrape the squash into spaghetti-like strands.
  5. Serve sauce over squash. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Information Serving size: 1 Serving Calories: 88 Fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 16 g Fiber: 3 g Protein: 4 g 3.2.2929

The question: I love pasta. Can I eat it and still lose weight?

The answer: Yes! Of course you can eat pasta and lose weight, provided of course, you keep your portion size in check and it’s not stuffed with meat or smothered with cheese or Alfredo sauce.

By itself, pasta is a nutritious food. It contains almost no fat, cholesterol and sodium and is an excellent source of low glycemic carbohydrates. Foods with a low glycemic index are broken down slowly in the body and release their carbohydrate (glucose) gradually into the bloodstream. As a result, they can help you feel full longer after eating.

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So, how much pasta can you eat if you’re trying to lose weight? Well, consider that one food guide serving – one-half cup – of cooked pasta (no sauce) has 104 calories. I am not suggesting you eat only half a cup of noodles, that’s not much. For a meal, I typically advise my weight loss clients to keep their portion of cooked pasta to 1 to 1.5 cups (women) and 1.5 to 2 cups (men).

The serving size of pasta on nutrition labels is given as a dry weight, so it can be hard to know how much to cook. In general, for small-to-medium-shaped (macaroni, penne, fusilli) and long-shaped pasta (spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine), 56 grams dry weight (about ½ cup) yields one cup (250 ml) of cooked pasta. A serving size of 85 grams dry (about ¾ cup) will yield about 1.5 cups (375 ml) of cooked pasta.

Ideally, top your pasta with tomato sauce which is low in calories and fat and a good source of vitamins A and C. Tomato sauce is also an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant linked with protection from certain cancers. If you’re using a store-bought pasta sauce, look for a product with no more than 70 calories, 1 gram saturated fat and 350 milligrams of sodium per one-half cup serving.

To help you feel satisfied, be sure to include protein in your pasta sauce – lean ground turkey, chicken breast, shrimp, white kidney beans, and so on. Bulk up your sauce by adding plenty of vegetables,such as chopped zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, rapini and baby spinach.

Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, is the national director of nutrition at BodyScience Medical. She can be seen every Thursday at noon on CTV News Channel’s Direct ( www.lesliebeck.com ).

Our Health Experts will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

The content provided in The Globe and Mail’s Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Turning Plain Pasta Into a Satisfying and Low-Calorie Alternative

Eating plain, unadulterated pasta may be one of the best ways to meet the body’s daily requirement for carbohydrates, but it is sure to be one of the dullest.

It’s true that carbohydrates, such as pasta, potatoes and breads and cereals, are the most efficiently used sources of energy for the body–providing about 4 calories for each gram taken in. But they have received a bad rap over the years as major contributors of fat to the diet, when in reality it is the rich cream sauces and toppings of mounds of butter and cheese that typically accompany them that add so many pounds.

The truth is, one cup of cooked macaroni or spaghetti contains only about a gram of fat, 155 to 190 calories depending upon the cooked stage (firm is higher in calories than tender), and almost 40 grams of carbohydrate, according to USDA’s Home and Garden Bulletin No. 72, Nutritive Value of Foods. (Fifty-five grams is the suggested daily allowance. There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance.)

When accented with fresh, aromatic herbs and spices and served in the above proportion with skinless poultry or lean beef and fish, pasta dishes can be satisfying and low-calorie at the same time, meeting the recommendation quite nicely.

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Canned salmon, which also is an excellent source of quality protein, is another way to experiment with pasta dishes–whether served warm, in a mushroom soup-yogurt sauce over fettuccine or tossed with spaghetti, tomatoes, celery and cucumber and chilled, as suggested in the recipes that follow.

Substitute rich cream-based sauces with nonfat milk-based ones or top with unusual vegetable mixtures. To further slash fat calories, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over just before serving, rather than stirring in high-fat cheeses during cooking time.

SESAME-PINEAPPLE-CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks, in juice

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2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger

1 clove garlic, pressed

2 cups cooked spiral pasta

1 cup cooked diced chicken

2 tablespoons sliced green onions

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2 cups cooked broccoli flowerets

1/3 cup sweet red pepper strips

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 cup juice. Combine juice, oil, honey, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake to mix well.

Combine pineapple, pasta, chicken and onions. Toss with dressing. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. Add broccoli and red pepper and toss well. Sprinkle with seeds. Makes 4 servings.

FETTUCCINE AL SALMON

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup plain yogurt

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2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped chives

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves, crushed

1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (15-ounce) can salmon, drained, skin and bones removed

4 cups hot cooked fettuccine

Combine soup, yogurt, parsley, chives, green onions, tarragon, pepper and garlic in 1-quart saucepan. Heat over medium heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Add salmon and heat through. Toss together soup mixture and fettuccine before serving. Makes 4 servings.

CHILLED SALMON PASTA

6 ounces thin or regular spaghetti

1 (7 3/4-ounce) can salmon

1/3 cup oil

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 cup chopped tomato

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup minced parsley

Tomato wedges

Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain. Drain salmon, reserving 1 teaspoon liquid. Break into small chunks. Combine reserved liquid with oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Pour over warm spaghetti. Cool.

Toss with salmon, tomato, celery, cucumber, green onions and parsley, then chill thoroughly. Garnish with tomato wedges and sprinkle with cheese before serving. Makes 6 servings.

MACARONI AND BEAN SALAD

1 (16-ounce) can pork and beans in tomato sauce

2 cups cooked elbow macaroni

1 cup diagonally sliced celery

1/2 cup sliced radishes

3 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 medium clove garlic, minced

Dash black pepper

Combine beans, macaroni, celery, radishes, oil, onion, vinegar, garlic and pepper. Refrigerate 4 hours to blend flavors. Stir before serving. Makes 5 servings.

NORDIC PASTA SALAD

1/3 cup oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon dill weed

Salt, pepper

8 ounces fusilli, or small-shell pasta, cooked, drained and cooled

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

2 (3 3/4-ounce) cans sardines in oil, drained

Lettuce leaves

Combine oil, lemon juice, mustard, dill and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Combine pasta, zucchini, tomatoes, green onions, cheese and sesame seeds in large bowl. Pour dressing over mixture, tossing to coat. Add sardines, toss gently, then chill. Serve on bed of lettuce. Makes 4 servings.

Pico de gallo (pronounced PEEK-oh deh GEYE-oh), which in Spanish means “rooster’s beak,” is simply salsa prepared in the Mexican tradition. Typically made of raw, uncooked ingredients (tomatoes, onion and chiles), pico de gallo adds a layer of fresh flavor over grilled fish or chicken; with fajitas, tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas; in Spanish fried rice and beans; and as a topping for corn chowder or Mexican style eggs (huevos rancheros). Freshly made — rather than store-bought — pico de gallo also is a simple, economical and beta-carotene-rich dip with jicama and zucchini slices, whole-wheat crackers, or tortilla chips.

Ingredients

1 large tomato, coarsely chopped*
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely-chopped onion
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced **
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup diced cucumber or radishes (optional)
1/2 avocado, pit removed, diced (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stir well.
  2. Cover and chill for 1 to 4 hours to allow flavors to blend.

Cooking Notes

* If flavorful fresh tomatoes aren’t in season, substitute about 3/4 pound (2 to 3) roma or plum tomatoes or 1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, drained.

** To adjust the heat, use more or less jalapeno.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1/4 cup

Serves 6

Bowl of pasta calories

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