In this article, we will answer the question “Is it healthy to consume 4 tablespoons of olive oil a day?”, and what are the potential health benefits of drinking olive oil.
Is it healthy to consume 4 tablespoons of olive oil a day?
Yes, it is healthy to consume 4 tablespoons of olive oil a day as long as you do not cross your recommended daily calories or fat intake. More on this in the article below.
Here is how you can incorporate 4 tablespoons of olive oil into your diet.
Bread with olive oil and salt: Drizzle a toasted piece of bread with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle some salt for flavor. Feel free to add ham or turkey, garlic, or a little piece of cheese on top.
Salads: Use 4 tablespoons of olive oil to make something like marinated sardine salad in a citrus dressing or rocket salad with smoked fish and avocado.
Why do people drink olive oil?
It is customary for the people of the Mediterranean region to drink 1/4 cup (60 ml) of olive oil in the morning. There are many pseudoscientific claims made about the health benefits of drinking olive oil instead of eating it. But there is not sufficient research to support such anecdotal claims.
It is said that drinking olive oil can help you reduce weight, soothe your stomach, prevent diseases and inflammation, and remove toxins from your body. Read on if you want to know which one of these health benefits may be true.
What are the Potential benefits of drinking olive oil?
May help meet the recommended intake of healthy fats
You may be fulfilling your daily intake of fats but may still fall short on polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). These healthy fats are present in certain oils, nuts, seeds, and other plant sources.
Experts recommend taking 20–35% of your calories from fat, primarily from PUFAs and MUFAs. Olive oil is one of the most concentrated plant-based sources of MUFAs. The effectiveness of MUFAs in preventing heart disease is well-known and proven by research.
May relieve constipation
According to statistics, about 34% of adults above 60 years of age experience constipation. Several studies have shown that drinking olive oil can help soften stools and regulate bowel movements. However, more scientific evidence is needed.
May benefit heart health
The role of olive oil in reducing the risk of heart diseases is attributed to its high oleic acid content. But you need to consume olive oil while staying within your recommended caloric intake that comes from fat.
Helps stabilize blood sugar: A study has shown that meals cooked in olive oil result in a 22% reduction in blood sugar levels after 2 hours of taking the meal.
Support bone health: A study has shown that consuming more than 18 grams (20 ml) of olive oil per day results in a higher bone density as compared to consuming a lesser amount of olive oil per day.
Reduce inflammation: Certain compounds in olive oil such as oleocanthal have proven anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.
What are the downsides of drinking olive oil?
High in calories and may cause weight gain
A single tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil provides 120 calories. Although this alone cannot result in weight gain, it may be a contributor especially if you are on a weight loss journey. Moreover, recent studies have probed a link between intake of MUFAs and weight gain.
Provides more benefits when consumed with food: For example, consuming olive oil with tomatoes substantially increases the absorption of the antioxidants from the intestines. In case you do not know, antioxidants help prevent chronic diseases and aging by combating oxidative stress.
Can displace healthy foods: There is no doubt that olive oil is a source of healthy fats. But you should not solely rely on olive oil to fulfill your diverse nutrient needs.
Potential allergen: Olive pollen allergy is a rare occurrence but it is not impossible. Olive oil can cause contact dermatitis in allergic people.
Many benefits not supported by research: The health benefits of olive oil, as narrated by the oil companies and anecdotes, may not be entirely true. There is a lack of scientific evidence to support the health benefits of olive oil.
The final verdict
There is no scientific evidence that supports the claim that drinking olive oil beyond the recommended intake is more beneficial. What we can say for sure is that olive oil is not the replacement for other wholesome and nutritious foods.
Whatever amount of olive oil you consume, you should not exceed your recommended daily fat or caloric intake. Consume the olive oil in moderation to reap its benefits to the maximum.
Other FAQs about Olives that you may be interested in.
In this article, we answered the question “Is it healthy to consume 4 tablespoons of olive oil a day?”, and what are the potential health benefits of drinking olive oil.