Black or Green Olives for Keto?

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Written by Edibel Quintero, Medical Doctor and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

Imge of Black or Green Olives for Keto?



If you are practicing the keto diet, both black and green olives are a great addition not only because of their strong and versatile flavors, but also for their low carbohydrate content.

These little fruits (yes, fruits!) are loaded with micronutrients and contain a good dose of fat, which does the trick to achieving ketosis without eating too much (because fat is filling).

Read on to discover the advantages of adding these keto-friendly foods to your weight loss plan.

What are black olives?

They are small fruits low in carbohydrates that are harvested when ripe, which is when they acquire their characteristic color.

They have a milder flavor and soft texture, especially when they have been processed with lye and brine and preserved in cans. This gives them their particular flavor and makes them suitable for consumption.

These are very often used as part of a cheese platter or as a portable food to nibble on the go for those who enjoy a salty snack.

What are green olives?

These bite-sized fruits are collected before ripening. They have a firmer texture and a more bitter taste. 

As they cannot be consumed raw because the flavor is too strong, they are always processed by curing with brine and lye. In addition, it is typical to find them on market shelves pitted and stuffed with peppers, anchovies, or garlic.

Thanks to their different presentations, they become the protagonists of savory appetizers, sauces, and spreads.

Nutritional facts of black olives vs. green olives

The following table shows the black vs. green olives nutrition values. It is an interesting comparison for those fans of strong, bitter flavors who wish to include these healthy fats on the keto diet.

Nutrients (100g) Black Olives Green Olives
Energy 133 kcal 145 kcal
Fat 10 g 15.3 g
Protein 0 g 1 g
Total carbs 6.7 g 3.8 g
Fiber 6.7 g 3.3 g
Sodium 900 mg 1560 mg


Difference between black olives and green olives

Adding these keto-approved fruits to your dishes is always a good option due to their rich content of healthy fats.

Their main difference is found in what is most evident: the color. This is due to the stage at which they are collected from the tree, with the green fruits being harvested before they are ripe and the black fruits when they are fully ripe.

Green olives contain more sodium than black. This may be because they are more bitter and need more brine to lessen their strong taste and make them more appetizing.

They also contain slightly more oil/fat and less fiber.

In terms of flavor, the black variety is less bitter with a slightly sweet twist on the palate that gives them a less invasive taste.

When to use black and green olives?

You can use both varieties in the way that is most convenient and appetizing for you. You will find that you can prepare spreads, salads, dressings, and many other recipes.

If you want a quick and salty keto snack, you can opt to grab a handful of these goodies and a few pieces of cheese that will be providing you with good fats, sodium, and important minerals such as iron and calcium.

Also, besides eating them directly, you can also use their oil to prepare your meals. 

If you are wondering: Is olive oil made from green or black olives? The answer is that both are usually mixed together! The final color of the oil will depend on the proportion used.

During the keto diet, it is important to add sources of monounsaturated fats of vegetable origin, such as olives and their extra virgin oil, to reach the required fat percentage. This way you do not consume too much saturated fat from animal products.

Which one is better for the keto diet?

If you need to reach the percentage of fat needed to boost ketosis, it may be more convenient to choose the green variety because they contain a few more grams of this macronutrient. They lead the way with 15.3 g of fat while black olives contain 10 g of fat per 100 g.

They also contain more salt, which could be both beneficial and counterproductive. 

The keto diet occasionally requires supplementation with electrolytes such as sodium, as sodium is easily lost when water is lost from the muscles when carbohydrate intake is decreased.

However, it is important not to exceed the sodium requirement to avoid cardiovascular complications. The recommended intake is less than 2300 mg per day, always supervised by your doctor to evaluate your specific requirements.

So, which olives are the healthiest, black or green?

Rest assured that both options are healthy, natural, gluten-free, and minimally processed. The processing they require is to balance their flavor and make them edible, but they do not contain harmful additives.

You can combine both options to enrich the flavor of your salads and turn them into a ketogenic dream by also adding other foods high in good fats like walnuts and avocado.


If you are looking for the best option to eat during the keto diet, you don't have to choose between black or green olives, you can eat both!

The difference between these keto-friendly fruits lies in the taste and harvesting time, which is why they have different colors.

Although their nutritional value has some important differences, both options are still a source of healthy fats low in carbohydrates suitable for the metabolic goals of a ketogenic diet.