The Truth About Calories in Olive Oil – Video Transcript

Dylan Ebbers and Joanne Lacina stand behind a wooden bar that holds a several bottles of extra virgin olive oil.

(Dylan Ebbers, Oil Baron)

Dylan Ebbers: We’re always getting asked questions about olive oil. And one thing people always want to know about is calories in olive oil…

(Joanne Lacina, Olive Oil Expert)

Joanne Lacina: Well that makes sense, because with so many diet trends it’s often hard to know if you’re making the right choices.

Dylan: You should always have extra virgin olive oil in your kitchen, as it’s the perfect ingredient for both cooking and dressing meals. It not only has a fresh, clean taste that adds depth and flavor to food, it’s also ridiculously good for you.

Video shows a still image of Joanne admiring a vial of bright green olive oil.

Dylan: So lots of people want to know: how many calories are in olive oil? Olive oil is among the best sources of healthy calories for any diet – vegan, paleo, keto – and of course any traditional balanced diet. 

Video shows images of food with olive oil applied: bean soup, tuna steak, chopped salad.

Dylan: The calories in olive oil come from a healthy source: monounsaturated fat.

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)

Joanne: Olive oil is over 70% monounsaturated fatty acids, widely considered a healthy dietary fat.

(Extra virgin olive oil is mostly made of the MUFA oleic acid.)

Joanne: Studies show that consuming monounsaturated fatty acids balances cholesterol levels and may also lower blood pressure, thus reducing risk of heart disease, currently the leading cause of death in the US.

(Balances cholesterol. Lowers blood pressure. Reduces risk of heart disease.)

Joanne: Consuming monounsaturated fatty acids can also help control insulin and blood sugar levels, making extra virgin olive oil very beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes.

(Improves insulin sensitivity. Controls blood sugar levels.)

Joanne: Some studies also suggest consumption of extra virgin olive oil may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

(May reduce chance of developing breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.)

Joanne: And there’s even a lot of evidence that extra virgin olive oil can help with weight loss.

Dylan: And yet for decades we were told that eating fat was making us fat.

Joanne: According to the American Heart Association, dietary fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, as fats provide energy, improve cell growth and help absorption of nutrients.

(Fats are an integral part of a healthy diet. Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat.)

Joanne: Not only does olive oil consist almost entirely of healthy monounsaturated fats, but it’s also the only fat that contains high levels of healthy antioxidants known as polyphenols. 

(Polyphenols in EVOO include oleuropein, oleacein, tocopherol and oleocanthal)

Dylan: That’s got to make extra virgin olive oil without question the healthiest of all fats.

Calories in Olive Oil

Joanne: Olive oil is 100% fat and contains 120 calories in 1 Tbsp (0.5 oz).

(120 calories in 1 Tbsp (0.5 oz))

Joanne: Olive oil contains exactly the same number of calories as other fats, such as vegetable or canola oil or animal fats like butter. And don’t be confused by terms like “Light” olive oil. 

(Unlike EVOO, refined oils require chemical processing to become edible.)

Joanne: Light Olive Oil is a refined olive oil that doesn’t have the same quality standards, antioxidants, or flavor as extra virgin olive oil. And it doesn’t have any less calories either.

Dylan: So while olive oil has a fair number of calories, they’re healthy calories, not the empty calories you get from potato chips, cookies, cakes and sugary drinks.

Video shows images of potato chips, cookies, a slice of cake, and soft drinks.

Dylan: If you want to lose weight, try replacing the carbs and saturated fats in your diet with extra virgin olive oil.

Olive oil and weight loss

Dylan: Many research studies have concluded that diets in which a high percentage of calories come from fat can actually help you lose weight and keep the weight off.

Joanne: In one famous study, subjects placed on low-fat diets gained or sustained weight, even when having their calories restricted. 

Video shows overlay of animated chart with text: “Low Fat Diet (calories restricted)”. On the chart a red line moves upward over time.

Joanne: The subjects on a high-fat diet consistently lost weight, even when given additional calories.

A second overlay shows an animated chart with text “High Fat Diet (excess calories)”. On this chart a green line moves downward over time.

Joanne: A more recent study performed on subjects after they had lost weight found that those placed on a low-fat / high-carb diet were more likely to regain weight. 

Video shows overlay of animated chart with text: “Low Fat High Carb”. On the chart a red line moves upward over time.

(Study administered by Ebbeling & Ludwig)

Joanne: Meanwhile, subjects receiving a higher percentage of their calories from fat showed increased energy use and more balanced blood sugar levels, both good indicators for sustained weight loss.

A second overlay shows an animated chart with text “Higher Percentage of Calories from Fat.”. On this chart a green line moves downward over time. 

Olive Oil Can Help You Avoid Excess Weight Gain

Dylan: While consuming extra virgin olive oil can improve your health, you definitely don’t want to increase calories if you’re trying to lose weight. Instead, you want to use olive oil to replace the carbs and saturated fat in your diet.

Video shows images of olive oil being poured on meats, soup, and yogurt.

Dylan: When you add extra virgin olive oil to your meals, your body gets the nutrients and healthy fats it needs. You’ll feel full and satisfied, and that will reduce cravings for empty calories found in junk food and sugary snacks.

Video shows an image of fried foods: french fries with hush puppies and chicken fingers, and then an image of a frosted donut.

Joanne: Man-made trans fats found in hydrogenated and refined oils like Canola oil can interfere with your body’s biochemical processes, leading to weight gain and other serious health problems.

Video shows images of a clear oil in a dish, bottles of rapeseed oil, and a field of rapeseed plants.

Joanne: But you can use extra virgin olive oil instead to begin reversing the negative effects of trans fats. The research shows that replacing carbs and saturated fats with extra virgin olive oil will make you feel full longer and you’ll be less tempted to overeat. This makes olive oil an important aid in weight loss and overall health for adults and kids alike.

Dylan: Subscribe to this channel to keep learning about olive oil and its health benefits, why quality olive oil matters, who makes your olive oil, how to shop for olive oil, and much more!

(To learn more about extra virgin olive oil visit