wikiHow to Add Olive Oil to Your Diet

There are many benefits to a diet rich in olive oil. Known to promote heart health by reducing "bad cholesterol" and increasing "good cholesterol", olive oil is full of antioxidants and vitamin E, which may also provide protection against certain cancers and signs of aging. Mediterranean cuisine, such as Italian and Greek dishes, are frequently made with olive oil, so it's easy to find foods cooked with olive oil in many restaurants, and it's also easy to find recipes to cook with olive oil at home.


  1. Image titled Add Olive Oil to Your Diet Step 1
    Use olive oil instead of butter for sautéing and to spread on fresh-baked bread. The goal when using olive oil is to replace other fats, not add the olive oil to them.
  2. Image titled Add Olive Oil to Your Diet Step 2
    Make pesto sauce for pasta dishes by combining salt, garlic, fresh basil, and pine nuts in a food processor until the mixture forms a paste. Slowly add small amounts of olive oil until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick sauce. In addition to serving over pasta, pesto can also be eaten with fish, salads, and spread on sandwiches. Store any unused pesto in a glass jar with a lid with more olive oil.
  3. Image titled Add Olive Oil to Your Diet Step 3
    Make fresh salad dressings for garden salads, pasta salads, and cooked vegetables by combining 2 parts olive oil with 1 part balsamic vinegar. Add salt, ground pepper, crushed garlic, and fresh herbs. The same ingredients can also be used to make a tasty marinade for meats.
  4. Image titled Add Olive Oil to Your Diet Step 4
    Rub a generous coating of olive oil on fish and meat before baking, grilling, or frying them. In addition to helping your heart, the olive oil will help keep the meat soft and moist.
  5. Image titled Add Olive Oil to Your Diet Step 5
    Use olive oil instead of butter, sauces, creams, and gravies.
    • The "American Society for Clinical Nutrition" article in 1999 on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet compared to other diets. But the original data of that study was collected on the island of Crete in 1958. Most people there were eating fish and growing their own vegetables.
    • A study in "The New England Journal of Medicine", 2003, concluded that olive oil showed no significant reduction in overall death rates. The reason for the reduction in heart disease had to do with high veggies, fruits, legumes, unrefined grains, and low amounts of meat and dairy.
    • In another study in the "British Journal of Nutrition", 2004 (Jun;91 (6): 1013-9), on the island of Crete, of 254 patients, "half had heart disease." These heart patients were eating large amounts of olive oil. Those without heart disease ate lots of vegetables.
      • All oils, including olive oil, have about 120 calories per tablespoon and give you essentially empty calories.


  • Try adding fresh herbs and spices to olive oil on a plate to use for dipping warm bread.
  • The fresher the olive oil, the better, so if you don't use olive oil quickly, then purchase it in smaller, preferably dark-colored bottles.
  • Olive oil does not do well when exposed to light, heat, or oxygen. Store your olive oil in a relatively dark cabinet or pantry. It can also be stored in the refrigerator, however, olive oil will turn cloudy and solidify when stored in the refrigerator. The quality of the oil is not affected, and the oil will return to normal once it reaches room temperature again.
  • Olive oil won't "fix" bad eating habits. It's delicious, but it's not a substitute for good health, as many people like to think, and it isn't the miracle health food so many people would like you to believe.
  • Light colored olive oil is used most often for baking and frying because they are able to withstand the heat well; they have a more delicate flavor, and they are less expensive than virgin olive oil (which is higher quality and the most expensive type of olive oil available).


  • Olive oil DOES contain calories, so watch your intake.

Article Info

Categories: Appreciation of Food