Mediterranean Diet For Dummies
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As with anything, eating too much olive oil isn’t good for you, even if you are eating the Mediterranean way. Although you need a certain amount of fat in your diet, getting too much contributes excess calories. And when you’re eating more calories than your body needs or can use for energy, those calories can get stored as fat.

Fat is the most calorie-dense macronutrient (the three nutrients your body requires in the largest quantity) at 9 calories per gram. Protein and carbohydrates, on the other hand, have 4 calories per gram.

On the Mediterranean diet, about 30 to 40 percent of your calories come from fat, including olive oil and sources like fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and avocado, to name a few. Therefore, depending on the amount of calories you need, you can allot for different amounts.

The table gives you an example of how many fat grams you should eat daily, based on the total number of calories you consume per day. The amount of fat grams from olive oil equates to about half of your fat needs.

How Much Olive Oil Should You Eat?
Calories Per Day Total Grams of Fat Per Day Suggested Olive Oil and Fat Grams
1,500 58 2 tablespoons = 28 grams
1,800 70 2–3 tablespoons = 35 grams
2,100 82 3 tablespoons = 42 grams
2,400 93 3–4 tablespoons = 49 grams

When pouring directly into a dish or dipping bread, you may be soaking up more olive oil than you bargained for. Always measure out your portion ahead of time or use an olive oil mister (many brands are available in stores and online) to add a spray of flavor without worrying about adding too many calories or fat.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Rachel Berman, RD, a nationally recognized nutrition expert, has helped thousands of clients lose weight and improve their health. She is the Director of Nutrition and an editor at Health. As a contributor to numerous publications, and through appearances on various local and national radio and television health segments, she regularly shares her core philosophy of balance and moderation as well her passion about helping others develop a healthier relationship with food. Meri Raffetto, RD, LDN and Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RD, coauthors of Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies, share this philosophy and are contributors to this book.

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