Monounsaturated Fat: The good fat in your nutrition.

The nutritional value of olive oil prevails over that of other vegetable oils, whereas their calorie value is the same. In other words, olive oil, just like every other fatty matter of a vegetable or animal origin, has the same number of calories. Hence, the legend that seed oils are lighter and have fewer calories is not true.
Fat and oils have a common denominator, i.e. their calorie value, which is 9 kilocalories per gram, but the metabolism of each of them varies significantly from one another. Olive oil constitutes the basic added lipid in Mediterranean Nutrition, by giving 9 kilocalories per g. (1 tablespoon = 10 ml, giving 90 kcal). The recommended daily intake of monounsaturated fatty acids must represent 10% of the total daily energy intake. Of course, this must be a part of the total daily intake of fat, which must not exceed 30%. More specifically:


Energy (Kilocalories per day)

Kilocalories of monounsaturated fat per day Percentage of 10 – 15% of total Energy

Recommended daily
consumption of olive oil

1200 kcals

120 – 180

1-2 tablespoons


150 – 225 kcals


1700 kcals

170 – 255

2-3 tablespoons

2000 kcals

200 – 300

3-4 tablespoons

2500 kcals

250 – 375

4-5 tablespoons


Although olive oil falls under the fat group with many calories, it nonetheless helps losing weight. This is owed to its increased content in monounsaturated fatty acids, which stimulate the breakdown of fat in the fat cells and reduce insulin’s ability to suspend lipolysis. Furthermore, due to its unique taste, it allows for less consumption in relation to the taste result, as compared to other vegetable oils. Furthermore, it helps our organism better absorb the nutrients of other foods.

At this point, it is worth mentioning that the lycopene in tomatoes, broad beans and other vegetables, which is beneficial to our health, can be in-taken by the organism and reach the liver only with the presence of olive oil. According to Gennes (1977), an individual’s needs with average energy amount to 3g of linoleic acid per day and such amount can come merely from some tablespoons of olive oil, whereas it needs big quantities of dairy products or animal fat to cover such needs in linoleic acid. Experience shows that, despite the fact that olive oil has the same high calorie value, people who consume it more suffer less from obesity. And it has also been proven that individuals on a diet with normal olive oil consumption have less weight fluctuations compared to individuals who feed on less olive oil.

It should be stressed out, though, that the addition of olive oil to a bad diet will not make you healthy, but the limitation of animal fat and the use of olive oil as the primary source of the diet’s fat, together with a diet rich in fruits, pulses and vegetables, accompanied by normal physical activity, will enhance your health and your weight loss.