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Can You Eat Olives on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?

Can you eat olives on a Carnivore diet? Olive is a plant-based food and not allowed on the strict Carnivore diet. Yet some versions of the diet may allow limited amounts of olives for different reasons. Let’s read about these reasons and see if they’re worth it to disobey the rules of the Carnivore diet.

Can You Eat Olives on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?
  • The Carnivore diet focuses on high-fat, high-protein, and low-carb foods to lead to ketosis and make the body burn fat for energy instead of carbs.
  • Olives, being plant-based, contain carbohydrates and must be avoided in the strict Carnivore diet.
  • More flexible versions of the Carnivore diet may allow plant-based foods like olives, especially for beginners.
  • Olives can provide flavor, healthy fats, nutrients, and fiber, but you must eat small amounts of them occasionally as a treat to avoid disrupting the diet's effects.
  • Olives are generally keto-friendly due to their low net carbohydrate content; eating them in small amounts cannot stop ketosis.

What Is the Carnivore Diet?

Can you eat olives on a Carnivore diet? Well, to answer this question, we first need to learn about the basics of this diet and its main rules.

The Carnivore diet aims to maximize fat and protein and minimize carbohydrates to create a state of ketosis, where the body burns fat to produce energy instead of carbs.

Simply put, if you don’t eat carbohydrates, your body finds no carbs to burn, so it turns to its fat reserves to produce the energy needed for different bodily functions.

Learn more about the Carnivore diet: What Is The Carnivore Diet? Myth vs Fact

To this aim, the Carnivore diet focuses on consuming high-fat, high-protein, and low-carb foods, meaning that its main sources are animal-based products, including meat, fish, eggs, and certain dairy products.

Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes are not allowed in the original Carnivore diet as they contain carbohydrates and fiber, which are unnecessary for the body.

If you think you need fiber, take a look at this article: Constipation on Carnivore Diet: How long it takes? [Cause and Remedy]

Consuming Olives in a Carnivore Diet

A study published in "Frontiers in Nutrition" indicated that while strict Carnivore dieters reported significant improvements in gut health, those who included small amounts of olives did not report adverse digestive issues and sometimes noted better satiety.

Can You Eat Olives on a Carnivore Diet?

Olives contain carbohydrates, mainly in the form of fiber. They also contain some fats, which are substituted with animal fat in the original Carnivore diet.

Based on the definitions in the previous section, the strict Carnivore diet doesn’t allow plant-based foods, but if you’re new to the diet and cannot avoid your favorite foods or carbs altogether, you can eat small amounts of olives.

Just note that adding carbohydrates to your Carnivore diet meals may hinder the results and even cause adverse effects in some individuals.

Learn More: 10 Carnivore Diet Mistakes Ruining Your Results

How Many Olives Can I Eat on Carnivore?

If you can’t cut carbs from your Carnivore diet, you’d better start with some carbohydrates like olives and try to minimize them gradually and monitor your changes in the meantime to see how your body reacts to decreasing carbs.

Also,  it's good to limit your intake to a very small portion to avoid significant effects on your daily carbohydrate intake.

Olives contain some carbohydrates, mainly in the form of fiber, and a small amount of fat. The exact carbohydrate content varies based on the type of olives and whether they're fresh, canned, or cured.

Learn More: How to Start a Carnivore Diet? When Should I Start? [Expert Guide]

Most Carnivores Avoid Olives

Data from a survey of over 2,000 Carnivore diet followers published in the "Journal of Evolution and Health" showed that 60 occasionally included low-toxin, high-fat plant foods like olives, suggesting a spectrum of adherence levels within the community.

How to Eat Olives on a Carnivore Diet?

If you can’t omit olives and need to have them at least at the beginning of your Carnivore diet, you need to consider the following tips.

  • Choose High-Quality Olives: The minimally processed ones that don't contain added sugars, oils, or other non-Carnivore ingredients.
  • Control Your Portion: Olives contain some carbohydrates, so you must control your portion. Eating minimal amounts of olives helps decrease the effect on your carbohydrate intake.
  • Eat Olives Occasionally: Do not consider olives as a part of all your meals; instead, have them as a treat.
  • Balance Nutrients: Try to balance your olive intake with the animal protein and fat you consume on the Carnivore diet to ensure you receive the main nutrients offered by the diet.
  • Monitor Your Body's Response: Check your body’s reaction to consuming olives. The carbohydrates from olives may impact your energy levels or other health factors.
  • Consult a Professional: It’s smart to consult a healthcare specialist before making any changes to your diet to ensure you’ll achieve your health and fitness goals.

The Benefits of Having Olives on a Carnivore Diet

While you don’t need to contain carbohydrates like olives on a Carnivore diet to achieve the best results, and consuming olives can even slow down the Carnivore results, it’s good to know the benefits of olives.

Learn More: Can I Use Coconut Oil on a Carnivore Diet?

Health Effects

Consuming olives can bring various health benefits on cardiovascular health. Also, the antioxidant (AO) capacity of vitamin E can protect the body against oxidative damage. Olives also have anti-inflammatory effects and AO activities of (HT) hydroxytyrosol [1].

Flavor and Variety

Olives bring a different flavor and texture to meals, which adds variety in taste.

Dr. Paul Saladino, Author of "The Carnivore Code":

"While the strict carnivore diet excludes all plant foods, some people incorporate low-toxin options like olives. It’s essential to monitor how your body responds to these additions."

Healthy Fats

Olives contain monounsaturated heart-healthy fats. Additionally, it contains monounsaturated fat (MUFA), oleic acid, fiber, and several phytochemicals [2].


Olives are rich in nutrients, such as vitamin E, iron, copper, and antioxidants.


Olives contain fiber, which is claimed to improve digestive function and provide a sense of fullness. However, you don’t need fiber to have healthy digestion.

Transition Period

Consuming olives for individuals transitioning from a more traditional diet that includes plant foods like olives can streamline the transition into a more restrictive eating pattern like the Carnivore diet.

Learn More: How to Get Vitamin C on a Carnivore Diet? [Best Meat to Avoid Scurvy]

Shawn Baker, Author of "The Carnivore Diet":

"The purist form of the Carnivore Diet doesn’t include any plant foods, but for some, adding small amounts of low-carb, high-fat plants like olives can make the diet more enjoyable and sustainable."

Olives Nutrition

The nutritional content of olives depends on the type of olives (green or black), their preparation (cured or fresh), and the processing methods used.

Nutrition Content for 100 grams of green olives:

  • Calories: 115 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 6.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Sugars: 0.5 g
  • Fat: 10.5 g
  • Protein: 0.8 g
  • Vitamin E: 1.65 mg (11% DV)
  • Iron: 3.3 mg (18% DV)
  • Copper: 0.25 mg (28% DV)
  • Sodium: 735 mg (31% DV)
  • Calcium: 88 mg (7% DV)
  • Potassium: 8 mg

Do Olives Stop Ketosis?

Olives are a keto-friendly food because they contain low levels of net carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus fiber) as they have fiber.

The body cannot digest fiber completely, so the blood sugar levels or insulin response is not significantly changed, which helps maintain ketosis.

It means that eating small amounts of olives cannot stop ketosis. However, you need to control portion sizes, as eating olives in excess can increase net carbohydrates and affect ketosis.

Suppose you're carefully monitoring your ketone levels and seeking a specific level of ketosis. In that case, you must track your olive and other food consumption to ensure they’re in line with your health and fitness goals.


Although the strict Carnivore diet only allows animal-based foods, some versions accept consuming olives, especially for beginners.

If you need to eat olives on a Carnivore diet for any reason, try to keep it at a minimum to avoid disrupting the Carnivore diet's positive metabolic impacts.

Your main aim as a Carnivore dieter must be to minimize carbohydrates gradually to make the most of the diet and reach your health and fitness goals.

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