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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Intermittent Fasting arrow Does Olive Oil Break a Fast? Finding the Right Balance

Does Olive Oil Break a Fast? Finding the Right Balance

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 22, 2023
5 min read 1815 Views 0 Comments
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Navigating what will and won’t break your fast is challenging. We discuss whether a dose of healthy fat from olive oil interrupts your fast, breaks ketosis, and hinders your weight loss efforts. Keep reading for nutrition facts, calories, health benefits, and more.

Does olive oil break a fast

If you’re new to fasting, you will soon learn that there are dietary choices that may or may not break your fast. 

Taking in any number of calories will technically break a fast. So, a clean fast that doesn’t break any rules means consuming no food at all in the fasting window. 

If you’re happy to bend the rules a little with a modified fasting method, there are certain foods and drinks that won’t physically affect your fasting results. Sometimes, you can even take advantage of particular food sources during a fast.  

This article covers the effects and benefits of consuming olive oil while fasting and whether you should avoid it or mindfully introduce it to your diet. 

Does Olive Oil Break a Fast?

Fasting means refraining from eating any kind of food that introduces calories to your body. As olive oil contains calories, it does technically break a fast. However, depending on your reasons for fasting, you may be able to benefit from consuming olive oil and other healthy fats in strict moderation.

Olive oil will not hinder your efforts if you are fasting for ketosis. It is a pure fat source that contains zero carbohydrates and won’t raise your blood sugar or alter insulin levels. In controlled amounts, good-quality fats can support your fasting journey.

Fasting can be a challenging time. Healthy fat promotes satiety, reduces cravings, and provides an energy boost. A small dose may tide you over between meals, easing the discomfort of hunger pangs when fasting and helping you sustain it.

Many people choose to consume oils during the fasting period, especially good fats like olive oil, MCT oil, and coconut oil. To mitigate the disruption to your fast, the key is to keep your dose to minimal amounts.

Olive oil is high in calories, so monitoring your intake is critical to sustaining a fast. Taking in too many calories will certainly interrupt a truly fasted state.

Olive Oil Nutrition Facts

Olive oil, including extra virgin olive oil, is all fat. It contains zero carbs, is free from chemicals, and is loaded with powerful antioxidants that have many benefits for the human body.

Let’s look at the nutritional content of olive oil per 100g

Net CarbsTotal CarbsFatsProtein
CaloriesFiberSugarGlycemic Index

Olive oil is a healthy source of heart-healthy fats. It is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, with approximately 75% in total. It contains a smaller amount of saturated fats, just under 14g per 100g serving. 

It’s an excellent source of antioxidant compounds, including vitamins E and K, which are essential for bone health and a strong immune system. Olive oil consumption is also associated with reduced cardiovascular risk, among multiple other benefits.

Are There Calories in Olive Oil?

Yes, olive oil contains a high number of calories. It is a calorie-dense food, with a whopping 119 calories in one tablespoon and 39.8 calories in one teaspoon. So, if you decide to eat olive oil during your fast, you must highly restrict your intake.

Does Olive Oil Affect Blood Sugar?

Olive oil does not spike blood sugar levels, unlike carbohydrates and processed foods. It doesn’t contain any carbs or sugars and, therefore, doesn’t have a glycemic index. This suggests that olive oil does not impact blood sugar levels.  

An olive oil-rich diet may positively affect blood glucose, insulin levels, and insulin sensitivity. Olive oil is easily digestible and breaks down more slowly in the digestive system than other foods. The slower process is part of the reason why olive oil keeps you feeling full for longer. 

Can You Use EVOO to Help You Fast?

The body directly absorbs olive oil. Taking extra virgin olive oil on an empty stomach is associated with more significant health benefits as it optimizes absorption in the body, ensuring you get all the nutrients and benefits it delivers.

As a high-fat food, a small amount may contribute to satiety, easing the discomfort of a long fast and preventing cravings. Taking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach may provide a slight energy boost, motivating you to keep going with your fast.

In addition, extra virgin olive oil on an empty stomach can support the digestive system, promoting regularity and preventing constipation.

Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, is considered the healthiest form of olive oil as it is the least processed. It is extracted using a natural process that retains its vitamins and antioxidants. 

4 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil for Your Body

Olive oil has many benefits for the human body, both inside and outside of a fast. Thanks to its heart-healthy fats and potent antioxidants, it is considered a superfood and is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet – one of the world’s healthiest diets. 

Below are 4 impressive benefits of eating olive oil.

#1 Fights inflammation 

Many of the essential benefits of olive oil are related to its anti-inflammatory properties.

The phenolic compounds present in olive oil may reduce inflammatory markers for coronary artery disease. 

Additionally, the polyphenols in olive oil can reduce inflammation and help protect against chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer.

Extra virgin olive oil also contains phenolic compounds with potent anti-inflammatory effects. One such compound, called oleocanthal, shows similar anti-inflammatory properties to ibuprofen, the anti-inflammatory drug.

#2 Lowers cholesterol levels 

Olive oil is full of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats that can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces the risk of developing heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

As well as improving cholesterol, olive oil consumption helps lower high blood pressure and promotes healthy blood vessels. Improvements in blood pressure control and cholesterol levels collectively reduce risk factors for metabolic syndrome.

#3 Boosts digestive health 

Olive oil consumption can aid a happy gut as it positively influences the gut microbiota. It helps stimulate the growth of good bacteria and reduces pathogenic bacteria – the type that causes disease.

Taking olive oil on an empty stomach in the morning may help constipation relief as it encourages bowel movements. The fats in the oil act as a lubricant, making it easier for stool to pass through the intestine.

#4 Might help to prevent cancer

Thanks to the many antioxidants in olive oil, eating it regularly may reduce cancer risk. The antioxidants fight free radicals, reducing oxidative stress – a leading cause of cancer development.

Focused studies have shown promising results from the therapeutic benefits of olive oil intake in treating and preventing colon and breast cancer.

Olive oil contains a generous dose of vitamin E, an essential nutrient that protects the body from illness and strengthens the immune system. Vitamin E is also known to play a role in cancer prevention.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Olive oil is a major health-boosting fat. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer compounds that work effectively in many ways to keep your body healthy. Among some of its believed benefits are better brain, heart, and bone health and protection from chronic diseases.

If you want to use olive oil during a fast, you can take it alone on an empty stomach. In the eating window, olive oil is best added to a bigger meal, such as salads, vegetables, and pasta dishes. It is a versatile ingredient that works well with just about anything.

Olive oil can be a good match for your diet plan to lose weight. It is a keto-friendly food and one of the best good fats for keto. It is also an essential addition if you are following a low-carb weight-loss diet.

Although slightly more expensive, extra virgin olive oil is usually the best choice.

Olive oil has lots of calories, so make sure you monitor your caloric intake during both eating and fasting periods. Keep to minimal amounts and allow your body to reap the advantages of the world’s favorite healthy fat.


In technical terms, olive oil intake does break a fast. However, it doesn’t spike your blood glucose like other foods and may even improve insulin levels.

Olive oil can contribute positively to your fasting plan in the right amounts. It promotes satiety, supports the digestive system, and delivers numerous antioxidants to your body, promoting optimal well-being.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 22, 2023
5 min read 1815 Views 0 Comments

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