You Might Be Using Too Much Olive Oil. Here's Why

Olive oil is often pushed as a healthier alternative to other types of oils or dressings that you may normally add to your salads, sandwiches, and cooking. This is because olive oil, while pure fat, is mostly made up of monounsaturated fat, which is a healthy fat that's good for your heart. This is the reason why olive oil is the cornerstone of the popular Mediterranean diet (via Everyday Health).

But, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can sometimes turn out to be a bad thing — and olive oil is no exception.

Remember, olive oil is pure fat — which means it is also high in calories. A tablespoon of olive oil contains roughly 120 calories. Dietary guidelines suggest 2,000 total calories per day, of which fat should make up between just 20-35% (via LiveStrong). So, heaping too many tablespoons of olive oil onto your salad can quickly wipe out the benefits of what started out as a low-fat lunch option.

Is it safe to drink olive oil?

Given the health benefits of olive oil, is it safe to drink it straight? If so, what is the maximum amount of olive oil that you should drink at a time?

Drinking olive oil in moderation is safe and will provide nutritional benefits, particularly if you drink extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is considered more desirable than regular olive oil, not only for the taste, but because extra virgin olive oil undergoes less processing, contains fewer chemicals, and has higher amounts of the antioxidant polyphenol (via Medical News Today).

Besides its potential benefits for your heart, drinking extra virgin olive oil could also have other benefits, including easing constipation, promoting hair growth, bone health, and stabilizing blood sugar levels. So, drinking a modest amount of extra virgin olive oil per day — between one and three teaspoons — will give you a healthy shot of antioxidants, while also keeping your fat intake in check (via Hypereleon).

Whether you choose to enjoy extra virgin olive oil with food or prefer to drink it straight, just make sure to keep your intake to only a few teaspoons a day, and you'll have no need to worry.