If you love olives, you'll be happy to know that you can enjoy them in moderation on all Phases of the South Beach Diet. On Phase 1, use them to add flavor to salads or fish or poultry dishes. On Phase 2, add them to whole-wheat pasta dishes. Olives contain healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which may help to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. Because they are high in calories, however, try to limit yourself to 15 small green olives or 8 small black olives per serving. Either is the equivalent of 1/2 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil or another healthy oil in your fats/oil allowance for the day.
Olives come in many varieties and they’re cultivated in numerous regions around the world. Their color varies depending on how long they are left on the tree to mature, or ripen, as well as the curing method used. Green olives are picked early in the season, whereas black olives are fully ripe. All olives, no matter the color, contain the same good fats. Here are some delicious and healthy ways to enjoy olives:
and Olive Sandwich:
Green or black olives add a savory touch to this delicious Phase 2 lunch sandwich.
Hard-boil 2 eggs, allow them to cool, and then mix with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
and some chopped olives, plus mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. Toast 2
slices of whole-wheat or whole-grain bread. Spread the egg mixture on 1 slice
of bread and add a layer of arugula or another dark leafy green and some tomato, if you like. Top with the remaining bread slice.
Skewers: Alternate grape tomatoes, cubes of
reduced-fat mozzarella, and pitted green olives on wooden skewers. Sprinkle
with a little balsamic vinegar and sea salt. This appetizer can be enjoyed on
Rabe with Olives: Heat 1
tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2
cloves of sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 bunch broccoli
rabe (tough stems trimmed), 3/4 cup hot water, and the zest from 1/2 lemon; cover and cook until broccoli rabe is
wilted and stems are tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the olives
and lemon juice to taste, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.