Dietitian Fact-Checks The Viral Olive Oil Shot Myth

Everyone’s obsessed with olive oil shots, be it celebs, influencers or fitness enthusiasts. But how effective is it really? The concept of consuming a small amount of extra virgin olive oil as a shot (in a small, measured quantity) has gained popularity. However, it turns out that while olive oil is indeed considered a healthy fat and a staple of the Mediterranean diet, consuming it in the form of a shot may not be the most effective or palatable way to reap its benefits.

Extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which has health-promoting properties. It also contains antioxidants, such as polyphenols and vitamin E, that help protect cells from oxidative damage and inflammation. However, despite being a healthy fat, olive oil is high in calories. Consuming it in excess, even in the form of a shot, can contribute to weight gain. So, instead of taking olive oil shots, it is better to incorporate extra virgin olive oil into your diet in more practical ways, be it as a salad dressing, or for cooking and sautéing. 

Dietician Abbey Sharp took to social media to share her view on the olive oil shot trend. "Olive oil is rich in skin-supporting nutrients like vitamins E and A. Plus, they have healthy monosaturated fats which may help improve skin ageing,” Sharp said in a video. 

“But you can also just cook with it, you can also use it in a salad dressing. You don’t have to take a shot of it if it doesn’t bring you joy,” she said. In case, you don’t enjoy olive oil as a shot but want to incorporate it into your diet easily, let’s look at some ways you can do that.

Salad Dressing

Olive oil makes a fantastic base for homemade salad dressings. To create a simple vinaigrette, mix extra virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, a touch of Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together until emulsified, and drizzle over your favourite salads for a burst of flavour and healthy fats.

Dipping Oil for Bread

Serve olive oil as a dipping sauce for crusty bread. Combine extra virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dried herbs (such as rosemary or thyme), and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a flavorful dipping oil. Simply dip slices of bread into the seasoned oil for a delicious accompaniment to a meal.

Grilled or Roasted Vegetables

Olive oil is perfect for enhancing the flavour of grilled or roasted vegetables. Toss vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and asparagus with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper before grilling or roasting. The olive oil helps to caramelize the vegetables and adds richness and depth to their flavour.

Pasta Sauce or Finishing Touch

Use olive oil as a key ingredient in pasta sauces or as a finishing touch to pasta dishes. For a simple sauce, sauté minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant, then add diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs like basil or parsley. Simmer until the flavours meld together, and toss with cooked pasta. Alternatively, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over finished pasta dishes just before serving for a luxurious touch.