The Whole30 diet is a great way to lose weight and promote healthy eating by helping to boost your energy, mood and sleep levels. The diet lasts for a month and it’s important to try and stick to the foods that are compliant.
One popular food that people are always asking about are olives and whether you can have them on the Whole30 diet. The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no as it is dependent on what kind of olives you want as well as what added ingredients are included.
So long as the olive doesn’t have any added sulfites then they should be okay to eat.
In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about what olives you can and can’t have so you can make the most of the Whole10 diet.
What Olives Are Whole30 Compliant?
If you read the ingredients that go into olives, you may find that a lot of the ingredients are hard to pronounce which means that you can’t be sure what you are actually eating.
In this section, we’ll be taking you through some of these ingredients so you can be sure whether they can be eaten as part of the Whole30 diet. Not only will we be delving into what ingredients and olives are okay for you to have but we will also be discussing what ingredients are not suitable for the Whole30.
This will mean that you can purchase the olives with confidence knowing that you are sticking to the Whole30 diet. As mentioned before, the main thing that you need to avoid are sulphites which help to preserve the olives but are incredibly bad for you.
The Whole30 diet completely excludes sulphites so make sure that the olives you purchase don’t have any included.
Here are the most common sulfites found in olives that you need to avoid. They are usually listed as an E number so we have written both the E number and sulfite name so you can be sure of what you are dealing with:
- E150b is known as Caustic sulphite caramel
- E150d is known as Sulfite ammonia caramel
- E220 is known as Sulfur dioxide
- E221 is known as Sodium sulfite
- E222 is known as Sodium bisulfite or sodium hydrogen sulfite
- E223 is known as Sodium metabisulfite
- E224 is known as Potassium metabisulfite
- E225 is known as Potassium sulfite
- E226 is known as Calcium sulfite
- E227 is known as Calcium hydrogen sulfite which is a preservative
- E228 is known as Potassium hydrogen sulfite
Although this may seem like a lot that isn’t allowed in olives, there are plenty of ingredients that are allowed so don’t be put off if you absolutely love olives.
The Whole30 diet allows for a variety of commonly found ingredients which means that you don’t have to compromise from purchasing your favorite brands provided that they don’t have the above ingredients in them.
Here are some additives that are commonly found in olives that are Whole30 compliant:
- Acacia Gum
- Acetic Acid
- Ascorbic Acid
- Calcium Carbonate
- Calcium Chloride
- Citric Acid
- Ferrous Gluconate
- Gellan Gum
- Guar Gum
- Lactic Acid
- Locust Bean Gum
- Natural Flavors
- Sodium Alginate
- Sodium Chloride which is salt
- Sodium Nitrate which is also known as Sodium Nitrite
- Xanthan Gum
Another ingredient that is Whole30 compliant and is sometimes found in olives but not as often as the above ingredients is grape musk.
If you do see that the olives contain grape musk then don’t worry, it is perfectly fine for you to have them.
When you are popping to the store to purchase some olives for the Whole30 diet, just give the ingredient list a checkover to make sure that it contains ingredients that are compliant. If your favorite brand does contain sulphites don’t worry, there will be other options available that you can have.
The questions that are asked regarding olives and whether they are Whole30 compliant are mainly in relation to black olives. This is because the black coloring isn’t natural as it is added using a jet black coloring during the manufacturing process.
However, it may seem surprising but the black coloring is actually Whole30 compliant and doesn’t contain anything that will compromise your diet. One of the ingredients used in the black coloring is ferrous gluconate which is an additive that has been added on the Whole30 additives cheat sheet meaning that it is acceptable to have them.
However, if you are in doubt then just double check the cheat sheets and the Whole30 compliant food lists available online. Also remember that black olives may still contain sulfites which you always need to avoid no matter what.
Depending on the brand, you may see some black olives that have a variation in their black coloring which means that there hasn’t been as much coloring used as the manufacturer wants to keep the process as natural as possible.
These options are the best if you are wanting to be as natural and organic as possible without giving up black olives.
Canned, Fresh and Jarred Olives
Moving onto what is probably the most important section of this guide is how the olives have been packaged.
Due to the nature of olives, how they are contained actually dictates how much they have been processed which in turn can determine how many sulfites have been added to the ingredients in order to maintain them. Canned olives undergo a lot of heat during their processing which makes them great for eating on the Whole30 diet.
Jarred and fresh olives are not heated as much but provided that there aren’t any sulfites, they should be fine to eat on the Whole30.
Regardless of how the olives are packaged, they should be okay to eat on the Whole30 diet which means that you simply have to look at the ingredients to make sure that they are all Whole30 compliant. The main thing you need to look out for is the brine if the olives are kept in there.
The brine needs to be free from any sulfites which can be tricky to find as it is there to preserve the Whole30.
You may be thinking that purchasing raw olives is the best solution since they won’t have gone through any manufacturing process and are sure to be free from any sulfites and other non-compliant Whole30 ingredients.
However, in their raw state, olives are not edible which means that when you go to the store to buy them, you’re unlikely to find any raw olives options. Olives have to go through the brining process in order to make sure that they are edible which means that you will always have to check the ingredient list.
Depending on what kind of olive you want to buy and what brine is used, the brining process can take as long as six months which means that it takes time for them to get from their raw inedible state to the point where they can be consumed.
The great thing about olives that you buy in the store is that they are ready to eat. You’ll probably find that the majority of olives that are ready to eat should be Whole30 compliant.
Approved Green Olives
Although there aren’t any green olives available that Whole30 has officially partnered with or released themselves, there are plenty of green olives available that are compliant with the Whole30 diet.
This means that although it doesn’t necessarily have the Whole30 branding on the packaging, it shouldn’t be a problem to include olives in your Whole30 diet provided that they don’t have any sulfites in them.
Here are some green olives that are definitely allowed on the Whole30 diet so you don’t have to worry about questioning whether they are compliant or not. We have also provided the ingredient list to go with it so you can see for yourselves:
- Devina Organic Pitted Green Olives
The ingredients are: citric acid, organic olives, sea salt and water
- Mezzetta Italian Castelvetrano Whole Green Olives
The ingredients are: ascorbic acid, castelvetrano olives, lactic acid, sea salt and water
- Whole Foods 365 Canned Pitted Ripe Green Olives
The ingredients are: olives, sea salt and water
One extremely popular kind of olive is the manzanilla olive which originates from Spain. Often known as the Spanish olive, there are over 200 kinds of Manzanilla olives available and are referred to as the canned California olive that is commonly eaten in the US.
Thanks to the versatility of green and black options, Manzanilla olives are fantastic for the Whole30 diet as they contain minimum ingredients and don’t often have sulfites in them.
Here are some examples of Manzanilla olives that are Whole30 compliant:
- Mario Camacho Manzanilla Pitted Spanish Olives
The ingredients are: lactic acid, Manzanilla Olives, sea salt and water
- Whole Foods 365 Pitted Black Olives
The ingredients are: olives, sea salt and water
Kalamata olives are normally darker in color and can vary from dark brown to black and are known for their intense natural flavor. The natural flavoring means that you don’t have to worry about any added ingredients that may not be compliant with the Whole30 diet.
Kalamata olives are hugely popular among those who take part in the Whole30 diet thanks to their versatility and compliance.
Here are some examples of Kalamata olives that are Whole30 compliant:
- Devina Pitted Kalamata Olives
The ingredients are: grape musk, Kalamata olives, red wine vinegar, sea salt and water
- Mediterranean Organic Kalamata Olives
The ingredients are: Organic Kalamata Olives, organic red wine vinegar, sea salt and water
- Mezzetta Pitted Kalamata Olives
The ingredients are: distilled and red wine vinegars, olive oil, sea salt, Tree ripened olives and water
Trader Joe’s Olives
A great place to go to purchase your olives is Trader Joe’s. Not only do they boast a large selection of olives but they have a wide range within this that are Whole30 compliant.
Fantastically priced and guaranteed to contribute lots to your diet, visiting Trader Joe’s will be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Here are some examples of Trader Joe’s olives that you can purchase:
- Trader Joe’s Jumbo Pitted Kalamata Olives
The ingredients are: Kalamata olives, red wine vinegar, sea salt and water
- Trader Joe’s Just a Handful of Olives Pitted Salted Manzanilla Olives
The ingredients are: lactic acid, Manzanilla olives, olive oil and sea salt
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Lactic Acid Whole30 Compliant?
Lactic acid is an ingredient that is Whole30 compliant which means that you don’t have to worry if you see it listed as an ingredient on the olives.
It can be found on the Whole30 common additives cheat sheet which means that it is absolutely fine to have in moderation.
On the cheat sheet, it is defined as being produced by “fermenting carbohydrates, often in kombucha”.
Are Green Olives Whole30 Compliant?
Green olives are Whole30 compliant provided that they do not contain any sulfites or other ingredients that are not compliant with the Whole30 diet.
Whether the olives have been canned, jarred or fresh, they should be fine provided that you double check the ingredient list.
Is Citric Acid Whole30 Approved?
Citric acid is another ingredient that is listed on the Whole30 common additives cheat sheet which means that it is fine to have as part of your Whole30 diet.
The cheat sheet describes citric acid as being a “preservative or flavoring common in canned tomatoes”.
This means that you’re not guaranteed to see it in olives but if it is then don’t worry.