Are blue cheese stuffed olives healthy?

The Quick Answer

Blue cheese stuffed olives can be a healthy snack option when enjoyed in moderation. Olives provide healthy fats, antioxidants, and other nutrients. However, the blue cheese stuffing also adds sodium, saturated fat, and calories. Eating a few blue cheese stuffed olives as an occasional treat is fine for most healthy adults, but they should be avoided by those limiting sodium or calories. Moderation is key.

An Overview of Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

Blue cheese stuffed olives are a popular appetizer option and snacking olive. They are created by stuffing pitted green olives, usually jumbo size olives, with a mixture of blue cheese, cream cheese, and seasonings. This adds a tangy, creamy blue cheese flavor to the briny, salty olive.

Here are some key points about blue cheese stuffed olives:

  • Stuffed with a combination of blue cheese, cream cheese, garlic, herbs, and spices
  • Provide a savory, rich, tangy blue cheese flavor
  • Widely available from olive bars and pre-packaged options
  • Can be high in sodium from the brine, blue cheese, and seasonings
  • Higher in calories and saturated fat than plain olives
  • Still provide some of the nutrients found in olives like healthy fats and antioxidants
  • A popular appetizer or party food
  • Also enjoyed as a snack due to the flavorful taste

The stuffing mixture enhances the flavor of the olives, but also adds additional sodium, saturated fat, and calories. This needs to be considered when determining if blue cheese stuffed olives are a healthy option.

Nutrition Profile of Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

To determine if blue cheese stuffed olives are healthy, it is important to look at their nutrition profile. Here is an overview of the key nutrients in blue cheese stuffed olives:

Calories and Macronutrients

  • About 45-60 calories per olive
  • Primarily from fat, little protein or carbohydrates
  • Source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from the olives
  • Also provide some saturated fat from the blue cheese

The high fat and calorie content is one downside of the stuffed olives. Eating a serving of 5 olives provides over 250 calories, much of which comes from fat. However, the fats are primarily unsaturated, healthier fats.


  • 300-400 mg sodium per olive
  • High sodium food
  • Sodium comes from brining liquid, blue cheese, and added salt

Sodium content is another concern with blue cheese stuffed olives. The sodium content per olive is very high. Just 5 olives would provide over 50% of the daily recommended limit of 2300 mg of sodium.

Other Nutrients

  • Provide antioxidants like polyphenols from the olives
  • Good source of vitamin E
  • Supply calcium from the blue cheese
  • Low in other vitamins and minerals

On the positive side, blue cheese stuffed olives do provide antioxidants like polyphenols, some vitamin E, and a bit of calcium. However, they are not a significant source of other vitamins or minerals.

Overall the high fat, sodium and calories are potential cons. But they do supply some beneficial antioxidants and healthy fats when eaten in moderation.

Health Benefits of Olives

Looking just at the olive component, there are some research-backed health benefits. Here are some of the key benefits associated with olives:

Heart Health

Several studies have found that olives and olive oil may benefit heart health and reduce risk factors for heart disease. This is attributed to their monounsaturated fatty acid content. Other beneficial compounds in olives may help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels.

Cancer Prevention

The antioxidant polyphenols found in olives may help prevent oxidative damage that can lead to cancer. Cell and animal studies have shown extracts from olives may slow cancer growth and tumor formation, especially for cancers like breast, colon, skin and leukemia. More research is still needed.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Chronic inflammation is tied to many diseases. The polyphenols and other compounds in olives have been shown to reduce inflammatory markers. This anti-inflammatory activity may also help explain some of the other benefits of olives.

Antimicrobial Properties

Some of the antimicrobial compounds in olive extracts may help fight off harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes. Early research shows benefits against Helicobacter pylori, influenza and other pathogens.

So on their own, olives do offer important benefits. However the blue cheese stuffing alters the nutritional profile. Next we look at how this may impact the potential health effects.

Are the Benefits Still Present in Stuffed Olives?

Since blue cheese stuffed olives contain olives, they should still provide some of the same health benefits, but there are a few considerations:

  • The blue cheese stuffing may reduce the polyphenol content somewhat. However, studies show stuffed olives still retain polyphenols and antioxidants.
  • The increased calories, sodium and saturated fat from the stuffing counters some of the heart health benefits.
  • Research has not specifically looked at stuffed olives and cancer, inflammation, antimicrobial effects.
  • Need to limit portion sizes due to higher calorie, sodium and fat content.

Based on the current evidence, blue cheese stuffed olives likely provide some of the same benefits as regular olives, but to a lesser degree. The blue cheese stuffing does add some less healthy components. This indicates that stuffed olives should be consumed in moderation to limit the downsides.

Potential Downsides of Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

In addition to altering some of the nutritional benefits of the olives, the blue cheese stuffing introduces some potential downsides:

High Sodium

The biggest concern is the very high sodium content. The recommended limit for sodium is 2300 mg per day. Just 5-10 stuffed olives could provide a full day’s worth of sodium. Consuming high sodium foods on a regular basis can increase risk of high blood pressure.

High Calories

With around 50 calories per olive, it is easy to go overboard on calories by eating blue cheese stuffed olives. This makes them more of an occasional treat food.

Saturated Fat

While olives provide healthier fats, the blue cheese does add some saturated fat. Those limiting saturated fat for heart health should be mindful of this.

Allergies and Intolerances

The blue cheese contains dairy, which may cause issues for those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. The cheese may also contain gluten, soy, or nuts if used in the blue cheese during production.

High Histamine Levels

Aged cheeses like blue cheese contain high levels of histamines. For those with histamine intolerance, this can trigger symptoms like headache, itchiness, rash, changes in blood pressure, or digestive issues.

So while tasty, there are some potential health drawbacks of the blue cheese component that need to be kept in mind. Moderating portion sizes is key.

Are Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives Part of a Healthy Diet?

When evaluating if blue cheese stuffed olives are a healthy option, moderation and portion control are key factors. Here are some tips on how they can fit into an overall healthy diet:

  • Eat only a few as an occasional snack or appetizer
  • Avoid eating stuffed olives daily or in large portions due to sodium content
  • Be mindful of total calorie intake when snacking on stuffed olives
  • Account for the saturated fat content if you need to limit saturated fats
  • Watch for allergies or intolerances to the blue cheese
  • Practice proper portion control as it is easy to overeat stuffed olives

Here are some examples of how blue cheese stuffed olives can reasonably fit into healthy eating patterns:

  • Enjoy a few stuffed olives with a salad at dinner 2-3 times per week
  • Use stuffed olives to make a tapenade spread for whole grain crackers or bread as an occasional snack
  • Add some diced stuffed olives to a veggie and rice salad for a sodium-conscious meal a couple times a month
  • Skewer alternating stuffed olives, cheese cubes and grapes for a party appetizer platter

When eaten in moderation, blue cheese stuffed olives can be part of an overall nutrient-rich diet. Just be mindful of portion sizes, sodium intake, and how often you enjoy them. Those with high blood pressure, histamine intolerance, or limiting calories, fat or sodium should be more cautious.

Shopping for Healthier Stuffed Olive Options

You can also shop carefully to find healthier blue cheese stuffed olive options. Here are some tips:

  • Compare brands and choose options with lower sodium
  • Look for olives stuffed with reduced-fat cream cheese or feta instead of full-fat blue cheese
  • Find options without artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
  • Select brands using high quality, natural ingredients
  • Opt for olives stuffed with a variety of cheeses, nuts, tapenades or pestos for more variety
  • Make your own stuffed olives at home with light ingredients to control sodium and fat

Being a mindful shopper can help you enjoy stuffed olives in a healthier way.

Healthy Ways to Enjoy Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

Here are some healthy tips for enjoying blue cheese stuffed olives:

Avoid Eating Too Many at Once

It’s tempting to overindulge in stuffed olives since they are so flavorful. Be sure to control portions to keep sodium, calories and saturated fat in check. Weigh or count out a reasonable serving instead of free grazing.

Balance with Vegetables and Lean Proteins

Enjoy stuffed olives as part of a snack or meal with fresh veggies, whole grains, salad greens, fruits, lean proteins or other nutritious foods. This helps balance nutrients and control calories.

Watch Overall Sodium Intake

Be conscious of sodium from other foods and limit higher sodium items on days when you eat stuffed olives. Also be sure to drink enough non-sugary fluids which can help flush out excess sodium.

Select Healthier Stuffing Alternatives

Try olives stuffed with herb cream cheese, feta, pecorino, goat cheese or tapenades instead of blue cheese for a lower sodium, calorie and fat option. You still get great flavor.

Create Your Own Healthy Stuffed Olives

Make DIY stuffed olives at home with reduced sodium cheese, lemon zest, basil, roasted red peppers or other flavorful, healthier stuffings. This allows you to control the nutrition profile.

Use as a Flavor Booster

Chop up a few blue cheese stuffed olives and add to salads, grains, and vegetable dishes for a flavor punch. You’ll use less olives but still get that tasty flavor.

With some mindful choices, you can incorporate blue cheese stuffed olives into an overall balanced eating pattern. Be sure to account for their higher sodium and saturated fat content by controlling portions, frequencies and pairing them with healthier options.

Key Points

To sum up, here are the key points on whether blue cheese stuffed olives are a healthy option:

  • Olives offer health benefits, but blue cheese stuffing increases sodium, calories and saturated fat
  • Eating stuffed olives in moderation can be part of a healthy diet for most
  • Limit portions and frequency due to high sodium content
  • Shop carefully and select healthier stuffed olive options
  • Balance stuffed olives with fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins
  • Avoid eating too many at once and watch overall sodium intake
  • Blue cheese stuffed olives are fine for healthy adults in moderation as an occasional treat

While not the healthiest snack, blue cheese stuffed olives can reasonably be incorporated into a balanced diet when eaten in moderation. Just be mindful of portions and sodium intake. For an occasional appetizer or snack, they are a fine choice for most healthy adults. But they may need to be limited by those restricting calories, fat or sodium.

The Bottom Line

Blue cheese stuffed olives are a high sodium food and should not be eaten in excess. However, enjoying a few stuffed olives can be part of an overall healthy eating pattern for many people when proper portion sizes are practiced. Select healthier stuffed olive options when possible and balance intake with a variety of nutritious foods. Be mindful of your overall sodium consumption on days when you eat blue cheese stuffed olives.

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