`Nutritionists Evaluate Merits of Olive Oil Shot TikTok Trend - Olive Oil Times
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Nutritionists Evaluate Merits of Olive Oil Shot TikTok Trend

By Thomas Sechehaye
Jul. 12, 2023 18:01 UTC

A recent Good Morning America (GMA) post described the TikTok trend encour­ag­ing users to take a cou­ple of shots of olive oil each morn­ing.

While nutri­tion­ists advo­cate for con­sum­ing extra vir­gin olive oil as part of a healthy Mediterranean diet, con­sum­ing large amounts every morn­ing may not be nec­es­sary to expe­ri­ence the health ben­e­fits.

The trend presents an oppor­tu­nity to encour­age peo­ple to enjoy extra vir­gin olive oil on its own but also to pro­mote aware­ness of its cen­tral role in the healthy Mediterranean diet as well as cor­rect­ing any less reli­able infor­ma­tion.- Simon Poole, Mediterranean diet spe­cial­ist

The olive oil shot trend which has been pro­moted by numer­ous TikTok influ­encers in recent months may not nec­es­sar­ily guar­an­tee shed­ding pounds in weeks or make us look years younger overnight as some might claim,” Simon Poole, a physi­cian and nutri­tion instruc­tor for Olive Oil Times Sommelier Certification Program, told Olive Oil Times.

Poole con­firmed the trend is at least based on some evi­dence of the health ben­e­fits of extra vir­gin olive oil as a pow­er­ful anti-inflam­ma­tory and antiox­i­dant food.”

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While drink­ing a shot of olive oil in the morn­ing may seem to have orig­i­nated just recently on TikTok and Instagram, start­ing the day with oil has ancient roots.

The ori­gins of this social media trend can be traced back to the tra­di­tions of the Mediterranean. For gen­er­a­tions, Cretan fish­er­men were said to enjoy a drink of olive oil each morn­ing to give them strength before set­ting off to sea,” Poole said.

@glowwithella Replying to @hatg1rl_ the olive oil im using here is @Zimms Organics ♬ orig­i­nal sound — glowwithella

Extra vir­gin olive oil is a cen­tral part of the Mediterranean diet. There is con­sid­er­able and grow­ing evi­dence to show the many pos­i­tive health effects asso­ci­ated with con­sum­ing 30 to 50 mil­li­liters of extra vir­gin olive oil high in polyphe­nols each day.

Olive oil is at the heart of the Mediterranean diet in com­bi­na­tion with other foods, which will cer­tainly improve the diver­sity and health of the gut micro­biome, though rather less research on drink­ing olive oil on its own,” Poole said.

However, Mary Flynn, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of med­i­cine at Brown University, told Olive Oil Times that extra vir­gin olive oil can be effec­tively con­sumed in many ways.

Over the cen­turies, peo­ple who live around the Mediterranean Sea have been known to con­sume olive oil as shots, espe­cially at the time of the new har­vest,” Flynn said.

While I don’t see any adverse effect for drink­ing olive oil, com­bin­ing it with veg­eta­bles is prefer­able as fat is needed to absorb some of the phy­tonu­tri­ents in plant prod­ucts that decrease the risk of can­cer and heart dis­ease,” she added. Extra vir­gin olive oil also makes veg­eta­bles taste so much bet­ter; using olive oil typ­i­cally increases veg­etable con­sump­tion.”

Flynn said there is no rea­son to con­sume extra vir­gin olive oil cau­tiously.

Poole added that he wel­comes the recent social media trend if more peo­ple try extra vir­gin olive oil.

As long as we avoid hyper­bole and sup­port an under­stand­ing of the ben­e­fits of extra vir­gin olive oil as cen­tral to a broad Mediterranean diet rich in veg­eta­bles, fruits, nuts, spices, and other essen­tial ingre­di­ents,” Poole said.

However, cau­tion is on the menu, and there is some scep­ti­cism about con­sum­ing olive oil shots and rely­ing on social media as a cred­i­ble source for health prac­tices.

While there are some health ben­e­fits asso­ci­ated with olive oil when con­sumed in mod­er­a­tion as a part of an over­all healthy dietary pat­tern, this par­tic­u­lar trend misses the mark on the true hero of gut health, namely fiber,” said Will Bulsiewicz, a gas­troen­terol­o­gist and gut health expert.


Fiber is the fuel that empow­ers our gut microbes for bet­ter health,” he added. I don’t under­stand why we would build our morn­ing around a food that is devoid of fiber when we could be opt­ing for avo­cado toast.”

Regarding reliance on social media, nutri­tion­ists advise a cau­tious approach.

I would say any­one post­ing health advice on social media is not cred­i­ble,” Flynn said. They would not do so if they were trust­wor­thy. It is a real con­cern. Anyone can put up a post, make a video, and some­one, some­where, will take the advice.”

Flynn said she advises patients to be cau­tious with health claims made on social media.

If you can ver­ify the person’s cre­den­tials, and they have a web­site that has valid ref­er­ences, and they have dates for post­ing, you can feel some small secu­rity that they might (might) be valid,” she empha­sized. But over­all, con­sider it enter­tain­ment, not sci­ence.”

Poole urged olive oil pro­duc­ers, com­men­ta­tors, researchers and enthu­si­asts to take advan­tage of the trend to main­tain a bal­anced per­spec­tive.

The trend presents an oppor­tu­nity to encour­age peo­ple to enjoy extra vir­gin olive oil on its own but also to pro­mote aware­ness of its cen­tral role in the healthy Mediterranean diet as well as cor­rect­ing any less reli­able infor­ma­tion that may appear on social media from those who may talk with appar­ent author­ity but who might be pro­mul­gat­ing the many myths about extra vir­gin olive oil,” he said.


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