Coating your favorite foods in breading not only adds taste, it also adds calories and fat. Traditionally, breadcrumbs are mixed with eggs to make them stick to chicken, fish or vegetables. However, by mixing olive oil instead of eggs with breadcrumbs you can make breaded dishes that are a little healthier.
Eggs are very high in cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to hardening of the arteries. An average large egg contains 212 milligrams of cholesterol. Only liver, shrimp and duck contain more cholesterol in a single serving. Olive oil, which is derived from olives, is a healthier alternative for mixing with breadcrumbs.
You usually dip a meat or a vegetable into a beaten egg before coating it with breadcrumbs. If you use olive oil instead, the exact amount depends on the amount of food you are breading. Prepare one bowl of olive oil and one bowl of your breading mixture. Dip the food into the olive oil and then dip it into the breading mixture.
Although olive oil is high in fat, many nutritionists consider it a healthy option. The primary fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated, a healthy type of fat. Monounsaturated fatty acids help to lower cholesterol levels, improve insulin levels and control blood sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic. Olive oil may also help to reduce blood pressure and inhibit the growth of some types of cancer, although more research is needed.
Olive oil is high in calories. Only use it as a replacement for less healthy alternatives, such as eggs or butter. There are other variations you can use to make breaded food healthier. Consider making your own breadcrumbs with whole wheat bread. Or use whole grain cereal as a breading. If you buy packaged breadcrumbs, read the nutrition label carefully. Look for breadcrumbs that are low in calories and fat.