A salad is a nutritional powerhouse that is packed with micronutrients, but if you’re eating a low-fat salad, your body is not absorbing all of the vitamins and antioxidants available, and your salad probably doesn’t taste very good.
In this post, I’ll share ten delicious low-carb, high-fat ingredients to add to your salad and the science behind why those fats are important.
10 Best Low-Carb, High-Fat Salad Toppers – At-A-Glance
- Smoked Salmon
- Leftover Meats
- Black Olives
- Sunflower Seeds
- Hard Cheese
- Soft Cheese
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Full-Fat Salad Dressing
10 Best Low-Carb, High-Fat Salad Toppers [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn..
- Why low-fat dressing isn’t doing the trick.
- The value of low-carb, high-fat ingredients.
- Ten delicious toppings for a satisfying and healthy salad!
The Problem with Low-Fat Salad Toppers
If you’re adding a low-fat dressing to a bowl of leafy greens and veggies and calling that a salad, you’re not absorbing all of the nutrients from the salad and you’re missing out on a lot of flavors.
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are classified as fat-soluble vitamins because they are best absorbed when eaten with fat. Eating a few veggies with low-fat dressing does not do the trick. However, if you take that bowl of veggies and add high-fat ingredients, you’ve got a delicious, nutrient-rich meal that will keep you full for hours.
10 Best Low-Carb, High-Fat Salad Toppers
1. Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon is easy to keep on hand and rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that are so helpful for reducing heart-damaging inflammation in your body.
2. Leftover Meats
Leftover meats from last night’s dinner, like grilled beef, pork, or seafood provide a great source of fat and high-quality protein.
Chicken breast is a lower-fat meat, so you might want to opt for the more fatty chicken thighs.
Avocados are one of my favorite salad toppers because they are nutritional powerhouses in their own right and they add a wonderful creamy texture to your salad.
4. Black Olives
Black olives provide about 3 grams of high-quality fat and less than 2 grams of carbs per ounce. So, if you’ve been on a low-carb, high-fat diet for a while and you’re looking for a way to spice up your salad, black olives are worth a try.
Walnuts are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fats, but avoid the candied ones, which often get added at restaurants. When you add nuts to your diet, I recommend raw nuts so that you are getting the original healthy fats and not the unhealthy oils that the manufacturer uses for roasting.
6. Sunflower Seeds
The same can be said for eating raw seeds. It is hard to go wrong with raw seeds because they add a satisfying crunch to your salad. You can choose from a variety of them. One of the seeds that my husband and I like is raw sunflower seeds.
7. Hard Cheese
Shredded hard cheese like cheddar, gouda, or parmesan
8. Soft Cheese
I enjoy feta cheese on a salad. If you have a hard time digesting cheese, you might find that you tolerate cheese made from goat’s milk, so that is worth a try.
9. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of fat and protein as well as a whole host of vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients, but you want to eat the whole egg including the yolk, which some people have been scared away from doing, thinking that eggs were not heart-healthy.
However, research shows that eating eggs every day is fine, even for those with metabolic issues. In fact, this study shows that people Type 2 Diabetes were able to eat 12 eggs a week with no significant change to their cholesterol profile. (1)
10. Full-Fat Salad Dressing
Lastly, don’t skip the full-fat salad dressing. Make sure it is made with a healthy oil like olive oil or Primal Kitchen dressing made with avocado oil.
Research has shown that full-fat dressing is better than low-fat for aiding the absorption of antioxidants like carotenoids, which are the cell-protecting substances that we get from brightly colored veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes, and spinach. (2)
A Practical Strategy for Success!
When you get the tremendous volume of leafy greens topped with hunger-satisfying, flavorful fats, you will find yourself enjoying this meal every day!
Thanks so much for reading! If this was helpful, please share it with friends and family, so that we can start reversing the terrible diet trend we’ve been on. Till next time, enjoy what you eat!
(1) Fuller, Nicholas R., et al. “The effect of a high-egg diet on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) study—a 3-mo randomized controlled trial.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 101.4 (2015): 705-713.
(2) Brown, Melody J., et al. “Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 80.2 (2004): 396-403.
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.