How much additional fat should I put in my salad`?

(Oliver ) #1

Right so one problem I have when I’m trying to compose a tasty low carb/Keto salad is how much fat/dressing I should to add to my Keto salad? It feel like some recipes call for like two tablespoons or 30 ml of added fat. Often tough I find that one tablespoon or 15 ml of added fat is enough to take the meal really tasty.

*Does 30 ml or two tablespoons of added fat sound reasonable to you guys?

About how much additional fat in the form of either olive oil and or dressing do you usually put in your keto *salad?

I can state add that I have not had much of an appetite of meat lately which I guess is a an important reason why I want to increase the added in my salad. I do also tend to lose weight fast.

(Allie) #2

You don’t have to add any. Fats are only a lever to make sure you get enough calories so if you’re hungry, add maybe a tablespoon or two, whatever you need personally at keep hunger at bay. I don’t eat salad but occasionally add a tbsp of olive oil to eggs if I feel the need.

(Oliver ) #3

Right @Shortstuff but it feels kind of strange that like many recipes calls for like two tablespoons, or 30 ml of added fat.

(Joey) #4

@oliverp Welcome to the forum!

When you cut out the carbs, you still need to get your energy from somewhere, and given there’s only so much protein one can eat/process/enjoy, you wind up getting much of your energy from fats.

The best guide - in the long run - is to eat to satiety, not to some outside guideline or “plan.”

I would take a very careful look at those “dressings” for salads as most of them are based on soy/seed oils - which are best avoided. Olive oil (and balsamic vinegar) make for a great tasting dressing - and get your fats from wholesome ingredients in your salad (avocado, eggs, hard cheese, etc.)

Hope this gets you started in addressing your question. Other replies are likely coming soon!

(Joey) #5

Yes indeed. That IS kind of strange. I’d ignore such silliness.

(Allie) #6

Yep, ignore these.

You have to do what works for you and your body, not what others put in recipes just because they feel like it.

(Bob M) #7

In the US, they sell puffed cheese, which is a great addition. This is good stuff, but our Costco no longer carries it for some reason:

And it’s pricey to buy elsewhere.

(Bacon is better) #8

Fat is not needed for magical reasons on a ketogenic diet; it is there to replace the energy no longer being obtained from the glucose in dietary carbohydrate. The body’s preferred sources of energy are glucose or fat.

Unless something is seriously wrong (such as a famine, or someone is starving us to death), the body prefers not to metabolise the amino acids in the proteins we eat. And in any case proteolysis (protein metabolism) is very inefficient, because of the energy cost of removing the ammonyl group and disposing of the nitrogen. Much less yield of ATP from one gram of amino acids, as opposed to one gram of glucose, or one gram of fatty acids.

Since fat has over twice as many calories (on average) as carbohydrate, it actually takes less fat to provide the same amount of energy. (In fact, if I’m remembering correctly, fatty acids yield slightly more ATP per gram than glucose.) Also, fat has the benefit of triggering the secretion of only just as much insulin as is required for survival, whereas the glucose in carbohydrate stimulates a much, much greater insulin response (because too much glucose in the blood stream causes damage). Since we want insulin to remain low, so that we can metabolise some of our excess stored fat, this is a good thing. (The insulin response to protein, by the way, is much greater in the context of a high-carb diet than it is when carbohydrate intake remains low.)

So the short answer is to eat enough fat to satisfy your hunger. You don’t need more than that.

By the way, your appetite may still remain high for the first few weeks on a ketogenic diet. You will find it helpful to eat to satiety during this period, even if it seems like a lot of food. At some point during the third or fourth week, if you have excess fat to shed, your appetite will drop noticeably. If it doesn’t, then we can discuss caloric targets, but in general it is better to let the body determine how much food it needs.


I never liked salads (I was a vegetarian and loved raw veggies and hated salads. it happens :)) but I had one I liked. I never used any dressing but my very big bowl of salad contained 10g fat (I fried onion and zucchini in it and added to my salad).
The salad had cheese too and it was just a salad, I ate way too much fat from other sources. I needed ZERO amount of added fat nutrition and calorie wise, I just couldn’t eat a salad without my fried items.

There are no things as required amount of fat in a salad. If zero fat salads work for someone, so be it (but some fat should be present for the fat soluble vitamins so it’s not for standalone salads). The fat can come from other food. I typically ate my salad alone as a snack sized meal but many people eat it with some fatty protein so if the salad is tasty and nice without any, it’s fine. My “salad dressing” was vinegar only and if I ate meat at that time, I just would have skipped the fried vegs and use the salad as a side dish.

It is strange to me, well not very much, tastes differ and some people would lowkey starve on keto without added fat, it seems… But if it’s strange to us, just ignore it. I often just ignore the sweetener in recipes :smiley: (Not salad recipes, other ones.)

(Oliver ) #10

Right so first I want to state that I very much appreciate the reply to my question. So thank you to everyone who took time and replied.

I do understand that it makes most sense to eat until you are satisfied.

That said as I want to keep my protein at an moderate level I do guess I need to pay a bit closer attention and focus on my fat intake when I compose my dinner salad (or any other meal for that matter) :slight_smile:

*I can mention that I’m slightly underweight at the moment to.

(Bob M) #11

I think to get fat-soluble vitamins, you need some fat. When I was on Pritikin, I had “salads” with only vinegar. But there’s no fat to help with vitamin assimilation.

If you’re slightly underweight, you (a) are unusual on this board :wink:, and (b) can use whatever works for you. Nick Norwitz is a medical student who eats a ton of MUFA via olive oil and the like (and is an LMHR with exceedingly high LDL). So, olive oil can help.

It it was me, I personally would err on the side of more meat or saturated fat for salads, like added sliced meat or cheese puffs for protein/fat.

My dad, who came from an Italian family, made a great salad. I really like a good salad, though I have found I have to eat them infrequently. Too much fiber for me.


I really don’t want to argue with you, I don’t even know enough for it, just curious why do you want to keep your protein moderate and what does that mean?
Maybe it’s fine to eat a bit more protein.
Try more fat, sure, I think experiments are fun and may be useful :slight_smile: I just don’t want anyone to try to restrain their protein intake too much (unless there are some good reason for it, of course, not everyone can handle much, whatever much means).
Sometimes people believes (at least vaguely, not knowing better) in wrong things (I totally did it. when I started keto, everyone on the page I frequented say we must avoid eating more than adequate protein or else it becomes glucose…etc. I am bad at chemistry, I did little, I didn’t know they were wrong so I tried. I am a hedonist and my body loved high protein so I failed every day but some other person probably would have been more forceful and successful and that’s a bit sad).

And if you want to eat more fat and not protein, there are other ways than adding a ton of fat to salads (30g is super much! okay maybe not for everyone, I avoid added fat as much as I can since very long). I just eat fattier protein sources if I want that.

I would add the amount of fat I like for my salad :slight_smile: For me, adding fatty protein to my salad is more pleasant. Though a very big volume of vegs may help enough with the too fatty feeling… I don’t know, don’t remember eating a salad with very fatty dressing.
But if its icky, don’t use that much, there are better ways to add fat and not overdoing protein, surely.

(Bacon is better) #13

This is usually very easy to do, since a well-formulated ketogenic diet is not a high-protein diet. Richard Morris, one of the founders of this site, recommends protein in the range of 1.0-1.5 g per kilo of lean mass a day. Dr. Stephen Phinney, one of the most important researchers in the field, recommends the same. Other researchers recommend up to 2.0 g/kg LBM/day, especially if one is a body builder.

Some researchers believe that we have an instinct for getting the right amount of protein. They feel that if our diet is not rich enough in protein, we will overeat until we get enough. It does seem to be the case from people’s experiences on this site, that some of us need a bit more fat and a bit less protein, proportionately, while others need a bit more protein and a bit less fat.

In any case, the protein is in the diet to meet the body’s structural needs, so we don’t want to stint on it. The fat is there to provide energy for bodily processes, so we don’t want to stint on it, either. The one thing we don’t really need any of is carbohydrate, since the body is perfectly capable of manufacturing all of the small amount of glucose that it actually needs.

(Marianne) #14

Besides the oil and balsamic suggestion, I started making my own blue cheese dressing when I was eating salad. Even the premium blue cheese dressing (Marie’s, etc.), had a lot of bad stuff in it. Making it takes very few ingredients, and I feel better knowing that what I am using is completely keto safe. Just use heavy cream, blue cheese crumbles, a little worcheshire, salt, pepper and lemon juice. I used a hand mixer to break up the blue cheese chunks. It is a fantastic dressing, and I don’t feel bad about using as much as I want on my salad. For me, the main point of a salad was always the dressing (although they are a great combination together), and blue cheese is my favorite.

(Bob M) #15

For blue cheese, we always thought this was good:

Works well with wings, too. Requires Greek yogurt, though, and regular yogurt makes it a bit too thin.

Lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce (yes, I had to look up the spelling) would be good additions.

(Bob M) #16

If you like Italian:

I usually use regular olive oil, add more red wine vinegar (I like it with more “bite”), and add 1-2 anchovies that you won’t know are there after you mix with a hand mixer. I recommend the hand mixer, as the vinaigrette doesn’t separate after that.

(KCKO, KCFO) #17

If I think a salad needs more fat, I add avocado usually. And if I don’t have that I use goat cheese. Try to only eat enough fats to fill satisfied. Do not let a recipe rule how you eat. They are just guidelines.


I saw a salad recipe in one of my fav YT channel (cooking is only one thing of the many it offers)… It used 120ml olive oil for a simple, not even so big salad…

So 30ml isn’t even THAT much, it seems.

Still, it may be too much for some of us and that is what matters when we make our own.


most recommendations about salad dressing you choose is all about ‘calories’ and calorie restricted diets, ya know, don’t eat too much fat on that salad LOL

eat all ya want. make it tasty. enjoy it all as you like. don’t give this ml or teaspoon or 1/4 gram of this or that stuff drive ya batty :slight_smile:

(Oliver ) #21

Right so I again want to thank everyone who has taken the time to reply.

One reason I did wanted to reach out was because I understand that Keto are high fat diet. While I don’t want to eat a stupid amount of fat I was interested in some guidelines and tips with regards to the right amount of fat to eat at meal times (that said I also get message about “eat until you are satisfied” which I usually try to do).

*I can just state that to me even many keto recpies calls for way more fat and sometimes calories as well then I find necessary to make something tasty.