6 Simple and Delicious Keto Salads

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    The ketogenic diet is a very low carb and high-fat feeding method that is popular for weight loss.

    It usually involves limiting carbohydrate intake to 20–50 grams per day to stimulate ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body starts using ketones for energy instead of glucose.

    However, because it can be restrictive, you may wonder what salads you can eat with a keto diet. In particular, keto salads should be low in carbohydrates but high in fat and healthy protein.

    Here are 6 simple and delicious keto salads, plus recipes.

    1. Grilled Chicken Salad
    This grilled chicken salad is not only rich in protein, but also a great source of healthy fats such as the oleic acid in your olives, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado.

    Numerous studies in the test tube and in animals relate oleic acid to reduced inflammation, improved immunity and possible anti-cancer effects.

    Ingredients (serves two):

    1/2 pound (225 grams) chicken drumstick, grilled, sliced
    4 cups (200 grams) chopped romaine lettuce
    1/4 cup (60 grams) chopped cherry tomatoes
    1/2 of a medium cucumber, thinly sliced
    1/2 medium avocado, sliced
    1 ounce (28 grams) of feta cheese, shredded
    1 ounce (28 grams) olives, pitted, sliced
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar
    3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    Cover the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme.
    Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the heat.
    In a large bowl, place the lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and olives as desired. Once the chicken has cooled, add it to the salad.
    Sprinkle with red wine vinegar and additional olive oil if desired.


    NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
    Per serving (serves two):

    Calories: 617
    Protein: 30 grams
    Fat: 52 grams
    Carbohydrates: 11 grams
    Fiber: 4 grams

    2. Taco Salad
    This healthy taco salad is ready in less than 30 minutes.

    It has several calcium-rich ingredients, such as sour cream and cheese, to provide 31% of your daily needs per serving. Calcium plays a key role in heart health, nerve signaling and muscle function.

    Ingredients (serves two):

    1/2 pound (225 grams) ground beef
    2 cups (100 grams) chopped romaine lettuce
    1/2 medium avocado, sliced
    1/4 cup (60 grams) chopped cherry tomatoes
    1 ounce (28 grams) cheddar cheese, grated
    1/4 cup (60 grams) sour cream
    1 tablespoon (7 grams) chopped red onion
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground paprika
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until golden brown.
    Add cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Let the meat cool a little.
    Mix the lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and onion, and serve in two dishes.
    Cover the salad with beef, then garnish with cheese and sour cream.


    NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
    Per serving (serves two):

    Calories: 555
    Protein: 25 grams
    Fat: 47 grams
    Carbohydrates: 9 grams
    Fiber: 4 grams

    3. Baked salmon salad with pesto
    This delicious salmon and pesto salad are simple and ready in less than 20 minutes.

    Salmon is one of the best sources of EPA and DHA omega-3 fats. These fatty acids are considered essential because your body cannot create them, which means they must come from your diet.

    Studies link EPA and DHA with health benefits, including reducing inflammation, the risk of heart disease and the risk of cancer.

    Ingredients (serves two):

    1/2 pound (225 grams) of salmon or two 4-ounce salmon fillets (225 grams)
    8 ounces (220 grams) of raw tender spinach
    4 tablespoons (60 grams) of green pesto
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) of lemon juice
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    Preheat your oven to 400 ℉ (200 ℃) and grease a baking dish with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil.
    Place the salmon with the skin facing down in the baking dish. Spread the pesto evenly on top. Squeeze the lemon juice over the pesto and season with salt and pepper.
    Bake the salmon for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it crumbles easily.
    While the salmon is baking, sauté the spinach in a pan with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil for 2 minutes or until the leaves have wilted.
    Once cooked, remove the salmon and serve on the spinach.

    NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
    Per serving (serves two):

    Calories: 340
    Protein: 29 grams
    Fat: 23 grams
    Carbohydrates: 6 grams
    Fiber: 3 grams

    4. Avocado and shrimp salad
    This simple shrimp and avocado salad are keto-friendly and ready in less than 30 minutes.

    Shrimp is rich in protein and nutrients like iodine. Iodine helps brain health and is necessary to produce thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism.

    Ingredients (serves two):

    1/2 pound (225 grams) of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1 medium avocado, diced
    1/2 of red onion, diced
    2 cups (100 grams) chopped romaine lettuce
    1/4 cup (60 grams) cherry tomatoes
    2 tablespoons (30 grams) melted butter
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) of lemon or lime juice
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    Heat the pan over medium-high heat, then add the butter and shrimp. Cook well and set aside shrimp on a plate.
    In a large bowl, add lettuce, avocado, and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with olive oil and lemon or lime juice, then stir.
    Garnish with shrimp and serve. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

    NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

    Per serving (serves two):

    Calories: 449
    Protein: 25 grams
    Fat: 35 grams
    Carbohydrates: 10 grams
    Fiber: 7 grams

    5. Egg and mayonnaise salad
    This creamy keto salad with egg, mayonnaise, and avocado is an excellent choice for picnics and take-out meals.

    In addition, it is very nutritious. In particular, eggs are rich in protein and fat, very abundant and rich in micronutrients such as choline, zeaxanthin, and lutein.

    Ingredients (serves two):

    4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
    1/3 cup (66 grams) of mayonnaise
    1 teaspoon (5 grams) of Dijon mustard
    1/2 of a medium avocado, mash
    1 tablespoon (6 grams) chopped chives
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) of lemon juice
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Optional: lettuce to serve

    Instructions:

    In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, avocado puree, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Serve the egg salad as is or place the mixture on a bed of lettuce.

    NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
    Per serving (serves two):

    Calories: 271
    Protein: 13
    Fat: 23
    Carbs: 2
    Fiber: 2 grams

    6. Vegan kale salad

    Although the keto diet is often associated with animal products, it can be adapted to fit plant-based diets.

    This keto salad is suitable for vegans or vegetarians and rich in nutrients.

    For example, a single serving has more than 300% of your daily vitamin K needs, which is important for blood clotting, strong bones, and heart health.

    Ingredients (serves two):

    4 cups (170 grams) chopped kale
    1 medium avocado, sliced ​​or diced
    2 tablespoons (30 grams) of extra virgin olive oil
    1 ounce (28 grams) of pine nuts
    1/2 tablespoon (8 ml) of lemon juice
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    In a large bowl, add kale and olive oil. Gently massage the oil in the kale for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the leaves have softened.
    Add the pine nuts, lemon juice, and avocado, then stir. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
    Serve immediately.

    NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
    Per serving (serves two):

    Calories: 286
    Protein: 6 grams
    Fat: 26 grams
    Carbohydrates: 14 grams
    Fiber: 7 grams

    Ingredients to avoid
    The keto diet generally restricts carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams per day to reach and maintain ketosis.

    Therefore, your keto salad should limit carbohydrate-rich foods, incorporating healthy and high-fat ingredients. Items high in carbohydrates to avoid include:

    Fruit: most fruits, except avocados
    Nuts: all nuts, including raisins, dates, and prunes.
    Bread and grains: rice, farro, quinoa, bulgur, croutons and more.
    Legumes: beans, peas, chickpeas, peanuts, and others.
    Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, yams and more
    Pasta: all types of wheat-based pasta.
    Supplements with high sugar content: candied nuts, jam
    Certain dressings: low-fat, fat-free and / or sweet dressings such as mustard and honey
    To increase the fat content of your salad, simply sprinkle your salad with olive oil or avocado oil. You can also add healthy and high-fat ingredients such as avocado or cheese.

    SUMMARY
    Avoid ingredients such as croutons, pasta, fruits, and starchy vegetables in your keto salad, as they are too high in carbohydrates.

    The bottom line
    The keto diet restricts carbohydrate intake to promote weight loss through ketosis.

    Although it limits several food groups, you can still create delicious salads with keto-friendly ingredients and dressings.

    If you are interested in this diet, try incorporating some of these salads into your routine.

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