Why It Pays To Add More Fat To Your Salad

Pairing the words salad and fat together may seem counterintuitive. One is synonymous with health, while the other is presumed to be something you want to avoid. This is because fat has gotten a bad rap over the years, but in more recent times folks have come to realize it is not necessarily something to be feared — in fact, it's an essential nutrient, especially when referring to healthy fats like certain oils, nuts, cheeses, and more.

As a result, adding fat to a bowl of greens pays off. For starters, there's no denying that fat makes food taste good. Turkey bacon just isn't on the same level as its pork counterpart. Egg whites made with cooking spray seem downright criminal compared to a creamy, buttery scramble. Satiety is another positive of adding healthy fats to a salad. 

But above all else, fat equals flavor. And when you're seeking to dress up a salad packed full of a range of nutritious veggies, including different types of fatty foods can be the difference between a sad, wimpy bowl of greens, and a taste bud-tingling, sensational meal. 

How to up the fat and flavor of your salad

Try thinking beyond the standard olive oil-based dressing when it comes to adding fat to a salad. There are a number of inventive, flavorful ways to get that fat fix and jazz up a bed of lettuce. The beloved avocado is always a safe bet as a sliced topping, or even whipped up into a creamy dressing — who says guacamole can't be a salad topper? Crumbled goat cheese, blue cheese, or feta will also add a big burst of flavor in addition to fat, as will any shredded cheese.

Nuts and seeds offer up a crunch, or can be toasted for added flavor notes. Olives bring a hint of brininess, plus umami. Hard boiled eggs and crumbled bacon deliver flavorful fat and protein, and fatty fish such as salmon add a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids, per NIH. Hummus will add some creaminess in addition to the fat from the tahini, and just like guacamole, it can stand in as a flavorful dressing. Think outside the box when it comes to adding fat to a salad. Odds are, if it's something you like the taste of, you'll also enjoy it atop a bowl of greens.