There has been a growing interest in 500-calorie meals thanks to the growing popularity of intermittent fasting schedules like the 5:2 Diet and modified alternate day fasting.
If you follow one of these eating patterns or you are simply looking for a 500-calorie meal to keep your hunger away for hours, a low-carb, high-fat salad is the way to go. In this post, I share the ingredients that go into a 500-calorie salad.
500-Calorie Low-Carb/High-Fat Salad Recipe [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- The ingredients that go into a 500-calorie meal.
- Things to watch out for in store-bought salad dressing.
- Substitutions to make if you are avoiding dairy.
How to make a 500-Calorie Meal
Greens can make or break the taste of a salad. I like to use a Spring Mix, like the organic mixture shown below. Starting with bagged lettuce is a great time saver.
Add 128 grams of salad greens, which is about 2-4 cups by volume.
Salad dressing is also important to the taste of the salad as well as the health value. There are a lot of ways to go wrong with salad dressing. For instance, the first ingredient in the Creamy Poppyseed salad dressing below is high fructose corn syrup.
The first ingredient in the Chunky Blue Cheese dressing is soybean oil, which an oil that is inflammatory and prone to oxidation or breakdown due to its high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids and unstable polyunsaturated fat content (1).
You can make your own salad dressing using olive oil and vinegar.
You can also buy a commercial brand that is made with a stable oil like Primal Kitchen dressing (affiliate link to Amazon) made with avocado oil.
Add one and a half tablespoons or about 23 milliliters of salad dressing to the salad greens and mix it in.
Avocado is a nutrient-packed food with a great amount of healthy fat and fiber as well as many micronutrients like vitamin E and folate. Avocados are also rich in magnesium making them one of the best foods to get inside your system on a regular basis.
Add half of a medium-sized avocado, which is about 68 grams.
Feta Cheese or a Substitute
Next, add three tablespoons or 28 grams of Feta Cheese crumbles.
If you are staying away from dairy, a hard-boiled egg will have a similar macronutrient breakdown, so that would be a good substitution.
You could also substitute about two ounces of chicken, but it would reduce the fat content of your 500-calorie meal.
Nuts & Seeds
Top the salad off with a healthy serving of nuts and seeds.
I like to add two tablespoons or about 13 grams of walnuts along with two tablespoons or 18 grams of raw sunflower seeds.
Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats and fiber as well as antioxidants that protect your body from inflammation, which is an underlying factor in many chronic health problems like heart disease (2).
They also add a great crunchy texture to your salad, which makes it a much more enjoyable meal.
A Delicious Final 500-Calorie Meal
This is a hearty 500-calorie meal with lots of volume, so it is going to take your digestive system a long time to process this meal.
It is also high in fat and contains no refined carbs so it is going to keep your blood sugar level steady for a long time.
Those factors are important to you because they are what keep hunger and cravings away.
500-Calorie Low-Carb/High-Fat Salad Recipe
500-Calorie Low-Carb/High-Fat Salad
- 2-4 cups (128g) Mixed Salad Greens choose Spring Mix or other greens
- 1/2 medium (68g) Avocado sliced
- 3 tablespoons (28g) Feta Cheese Crumbles
- 2 tablespoons (13g) Walnuts chopped
- 2 tablespoons (18g) Raw Sunflower Seeds
- 1.5 tablespoons (23ml) Full-Fat Salad Dressing I recommend Primal Kitchen brand or make your own with oil and vinegar
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!
Thanks for reading! Until next time, enjoy your 500 calorie salads and have a great week!
(1) Simopoulos, Artemis P. “The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids.” Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy 56.8 (2002): 365-379.
(2) Preedy, Victor R., Ronald Ross Watson, and Vinood B. Patel, eds. Nuts and seeds in health and disease prevention. Academic press, 2011.
Dr. Becky Gillaspy graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991. She has worked as an on-air health consultant for a local ABC TV affiliate and spent most of her professional career teaching a range of college courses from Anatomy to Nutrition. She now works full-time helping people reach their health and weight loss goals through her website and YouTube channel.