When eating keto, salads made from low-carb vegetables are your go-to meal. There are dos and don’ts you must follow to ensure that you are keto dieting right. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. Non-starchy vegetables will cover the low-carb aspect, but how will you ensure that 70% to 80% of your calories are coming from fats?
Vegetables are low in fat, so when you eat vegetables alone you will not be able to react to the recommended fat intake on a keto diet. The salad dressing you add to your keto-friendly salad goes a long way in adding fat content to your diet.
What are we talking about in today’s article? Can a dressing be keto-friendly? Which dressings are keto-friendly? Is Italian dressing keto friendly? How do you make homemade salad dressing? Let’s get to dressing!
Is Store bought Italian dressing Keto-friendly?
If you are eating keto, I always advise eating fresh foods over store-bought ones. This also applies to salad dressings. You can eat homemade Italian dressing on a keto diet over store-bought Italian dressing. Before you ask, this is why:
Why Store-bought Italian Salad Dressing is Not Keto
Is Italian dressing keto friendly? How about the store-bought variety? Store-bought Italian salad dressings are not recommended on a keto diet because they may contain one or two ingredients that are not keto-approved. Most of them contain:
- Added sugars: The salad dressing you buy from the store contains high amounts of sugar added for flavor. Sugar is a simple carb and in high amounts will kick you out of ketosis beating the whole point of eating keto. Most added sugars are from balsamic vinegar, honey, maple syrup, and sugar.
- Preservatives: A salad dressing contains preservatives to increase its shelf-life. These chemicals may be harmful to your health upon consumption.
- Vegetable oils: Some vegetable oils like corn oil are not keto-approved because of their fat content, the type of fat they contain, and how many carbs are in them. According to the USDA, 100 g of corn oil contains 94 g of total fat and 13.4 g of saturated fat.
These oils can cause inflammation increasing the risk of obesity and coronary artery disease.
- Carbohydrates from corn: Ensure you check the nutritional label on your salad dressing. Some of the contain dextrose and maltodextrin which increase your carb intake.
Dextrose is a simple sugar in corn that is chemically identical to glucose. Maltodextrin is a processed starch added to foods for better texture and longer shelf life. It is made from starches like rice and corn. It has a high glycemic index of 105-110, meaning it can spike your blood sugar, kicking you out of ketosis. You will get 3.5 g of net carbs from a teaspoon serving size of maltodextrin.
Avoid a salad dressing containing dextrose and maltodextrin because it will promote weight gain and insulin resistance.
Nutritional Facts of Commercial Italian Salad Dressing
This is the nutritional information for 100 g of Italian dressings purchased from your local store:
- Energy: 240 kcal
- Protein: 0.41 g
- Fat: 21.1 g
- Total carbs: 12.1 g
- Dietary Fiber: 0 g
- Sugar: 10.8 g
- Saturated fats: 2.95 g
Is Italian Dressing Keto friendly?
If it is homemade Italian dressing, yes, it is. The ingredients used to make an Italian dressing are keto-approved. Your keto Italian dressing should contain only low-carb ingredients that will allow you to stay in ketosis and promote fat oxidation.
Keto Italian Dressing Nutritional Facts
Nutritional information is important when eating keto because you need to know how many net carbs you are consuming. In 100 g of keto Italian dressing, you will get:
- Energy: 200 kcal
- Protein: 0.3 g
- Total carbs: 6.7 g
- Dietary fiber: 0.2 g
- Sugars: 1.94 g
- Net carbs: 6.5 g
- Total fat: 20 g
An Italian salad dressing can be keto!
Keto Italian Dressing Recipe
I may not be a recipe developer, but I guarantee you that this recipe will produce a delicious keto Italian dressing for you to achieve ketosis. First, let’s discuss the key ingredients needed to make your Italian dressing, no matter the variation! These ingredients will ensure that your answer to, is Italian dressing keto friendly, is a definite yes.
It is important to pick the right dressing to help you meet your macro requirements. Keep in mind these are natural ingredients to ensure you are eating only what’s healthy for your body, with no additional chemicals.
Ingredients for Easy Italian Dressing Recipe
Here is what you will need for your keto-friendly salad dressing. These ingredients will be used to make your keto Italian vinaigrette dressing.
Olive oil is keto approved because it is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs) which help improve your lipid profile by lowering the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increasing the high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
Extra virgin olive oil is the best pick for making your homemade Italian dressing because it has so much flavor compared to other varieties.
Whichever type of vinegar you choose to use is highly dependent on what is available at your local grocery stores, and your taste and preferences. You can use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or plain white vinegar.
For a more neutral taste in Italian vinaigrette, use plain white vinegar. White wine vinegar is the perfect substitute for the plain white variety, but it will add a fruity flavor to your vinaigrette. You can substitute white wine vinegar by mixing the plain white one and lemon juice.
Red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar have much stronger flavors. The former will add a rosy hue to your Italian seasoning while the latter adds a fruity and sweet flavor. Again, there’s no wrong choice! Choose whatever makes your taste buds tingle with joy!
Is Italian dressing keto friendly? Yes! The cheese you use in your keto Italian dressing recipe contributes to this. Cheese is high fat, low carb, and moderate in protein, making it the perfect keto food.
The best cheeses for your homemade Italian dressing recipe include parmesan cheese, cream cheese, pepper jack, hard cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Most people use grated parmesan cheese in their favorite recipes.
If you are lactose intolerant, on a dairy-free diet, or are a vegan, you can do away with the cheese. Consider using plant-based milk to make heavy cream for your creamy dressings on a dairy-free diet.
It is more convenient to buy your Italian seasoning for your keto salad dressings from the store. However, there are higher chances of adhering to the dos and don’ts of keto if you make your seasoning.
The spices and herbs you need for your Italian seasoning include garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley flakes, crushed red pepper flakes, and crushed rosemary.
In a 100 g serving size of raw garlic, you will get 33.1 g of total carbs, 2.1 g of fiber, 1g of sugars, and 31 g of net carbs. This looks like a big number, I know! But you don’t use 100 g of garlic in your food, now do you? Garlic is used to add flavor to food, so using it in small amounts will not max out your macros.
Is Mayonnaise keto? Your conventional mayonnaise contains vegetable oils that are high in saturated fat increasing the risk of obesity and inflammation. Use avocado oil-based mayonnaise over vegetable oil-based options.
Similar to other condiments like ketchup, you can make your mayonnaise at home. All you need is an egg, Dijon mustard, white vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil or avocado oil, and pink Himalayan salt.
Low Carb Sweeteners
Sugar can kick you out of ketosis so is not recommended on a keto diet. You should only take sugar-free keto-friendly salad dressings. Because most store-bought dressings are filled with added sugars, use only a low-carb sugar substitute for your keto salad dressing recipes.
Monk fruit is a sugar-free natural sweetener that will help you achieve and trigger ketosis in the body. You can also use allulose sweetener to add flavor to your dressing. This is the sweetness you need in your keto Italian dressing that will not have you worrying about carb intake.
Pink Himalayan Salt
Pink Himalayan salt is more nutritious and has a better flavor compared to regular salt. It also has a low sodium content which reduces cardiovascular risk factors. On keto, you are allowed to use sea salt and Himalayan salt.
Lemons are keto-friendly. It can help heighten flavors and balance the sweet and salty tastes of your keto Italian dressing.
Keto Italian Dressing Recipe
Here is a keto Italian dressing recipe you can enjoy when carb counting.
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon monk fruit sweetener/ Allulose sweetener
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- I teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Himalayan/ sea salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Whisk all your ingredients in a glass jar until they are well-mixed.
- Your dressing is ready! Pour it over your keto salad made from raw vegetables
Another variation for your Italian dressing is making it creamy so you can use it as a dipping sauce.
Creamy Italian Dressing Recipe
A creamy dressing can be keto, depending on what you put in it. Cheeses can help you achieve the creaminess you desire in your Italian dressing. Here’s a good recipe for you:
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup avocado oil-based mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon monk fruit sweetener/Allulose sweetener
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup water
- Put your ingredients in a jar and shake well until well mixed.
- If you are planning to store your dressing, use an airtight container, and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
- If you want to serve immediately, pour over your keto salad.
- Shake well before use.
Tips on Making Italian Dressing
- For a thinner creamy Italian dressing, add more water to it.
- If you don’t fancy mayonnaise, consider using heavy cream from dairy-free milk alternatives.
- Consider different varieties of herbs and spices that suit your taste.
- You can whisk your dry ingredients before adding your wet ones for a more uniform mixture.
Is Olive Garden Italian Dressing Keto-friendly?
Is Italian dressing keto friendly? Yes. But remember most varieties you get at you local store are not. So, no, Olive Garden Italian Dressing is not keto-friendly.
It is made with onions, olives, pepperoncini, lettuce, and tomatoes. Its creaminess is thanks to avocado oil and mayonnaise which are both keto.
However, it is high in carbs because it contains too many processed foods with unhealthy ingredients like added sugars and soybean oil, and modified starch. Consider low-carb options with ingredients as close to nature as possible like herbs, spices, and lemons. And only pick dressings whose primary ingredients are olive oil or avocado oil.
Is Ranch Dressing Keto-friendly?
Ranch dressings are made with herbs, onions, mustard, garlic, salt, buttermilk, and spices mixed in a sauce based on an oil or mayonnaise. Generally, your classic dressing is keto, but it depends on the brand. Most ranch dressings contain 2g to 3 g of net carbs.
Avoid low-fat or low-sodium varieties since they contain hidden carbs.
Is Italian Dressing Gluten-free?
Traditional Italian salad dressings are gluten-free. However, some store-bought Italian dressings contain gluten. So before you accept that a dressing is gluten-free, ensure you read the label to get its nutritional information.
Which Salad Dressings Are Keto-Friendly?
Here are a few low-carb brands you can enjoy on keto:
- Primal Kitchen Caesar Dressing: Made with avocado oil, herbs, spices, eggs, apple cider vinegar, and nutritional yeast.
- Chosen Foods Lemon Garlic Dressing
- Yo Mama’s Foods Ranch Salad Dressing
- Chosen Foods Garden Goddess Dressing: Its herbs and sesame seed paste make it zero carbs.
- Saucy Lips Zesty Cilantro Sauce
Is Italian dressing keto friendly? Homemade Italian dressing is keto-friendly, but not all store-bought brands are keto. Some serving suggestions for your dressing are using them on your keto salads, as a marinade, on raw vegetables, and as dips. Ensure to read the labels to see what is in your dressing.
Do you prefer cream or dry Italian salad dressing? Have you tried any of our delicious recipes to make your keto meals? Which salad have you eaten with your keto Italian dressing? Drop your answers in the comment section below.